Professional standards for school leaders

Professional standards for headteachers are set out in the Headteachers' Standards. Read expert advice on how other school leaders – including SBMs and heads of school – can use the standards, alongside other resources.

Last reviewed on 24 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 2297
  1. The Headteachers’ Standards 2020
  2. Using the Headteachers’ Standards
  3. Other members of the SLT
  4. Leaders in Wales

The Headteachers’ Standards 2020

The standards are non-statutory, so you should interpret them in your individual school’s context. 

You can read a full summary of the standards in this article. Essentially: 

  • The Headteachers’ Standards build on the Teachers’ Standards, which headteachers must continue to meet
  • Section 1 covers ethics and professional conduct
  • Section 2 lays out 10 standards across 3 ‘domains’ – culture and ethos, curriculum and teaching, and organisational effectiveness

Note: there are separate, statutory standards for Wales – for more information, see the last section in this article.

Standards for teachers may apply 

The Teachers' Standards apply to the vast majority of teachers in maintained schools in England, regardless of their career stage. This includes headteachers and other members of the senior leadership team (SLT).

Take a look at our article on Teachers' Standards for more detail.

Non-statutory DfE guidance describes the standards as benchmarks that all headteachers are expected to