Teaching Standards – A Foundation of Excellence

Dr Craig Wilson, CGS’s Managing Director of Schools, introduces the first set of group-wide Teaching Standards designed to build educational excellence.
We have always recognised that great teachers are the cornerstone of our mission to create a global community of schools that goes further than others in the pursuit of future-thinking academic excellence.
Our teachers are the driving force behind inspiring our students to reach their full potential, with research revealing that a highly effective teacher can elevate each student’s academic achievement by a remarkable third of a grade on their examinations*.
Central to our commitment to ensuring every CGS student receives an exceptional learning experience is making the right tools, support, and expert guidance available to our teachers.

“The Standards have been designed for teachers by teachers, and are central to our commitment to ensuring every CGS student receives an exceptional learning experience”

Craig Wilson

Managing Director Schools, CATS Global School

Introducing CGS Teaching Standards

Earlier this term, we published and introduced our first CGS Teaching Standards, a comprehensive framework designed to enhance our teaching practices and contribute to the continued growth and professional development of our teachers.
The Standards have been designed for teachers, by teachers. They were born out of existing practice from across our school network. The Education Committee, led by Dr Sue Brindley, with representatives from every CGS institution, reviewed and reshaped a new set of Standards to reflect the particular needs of CGS students, building upon and extending the benchmarks set by the UK’s Department for Education (DfE) and US Standards while structuring them in the manner of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Standards.
Nurturing Professional Growth
In addition to clarifying what CGS expects of teachers at each stage of their career, the Standards help teachers identify the next steps in their journey and guide their requests for support to work towards them. They are not merely a checklist but a tool for more targeted and effective professional development to become an even more impactful educator.
As part of the rollout of the Standards, 350 teachers from across CGS came together in subject-specific groups for a virtual professional development session.

The Role of Leadership

At a group level, the Standards have been incorporated into our performance development platform, making them integral to regular professional development conversations. They are being used to advance individual teachers and assess the professional development landscape within departments and schools, enabling academic leaders to pinpoint where additional support is needed.
To ensure the Standards are embedded at a school level, school heads are now leading a tailored, localised programme. Dominic Tomalin, Principal of CATS Cambridge, shares his rollout plan:
“We introduced our team to the Standards as part of the August INSETT. Since then, we have worked them into lesson observation forms and learning walk assessments, and we are now starting to use them as cues for using IRIS Connect. This video technology package supports teachers in reviewing, reflecting on, and developing their practice. Direct links will be highlighted as part of the appraisal process for 23/24. The Standards will become our audit checklist and, alongside student outcomes, will be used to inform how we develop teaching and learning at CATS Cambridge.”

Measuring Impact

We are continually monitoring the understanding and use of the Standards through v

arious methods, including listening to teachers’ feedback. As I said earlier, they are for teachers, designed by teachers, so it is imperative that we understand how we can develop the use of the Standards and access to personalised professional development.
*Burgess, S (2019)