The Professional Standards for Leaders in the Further Education (FE) and Training sector were developed in 2021 using feedback from the sector and informed by research. They are designed to provide guidance for you and your organisation about professional expectations of leadership roles, as well as to help identify where relevant high-quality training is needed to support future and existing leaders.
Professional standards: Leaders
There are four sets of standards which recognise different expectations for different levels of leadership:
The Professional Standards for FE leaders uses a similar structure to the Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in order to highlight the synergies and distinctions between the roles. Each set of Professional Standards is built around three core principles:
Each leadership role has a set of standards designed for the leader to reflect on their professional values and attributes that informs their core leadership values and the important they play in guiding how you make decisions and what actions you take on a daily basis.
Each leadership role has a set of standards designed for the leader to develop deep and critically informed knowledge and understanding in theory and practice to inform their leadership.
Each leadership role has a set of standards designed for the leader to develop your expertise and skills to ensure the best outcomes for learners.
The four sets of Professional Standards for Leaders are set out below:
The Professional Standards for Aspiring Leaders set out overarching expectations of what could be expected of you during the planning stage of progressing into middle leadership. The Standards are designed to help bridge the gap between professional/teacher/trainer to middle leader and give you an insight into aspects of the role to help inform your decision-making.
The development of Professional Standards for Middle Leaders is designed to move away from generic management standards and towards a contextualised approach to management expectations for the FE and Training sector, drawing on Corbett’s (2020) research on further education middle leadership. The Standards provide FE and training organisations with a structure that can be used to inform recruitment of new middle leaders and the development of existing middle leaders.
The range of competences required of senior leaders in the FE and Training sector has expanded and is diverse, with new demands such as increasing digitisation and environmental priorities. Whatever your starting point, you will have a developmental journey to undertake which requires you to demonstrate competence across a range of areas. The creation of a clear set of Standards clarifies what could be expected of you and where there may be scope for personal development.
The range of competences required of those who sit at the top of FE and Training organisations has also expanded and is wide-ranging. Whether you have moved into a CEO or Principal role from teaching, or from a discipline such as finance or HR, or from leadership in another sector, the creation of a clear set of Professional Standards sets out what could be expected of you and where there could be areas for personal development.