This page contains information on professional standards for teachers, leaders, teaching assistants (TAs) and higher level teaching assistants (HLTA).

Professional standards describe the skills, knowledge and behaviours that characterise excellent practice and support professional growth.

Significant work has been undertaken to review and reset the professional standards for teachers and leaders and practitioners assisting teaching in schools.

Professional standards are intended to:

  • set clear expectations about effective practice during a practitioner’s career including, where applicable, entry to the profession
  • enable practitioners to reflect on their practice, individually and collectively, against nationally agreed standards of effective practice and affirm and celebrate their successes
  • support practitioners to identify areas for further professional development
  • form a backdrop to the performance management process

The Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership reflect practice that is consistent with the realisation of the new curriculum.

When individual practitioners are engaging in professional learning, they should be clear about how it supports their work in relation to the professional standards.

The professional standards for teaching and leadership were published in September 2017 and NQTs commencing induction from that date are required to work to the standards. NQTs who commenced their induction before this date will complete their induction using the same standards they started with. All other serving teachers and leaders moved to the standards from September 2018.

Standards for assisting teaching were published on 1 September 2019 following a public consultation in March 2019.  Schools are encouraged to use the standards with their support staff (teaching assistants and higher level teaching assistants) to reflect on their practice and identify professional learning. The standards are not currently statutory for support staff but this will be the subject of further consideration.

You can explore the standards below. You can also access them via your Professional Learning Passport (PLP) on the Education Workforce Council (EWC) website (external link).

The final report of the independent evaluation of the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership and the Professional Standards for Assisting Teaching, has now been published.

Findings from the study will be used to make recommendations for future policy and practice across the whole system to support the future implementation and effectiveness of the standards.


Teachers and leaders

School support staff

NQTs who started induction before September 2017

All school practitioners

  • Frequently asked questions pdf 157 Kb This file may not be accessible. If you need a more accessible version of this document please email Please tell us the format you need. If you use assistive technology please tell us what this is

These professional standards are an important aspect of supporting all practitioners to actively engage in professional learning with the purpose of developing individual and collective expertise to make a collaborative, coherent, innovative and sustainable research-led impact on all learners.

We would encourage employers to consider how they can use these professional standards to support and embed professional learning within their current professional development systems and processes.

Practitioners share experiences of how they use the professional standards to develop their practice.

View the videos on YouTube