Using the Standards to reflect on your teaching and leadership


You can use our Teacher and School Leader Standards to manage your development by reflecting on your strengths and needs and identifying your priorities for improvement in teaching, learning and leadership. You can do this using our 'RAG' tool.

How will this help me?

‘RAG’ stands for Red Amber and Green - as in traffic lights. The traffic light rating system is a well-established and effective approach. It allows you to judge reasonably quickly how you think you are doing and to indicate this by selecting:

R for Red

= needs attention

A for Amber

= can be improved

G for Green

= going well

This RAG tool will help you to evaluate how you are doing by giving you relevant questions to focus your thinking about a particular standard. It also gives you some real examples to help you visualise what the standard looks like in practice.

You will find the tool useful personally to:

  • gauge how you feel about your own development
  • consider where you are now and where you would like to be
  • discuss your development goals with your mentor or colleague
  • plan your development actions
  • review your development over time.

You can also use the tool as a team. For example:

  • your leadership team might use the tool in team discussions to help focus on the quality and effectiveness of leadership in your school
  • your teaching teams might use the tool to stimulate thinking about where and how to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom.

How does it work?

The RAG grids are in Word for ease of use and the zip files contain all the grids for Cambridge Teacher or Cambridge School Leader organised into folders by Standard.

In the grid for each standard statement you will find the following sections:

  • The statement
    • as specified in the Cambridge Standards
  • Ask yourself
    • the key questions for you to consider
  • How do you know?
    • examples of what you can look for.

RAG rating allows you not only to pinpoint but also to see how you are doing overall. So on the grid for each question and/or overall you can RAG rate, and you can compare your RAG rating for one statement with another. Do this in the box provided on the grid with colour, tick, symbol, or whatever works for you.

You can use the RAG tool for a particular standard statement, standard, or a number of standards. It is up to you given your needs and your context. You do not need to consider all of the standards, and certainly not all ‘in one go’.

Remember, this versatile RAG tool and the Standards themselves are designed to help you develop. The RAG tool is useful to start your thinking about where you are in relation particular standards. You will then want to consider this in depth, asking critical questions e.g. about importance and impact.

What next?

We’d very much like to know how useful you find the Standards and these RAG grids.  Please share your experiences, views, and reflections on the Padlet wall on the next page.  

We will be developing case studies with schools of the ways in which the Standards are supporting the life of the school, teachers, and leaders – please let us know if you would like to take part in this by contacting Cambridge with the subject title ‘Standards Case Studies: fao PDQ team’.