Are you up to the new standards?

`Aspirational' targets for FE teachers soon to be launched

Stephen Exley

A new set of professional standards for teachers and trainers in FE will be unveiled next week. The list of 20 standards has been described as "aspirational" by the Education and Training Foundation, which will publish the document on Monday outlining how teachers can improve their practice.

Teachers should "maintain and update" their knowledge of their specialist area and the latest educational research, particularly through collaboration, the document states.

Helen Pettifor, director of the foundation's professional standards team, told TES that the guidelines will be referred to by Ofsted and used to inform judgements. They will also be used in inspections of initial teacher education providers, and inspectors will "consider the success of leaders and managers in preparing trainees to meet [them]".

However, the foundation has stressed that the standards are not intended to be used by college leaders to assess the competence of their teaching staff; any reference to the standards in performance management processes should be "developmental" rather than judgemental, Ms Pettifor insisted.

"We wanted something professional and aspirational that would lead into future professional debate," she said. "We don't want a checklist mentality. We wanted the standards to be owned by the teaching workforce. They are based on the model of the reflective practitioner; teachers should be consistently learning and updating their practice."

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Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley is a freelance writer, director of external affairs at Villiers Park Educational Trust and former FE editor at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @stephenexley

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