Our leadership programmes

A teacher smiling at one of their pupils.

Great leaders drive successful schools. Our world-class training gives those eager to step up and build a fairer education system, the tools and networks to do it.  

  • Free - or subsidised - NPQ-accredited training for your team
  • Build expertise to tackle the issues holding pupils back
  • Retain talent by developing teachers into leaders
  • Create long-term impact with a long-term partnership
  • Access learning when and where suits your team
  • Join a community passionate about making education fairer

Tailored mentoring, training and support to develop leaders who’ll help all your pupils thrive.

Our approach

We started our mission to end educational inequality in 2003. Since then it’s become increasingly clear just how important leadership is when it comes to setting every pupil up for success.
That’s why we want to support and develop leaders at all levels and in every area of your school.

Many leaders are better than one

Nobody can effectively drive change in a school alone. The to-do list would be overwhelming. It has to be a team effort, which is why leadership is at the heart of what we do across all our programmes.

We want to create a real depth of leadership talent in your school. That means you’ll have leadership talent at every level, from the classroom right up to the headteacher. Your team will be given the training, time and resources to reflect clearly on how they can positively impact the whole school, as individuals and as part of wider leadership teams.

They’ll also be getting the career progression they desperately want, firing them up to play their part in tackling the challenges underprivileged pupils face.

Overcoming barriers to success

We’ve found there are four key leadership improvements that will positively impact any school:

  1. Remove barriers to teachers progressing into and staying in leadership positions in schools in disadvantaged areas.
  2. Help leaders work effectively with their teams to diagnose, design, implement, evaluate and sustain school improvements.
  3. Combat isolation. Support leaders to build networks and collaborate inside and outside the school.
  4. Create great learning and working environments by encouraging professional development, career opportunities and manageable workloads.

All our Leadership Programmes are designed, and regularly reviewed and tweaked, to address these points while also focussing on your school’s specific challenges.

What does good leadership look like?

We think there are several ways good leadership can help you make the improvements noted above and, ultimately, enable pupils in low income areas succeed. We’ll build these together if you partner with us.

They include:

  • The ability to see an improvement plan through from design to implementation and sustain it.
  • Establishing a strong culture of communication, expected behaviours and professional development.
  • Consistency in policy and how it is applied.
  • Opportunities for leaders to develop in their area of expertise and beyond.
  • A passion to develop the careers of others in the team.
  • A razor-sharp focus on the school and its pupils but also an ability to build partnerships with outside organisations.
  • High priority given to the wellbeing of leaders and their teams.

Read our blog on leadership

As we’ve mentioned, this is a big job. That’s why creating a pool of leadership talent in your school, who can all contribute, is key to success.

[After working with Teach First], my team feel more comfortable discussing matters with me, and we've gained a reflective, honest approach to our school development.
Nick Miller,
Headteacher at Rowley Hall Primary School
Teachers sitting around a desk

90% of NPQ programme members

report they've been able to make a positive impact at school

Picture of headmaster smiling

Driving change

According to Ofsted 850,000 young people in the UK go to schools which do not have good leadership.
This unfairly impacts their life chances and it’s a situation we need to change.

Underprivileged pupils suffer the most

Young people in low income areas are less than half as likely to go to an Ofsted outstanding school than pupils from wealthier backgrounds. This makes the attainment gap incredibly hard to bridge. The COVID-19 lockdown has only made matters worse.

Teachers and leaders in underprivileged areas are doing a brilliant job in difficult circumstances. They simply do not have the time, resources or access to external expertise to develop their leadership talent. But it’s outstanding leaders that make outstanding schools.

That’s why we’re so eager to give them that support. Ofsted data shows schools with strong leadership are up to ten times more likely to improve at their next inspection. That will show in the improved grades and prospects of pupils from the poorest backgrounds.

Make the most of your school’s talent

Your teachers want to become better leaders and 91% say the quality of leadership is very important to their school’s success. They’re eager to drive that success and have the skills to do it.

  • 49% of classroom teachers are interested in leadership positions.
  • 64% of middle leaders want to step up further.
  • 88% say leadership opportunities would make them more likely to remain.

So the enthusiasm to grow is there, but 40% of teachers say they spend no time on developing their leadership skills. That’s a problem, but also an opportunity we can help your school grasp.

A team effort

We don’t create individual super heads, we build effective teams that generate long-term success. In fact 85% of teachers and leaders agree that leadership training should involve the whole team.

Research shows improving the whole leadership team has between three to four times the impact of focusing on one person alone. We’ve also found 93% of teachers think training should be tailored to the needs of a school.

That’s why our Leadership Programmes are so comprehensive, offering every member of your team an opportunity to progress, and designed to generate practical solutions to your school’s challenges.

Quality teaching has the biggest impact on pupil outcomes. That needs to be driven by strong leaders who prioritise the development of their teachers.
Bridget Clay,
Director of School Leadership at Teach First
Teacher and three pupils look at globe

94% of Leading Together programme members

rated quality of training as 'good' or 'very good'

Our programmes

Each of our programmes combines comprehensive support with expert training that addresses the specific issues experienced in your school.
They include one-to-one guidance alongside collaborative working and network building, and can be completed online when and where suits you.

Middle Leader Programme (NPQML)

Find out more

This will prepare teachers looking to take their first steps into leadership and develop middle leaders who recently have. During the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) course they’ll take action to break down barriers young people face in a department, subject or other middle leadership area.

Senior Leader Programme (NPQSL)

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Help your senior leaders to make a real impact across your school and give middle leaders the skills to take on more responsibility. This programme addresses the specific needs of your school at a senior level such as deputy head, business manager or inclusion lead. Participants will plan and implement whole-school improvements while gaining a National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL).

Headship Programme (NPQH)

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Whether they’re moving into headship or are there already, this course will help them create and embed a culture that encourages leaders at all levels. We know many heads feel isolated and 42% do not have a National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). During the programme they’ll build a senior leadership team that’s right behind them as they drive an improvement strategy.

Careers Leader Programme

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For middle and senior leaders, this programme will help them develop a strategy to provide life-changing careers guidance and opportunities to pupils. Not only will career learning be built into all aspects of the curriculum, leaders will be equipped to train colleagues on how to deliver it. So the benefits extend throughout your school for years to come.

Leading Together Programme

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Collectively grow your school’s ability to meet the challenges it faces and address any leadership gaps. A dedicated Teach First expert will work with your entire senior team to instil a culture that encourages and supports everyone into leadership.

Portrait of Verity Hadden
The programme has meant that more pupils are going out and looking for work experience.
Verity Hadden,
Careers Leader Programme member
St. George's Catholic School

100% of surveyed Careers Leaders

rated the quality of Teach First support as 'good' or 'very good'

Let’s build long-term success. Together we’ll develop teachers into inspiring leaders and give your pupils access to life-changing opportunities.

Get in touch

Partner with us

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