Senior Leaders Course


Aimed at aspiring and existing Senior Leaders from primary and secondary phases. The course consists of: three taught elements; visits to other schools;  independent reading and study; action research; and a presentation. 


  • To develop the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a Senior Leadership role
  • To understand and develop confidence with planning for improvement and self-evaluation
  • To understand and develop confidence with using data to improve outcomes
  • To be able to analyse, monitor and improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • To develop essential skills to help you get the most out of your team and from individual colleagues through a combination of challenge and support
  • To develop resilience, self-analysis and planning for further career progression
  • To be prepared for OFSTED
  • To know and understand the unseen elements of the SLT role

Theme 1: School Improvement: Leading on Teaching, Learning and Behaviour (taught)

  • Self-evaluation and school improvement planning
  • Data and how it is used to  improve outcomes and to close gaps
  • Leading and managing change for improvement
  • Improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Reducing in-school variation and encouraging best practice
  • Raising expectations and achieving high standards of behaviour
  • Introduction to action research

 Theme 2: Leadership of people and teams (taught)

  • Creating and sharing a vision
  • Effective and coherent PM/appraisal
  • Challenge and support
  • Effective professional development
  • Dealing with challenging people and situations
  • Creating and sustaining a positive and productive working culture
  • Action research

Theme 3: Resilience (taught)

  • Optimism and moral purpose
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Managing one's own boundaries
  • Encouraging the heart and looking after yourself
  • What to do when you don't know what to do
  • Career planning  

Theme 4: The bits that the training didn’t cover (case study and Q&A) 

  • HR and how it works. Capability and compromise.
  • Admissions code (ensuring that your school is compliant)
  • Understanding how school budgets work, monitoring and securing best value for money
  • Managing investigations and complaints
  • Governance: critical friends and a source of challenge
  • Health and safety a beginner’s guide
  • Safer recruitment and the role of the senior leader
  • Crisis management

Theme 5: Theory and Enquiry (independent)

Prior to and alongside the taught elements of the course, there will be an expectation of reading for both theory of leadership in education and research methods.

At the end of the course, delegates make a presentation to a panel of peers, SLT and university colleagues. Presentations are based on action research on one of the above themes,  in one or more settings.