AMiE comment on National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers

Press release
19 January 2015 by ATL Media Office
Peter Pendle, chief executive officer of AMiE, ATL's leadership section, comments on the National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers.

Peter Pendle, chief executive officer of AMiE, ATL's leadership section, said: "For schools to offer the best education for young people, headteachers need to provide strong professional leadership. This is a difficult job, made harder by increasing pressure from Government policies and accountability systems.

"We therefore welcome the new National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers. They demonstrate aspiration for school leaders to empower the teaching profession and improve the educational experience of pupils. It is important that leaders cultivate a collaborative not compliant working culture in order to best serve pupils.

"For the standards to be useful, school governors must recognise their aspirational nature, and should not use them simply as another checklist of expectations for hard working headteachers. The standards won't be enough on their own: Government must decide whether it is serious about the headteacher standards, in which case the need for fundamental reform of Ofsted and the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is overwhelming, or the standards will remain aspirational - unachievable in the current context in which school leaders work.

"Our manifesto calls for heads to be able to manage their schools fairly, to create safe, calm and well-ordered environments with a focus on a broad education for young people. Government needs to work in partnership with school leaders and teachers in order to ensure long term goals for education are met."

Notes to editors

  1. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
  2. ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
  3. ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.