Dear John: AST or Excellent teacher role?


I’m currently in my third year of teaching, completing my MA in Design and Technology Education at Sheffield Hallam and moving to a new school to be second in department. I’m very interested in developing towards Excellent Teacher/Advanced Skills Teacher. I understand I’ve got to cover the CPE standards and provide evidence to be awarded ET and the same for AST, however I want to be ‘fast tracked’. I see that the fast track course has been cancelled and an accelerated leadership programme is being developed. What options do I have?


Excellent Teacher roles largely don’t exist, except in a very, very few schools. To make matters worse, AST numbers, as counted by jobs offered nationally, have nearly halved this year compared to last year.

Frankly, the HoD and leadership route remains the main career path. Visit the National College website and look for middle and future leaders’ programmes.

John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teacher training and consultancy, including a brief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitment analyst, visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University and hosts our Career Clinic where you can post questions to him.