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Advanced Skills Teachers (ASTs)

Advanced Skill TeachersAdvanced Skills Teachers (ASTs) were introduced by the government in 1998 to help schools attract and retain excellent classroom teachers and to increase staff motivation, raise pupils' achievement levels and broaden the skills and knowledge base of schools. ASTs are required to undertake a range of additional duties, over and above their own teaching and other responsibilities, to help raise the quality of teaching and the standards of attainment in their own school and in other 'outreach' schools. Around 20% of their time should be given to this 'outreach' work.

ASTs are teachers who, as a result of external assessment, have been recognised for the high quality of their classroom practice. For the additional payment and increased non-contact time they are given, they are expected to share their experience and expertise with other staff within their own school and from others. Among the activities they would be expected to undertake during their non-contact time are the following:

  • producing teaching materials of high quality
  • disseminating materials relating to best practice and research
  • providing 'model' lessons to whole classes, or targeted groups of pupils e.g. SEN , with staff observing
  • supporting subject leaders on matters such as schemes of work, or management skills
  • observing teachers at work and offering advice on lesson planning, teaching methods, for example
  • assisting teachers who experience difficulties
  • participating as mentors and coaches to a range of staff e.g. newly qualified teachers
  • supporting professional development


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