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 29 June 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 2297
  1. The Headteachers’ Standards 2020
  2. Other members of the SLT
  3. Leaders in Wales

The Headteachers’ Standards 2020

The standards are non-statutory, so you should interpret them in your individual school’s context. The 2020 standards are the most recent version.

They're split into 2 sections:

  • 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

You can read a full summary of the standards in our other article.

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

Use the Headteachers' Standards as benchmarks

Non-statutory DfE guidance sets out that, while the standards are not a ‘checklist’, you should be able to demonstrate how your performance fulfils the standards.

You can download and use our Headteachers' Standards 2020 self-assessment tool to consider performance against the standards, and highlight areas where there’s room for improvement.  

Inform appraisal and objective