Leading Together

School leader carries work and smiles

Build stronger school leadership across your senior team with our free programme.

  • Expert coaching and training for your entire senior leadership team
  • Intensive support for your school, tailored to your needs
  • Accelerate and sustain school improvement
  • Learn and implement evidence-based best practice
  • Free to school
Two years
Only available to schools in specific areas - see 'Apply'

Create a school environment where pupils can thrive for years to come.


Develop your entire senior leadership team

Leading Together is unique in that we work with your entire senior leadership team, growing their ability collectively to deliver sustainable improvements across your whole school. Together we’ll focus on your school’s specific goals and build plans for long term success.

Intensive support tailored to your school’s needs

Over two years, your senior leadership team will work closely alongside one of our Achievement Partners – experienced coaches and former school leaders that we match with your school. The Achievement Partner will support, guide and coach your senior leadership team to understand the challenges your school faces, create a robust plan that tackles them in the long-term and implement that plan across your whole school.

Accelerate your school’s improvement strategy

Our programme’s mix of learning and support equips your senior team with the latest leadership knowledge and the ability to apply it effectively in your school. Once you've identified sustainable improvements that need to be made, you'll have the support and access to expertise to implement these and make positive changes for your pupils.

Learn and implement evidence-based best practice

The programme’s learning modules are built around the latest research and best practice to make a real, long-term impact. Delivered face-to-face (government guidelines permitting) and online, they’re focused on key aspects of school leadership such as curriculum, assessment, developing others, strategic planning and implementing change.

  • 95% of programme members rate the programme good or even better - for headteachers this is 100%.
  • 84% found it helped their school plan its improvement priorities.
  • 94% said it supported the development of the team's leadership skills.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

Introducing Leading Together

95% of participants

rate the programme 'good' or higher.

teacher and pupils at desk smiling


Leadership matters

That’s a fact. But leaders in schools that teach the most disadvantaged pupils don’t always get the support and development they need. We’ve researched the issue extensively and found that strong school leadership really makes a difference:

  • Schools are ten times more likely to improve at their next Ofsted inspection with effective leadership.
  • Improving the whole leadership team has up to four times greater impact on pupil outcomes than focusing on individual ‘super heads’.
  • Nearly nine out of ten teachers and leaders say leadership training should involve the whole team.
  • Nine out of ten teachers say they’re more likely to stay at their school if they’re supported into leadership roles.

Our research also shows there are plenty of teachers and leaders eager to step up if given the opportunity. That’s where Leading Together comes in – it creates opportunities for teachers and leaders across entire schools, as well as for the young people who’ll benefit from their greater expertise.

Leading Together drives change

From the feedback we’ve received from previous programme members, we know that Leading Together has made a real difference to schools:

  • 95% of programme members (senior school leaders) rated the programme as good or better - for headteachers, this was 100%.
  • 98% rated the support of their Achievement Partner as good or very good - for headteachers, this again was 100%.
  • 94% rated the quality of the training as good or very good.

Programme members particularly valued the bespoke support from their Achievement Partner, which includes one-to-one and team coaching. As one school leader said:

“(My Achievement Partner) has been absolutely brilliant throughout this and has been one of the most important people I've met in my career. (They) can be described as a mirror – (they’ve) helped me to reflect in so many different ways and have brought a new-found confidence in myself as a result.” 

We also know from programme members that Leading Together:​

  • supported the development of leadership skills among school leadership teams (94% agree or strongly agree) 
  • helped the school plan its improvement priorities (94%)​
  • improved how their school’s senior leadership team implements school changes (85%) 

Looking for a different leadership programme?

Leading Together has provided constant and consistent support with the challenges COVID-19 has created for our school, which has been really reassuring.
Nick Miller,
Headteacher at Rowley Hall Primary School


say Leading Together improved their team's leadership skills

Teacher and pupil with table tennis rackets


Built around your school’s needs

Leading Together is delivered in four phases over two years, with close support throughout from your Achievement Partner.

