Framework for Exceptional Education

Quality assure your practice with SSAT’s Framework for Exceptional Education.

The Framework for Exceptional Education (FfEE) is SSAT’s flagship school improvement and planning tool. It is designed to support schools with reviewing their practice and planning for further development. It was written by the education team at SSAT with the support of a pilot group of schools from the Leading Edge network.

The framework covers 12 strands of practice within a school:

Teaching and learning

  • Climate for learning
  • Culture of reflection
  • Effective learning behaviours
  • Variety of teaching approaches

Professional practice

  • Engaging with evidence and research
  • Engagement with key stakeholders
  • Principled assessment
  • Principled curriculum design


  • Leadership through moral purpose
  • Professional learning
  • Quality assurance
  • Wellbeing

For each strand there are four descriptors, showing different levels of practice: Beginning, Developing, Embedding and Transforming.

Available free of charge to all SSAT primary, secondary and special member schools, the Framework for Exceptional Education can be used as a self-evaluation tool.

Not a member? – Join us today!

Summary of current practice

View a sample template from the Framework for Exceptional Education.

Free download

Accredit your practice

Accreditation is an opportunity to review one or two aspects of your practice in detail, with the support of professionals from other schools. It is relevant to primary, secondary and special schools.

Within each strand you can decide which descriptor best fits your current practice: Beginning, Developing, Embedding or Transforming.

The accreditation process is as follows:

  1. Decide which strands you want to apply to have reviewed. You can apply for up to two strands at a time.
  2. You’ll be sent a FfEE Summary of Current Practice form. Return this to the SSAT and we’ll arrange:
    • A Peer review visit from another school. We will allocate you a partner school who will send one or two of their leadership team to work with you to review your practice. This will take place within 6 weeks of receiving your Summary of Current Practice.
    • A Moderation visit from a member of the SSAT team. Your moderator will work with you to review your practice and discuss next steps. They will also decide which level you are currently working at.
  3. Submit your final submission form, including your self-assessment.
  4. Your moderator will award your level and provide feedback on your work and suggestions for further development. You’ll be sent this within two weeks of your moderation visit.
  5. You’ll receive a certificate and a digital badge to celebrate your success.

The accreditation process is usually completed in two months. There is some flexibility however once the process has started it has to be completed within six months. Please note no refunds will be issued.

Apply for accreditation

The full accreditation process for SSAT Members costs:

£1,275+VAT for one strand
£1,700+VAT for two strands at the same time

FfEE accreditation is open to SSAT primary, secondary and special member schools only. If you are not a member – join us today!
Apply now

Complete the online booking form and the team will be in touch with next steps.

Any questions?

If you would like to discuss how the Framework for Exceptional Education accreditation can have an impact in your school, please contact us

Are you a Leading Edge school? If so, you can accredit your practice as part of your Leading Edge membership. Contact the Leading Edge team for more information.

Are you a high performing school? If you have an Ofsted grade 1 or 2 and /or statistically significant student outcomes – join Leading Edge our exclusive network for high-performance schools and get FfEE accreditation and an extensive programme of activities, events, publications and support throughout the year. Find out more about the Leading Edge Network.