National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers.

Qualities and Knowledge
1.1 Hold and articulate clear values and moral purpose, focused on providing a
world class education for the young people they serve.
This sets out the context and thinking about the drive towards the need for a world
class education system.
We must be able to compete in a global education system.
Global comparisons give us a perspective on how the demands on education are changing, and how
education systems respond to those changes.
When we can access the world’s knowledge on the internet success becomes increasingly about
ways of thinking, that’s about creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving and judgement; about ways of
working, including collaboration and teamwork; and about the tools that enable us to interact with the
Much of the time in school is spent learning individually. But the more interdependent the world
becomes, the greater the premium on the need for great collaborators and orchestrators. Innovation
today is rarely the product of individuals working in isolation but an outcome of how we mobilise, share
and link knowledge.
Compared to purely government-designed curricula taught exclusively in schools, learning in the
workplace allows people to develop ‘hard’ skills on modern equipment, and ‘soft’ skills, such as
teamwork, communication and negotiation, through real-world experience.
Achieving that is no doubt difficult, and requires a very different approach to education.
Modern enabling school systems set ambitious goals, are clear about what pupils should be able to do
and then provide teachers with the tools to establish what content and instruction they need to provide
to their individual learners. The past was about delivered wisdom, the future is about user-generated
The challenge is to embrace diversity with differentiated pedagogical practices. The goal of the past
was standardisation and conformity, now it’s about being ingenious, about personalising educational
experiences. The past was curriculum-centred, the future is learner-centred.
In the past we emphasised school management, but now it is about leadership, with a focus on
supporting, evaluating and developing teacher quality as its core. This includes coordinating the
curriculum and teaching programmes, monitoring and evaluating teacher practice, promoting teacher
professional development and supporting collaborative work cultures.
School systems need to recognise that individuals learn differently and at different stages of their lives.
They need to foster new forms of educational provision that take learning to the learner in ways that
allow people to learn in the ways that are most conducive to their progress.
Taken from an article (abridged) by Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director for Education and
Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD's (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Secretary-General.
Finland’s success as a world leader in education is acknowledged. Five lessons for our schools have
been suggested and our schools need to contemplate •
more collaboration, less competition.
more personalisation, less standardisation.
more responsibility and trust, less accountability and control.
more pedagogy, less technology.
more professionalism, less bureaucracy.
Collaboration, equity of access to comprehensive education, a personalised curriculum, and trustbased professionalism have been key to Finnish success.
The new curriculum provides an opportunity to be bold and brave in the ways that we challenge and
support learning. This will include ways to explore and extend the learning beyond that required by
the new curriculum, finding innovative and exciting ways to bring together new and existing subject
The new curriculum is not just about implementing the changes that have been made by government.
It is about our local school curriculum and the new national curriculum, and ensuring that it connects in
such a way that reflects the real world, the international and the global context that children live in. It
should be a local, national and international curriculum.
There is a correlation between schools that provide deep and meaningful global learning for children
and schools who also enable children to understand themselves effectively as learners. Meaningful
student voice is interwoven with the principles of a globalised education, and the combination of these
two things empowers children to take responsibility for themselves and for their wider world.
Only by learning from other nations, and by giving school leaders the freedom to shape their
own futures, liberated from outdated bureaucratic structures, can we ensure we benefit from
the other, increasingly rapid changes.
Leading with moral purpose means that Headteachers have a commitment to making a difference
in the lives and outcomes of pupils as a result of their experiences at their school.
Moral purpose consists of improving achievement and ensuring that achievement gaps are
narrowed. One of the core tasks of Headship is to give children and young people new opportunities,
optimistic futures and a sense of aspiration.
The process of teaching and learning – can shape futures like nothing else. Lives can be
transformed by what goes on in schools.
In the most effective schools teachers build a love of knowledge, encourage relentless curiosity, and
instil a passion for learning.
These settings make opportunity more equal, embed a culture of collaboration and ensure there is a
moral commitment to helping those most in need.