Chartered College of Teaching supports the Ethical Leadership in Education Framework news image

How do you FELE? An update on the Ethical Leadership Project


It’s been 3 months since the launch of the Ethical Leadership Commission’s Final Report Navigating the Moral Maze.  It generated a lot of interest, so what has happened since?

As Commissioners proposed, the work has taken three parts with development on all three.

  1. The Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education (FELE)

Carolyn and others have been travelling the country talking to large and small groups of teachers, leaders and policy makers about the Framework, the report and our plans.  It is well-received everywhere we go and starting to be widely recognised.

Most importantly, the Pathfinder Programme, run by the National Governance Association has really taken off, with 200 schools in its first 2 cohorts.  These schools and MATs commit themselves to working with the Framework over the course of a year taking time to consider the values and virtues of the FELE in everything they do, measuring their decision-making against its wording. The pathfinders will meet to discuss their progress for the first time on July 4th 2019.

Many organisations have also asked to become aligned with the FELE, and we will publish a full updated list in September


  1. Embedding the FELE in teacher and leadership training

This continuing ethical work is overseen by the Leadership Development Group of the Chartered College of Teaching.  That group is currently working on two proposals.

  • First, to augment the DfE’s excellent new Early Career Framework. The ECF covers part 1 of the Teacher Standards, so we are making proposals about part 2, which covers personal and professional practice.
  • Second, to embed the FELE alongside the ‘leadership behaviours’ of the four NPQ programmes so that participants may be enabled to make decisions built on deep foundations.

Both of those proposals will be ready to go to DfE this side of the summer holiday.

Further, we have used the FELE as part of a range of training programmes, at the invitation of NPQ and other providers, for annual conferences and meetings of professional leaders and governors and in podcasts for digital training providers.


  1. The Ethics Committee

The Ethics committee will meet for the first time in July too.  We hope that this standing committee, again under the auspices of the Chartered College’s Leadership Development Group, will become a thrice-yearly fixture in the educational calendar.

We are taking time to make sure it is properly organised.  We have set up an Ethics Committee to run the Forum, which will start to call for participants, and issues for the Forum meetings to discuss. We want the Forum to be able to hear people’s experiences, both individually and from our partner organisations.  We aim to publish reflection and case studies, enlarge our group of speakers and offer real support for leaders who struggle with difficult or frankly impossible decisions.

The first meeting will run on the same day as the Pathfinder gathering to maximise participation.  It will be on July 4th 2019 at a venue to be confirmed.  The reports of the Ethics Forum will be freely available on the websites of the participating organisations, particularly CCT, ASCL, NGA and NAHT. Watch these spaces!


We have no independent funding yet – so if you know of a trust or fund who might be interested in supporting our work, we’d love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support: we are making a real difference to the confidence of school leaders to be able to think and reflect on what is best for our schools.   Remember, schools are where society looks after its young until they become good citizens too.  As role models, how we behave is as important as what we do.

If you’d like to know more please carry on using or for now.


Enjoy the summer term!


Carolyn Roberts