  • Diagnose – analyse your school’s priorities and strengths to identify the strategic improvement goals you want to focus on.
  • Build – devise, test and implement new ways to achieve these goals. Individual senior leaders will build knowledge in key areas through a series of learning modules. 
  • Embed and drive – further learning modules and coaching will help school leaders consolidate and secure improvements made to provide day-to-day benefits for all teachers and pupils. 
  • Sustain – leaders reflect on what’s worked and how to weave a permanent culture of ongoing development throughout your school.

A mix of training and support

Your school is matched with an Achievement Partner – an experienced school leader, trained coach and facilitator. Your Achievement Partner will guide and support you throughout the two years by tailoring the programme to your school’s context and needs.

Your Achievement Partner delivers the programme for your team in several ways:

With team and individual coaching – The Achievement Partner coaches and works with your senior leadership team for the full two years, based on your school's needs. They won’t tell you what to do but they will support and challenge you, helping your senior leaders create plans and pinpoint expertise that your school really needs.

Along the way they will work alongside your senior leadership team to:

  • understand your school's needs
  • support robust planning
  • implement strategies that will have a lasting impact across the whole school

Through learning modules – focusing on key aspects of school leadership, modules can be spread across the senior leadership team to fit in with their responsibilities. Each module helps programme members to build knowledge of good leadership and apply that knowledge to your school’s specific circumstances.

The learning modules are delivered by your Achievement Partner and other Teach First experts through a combination of face-to-face (where permitted) and online activity, creating opportunities for learning that is both collaborative and self-paced.

With bespoke support – bring in additional expertise to address your school’s priorities.

Your Achievement Partners will also work with the senior leadership team to identify any additional expertise that can help the school progress, and your school will be connected to the Teach First community - a goldmine of support and resources. For example, our corporate supporters can provide pro-bono business advisers and coaches. Plus, our NPQ-accredited leadership programmes are open to all teachers and leaders in your school.

Through networking and collaboration – create lasting support networks with schools in your local community and beyond. This includes collaborating with other schools on the programme that have been on a similar journey.

We also hold networking opportunities that bring your senior leaders together with educational experts, leaders from other schools across the UK and the wider Teach First community – all well-positioned to help your school improve.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

The Leading Together programme has come at a fantastic time for us. We’re going to regroup and write a plan to take the school to outstanding as quickly as possible.
Linda Emmett,
Headteacher at All Saints Catholic School
Headteacher talking to pupils
Teacher and pupils at science lesson


What’s the cost?

There isn’t one. Our programme is fully-funded. 

As part of our additional support as schools respond to COVID-19, you’ll also have subsidised access to other Teach First programmes and opportunities.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

Both the quantity and quality of support we’ve received has been amazing, and it astounds me that it hasn't cost us a penny.
Nick Miller,
Headteacher at Rowley Hall Primary School
A pupil points at a maths sum on the board



To take part, you need to be working at a school that is either a Teach First partner or eligible to be one. That means your school must be in England and teach a high number of pupils from low-income backgrounds. 

We prioritise places for schools in Ofsted Category 3 or 4, or at risk of moving to these categories at their next inspection.

We calculate which schools are eligible using the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Achieving Excellence Areas (AEA), a measure which identifies parts of the country where children persistently underperform.

Based on these scoring systems, eligible schools must fall under one of these categories:

  • An IDACI of 40 or greater (this means 40% of pupils are living in low-income homes).
  • An IDACI of 35 to 40 and an AEA score of 4 to 6.
  • An IDACI of 30 to 35 and an AEA of 5 or 6.
  • An IDACI of 25 to 30 and an AEA score of 6.

How to apply

To apply for the Leading Together programme starting in April 2022, please register your interest below. Information about the areas we’ll be working in will be available soon.

Please note that spaces are limited and may be filled quickly if we receive a high level of interest from eligible schools. Therefore, we encourage you to express your interest now so you are informed as soon as applications open. 

To express your interest, fill in our online form:

Register your interest

We’ll be in touch to talk about next steps.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

Teacher in class with hand up
Pupils looking at test tubes
For any schools considering Leading Together, I'd say absolutely do it. It's united our leadership team and consequently our entire learning community.
Nick Miller,
Headteacher at Rowley Hall Primary School

NPQ in Senior Leadership

Take your school to new heights with our accredited senior leadership course.

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Want to join the Leading Together programme?

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