two participants smile

Empowering teams, empowering schools

Discover our Leading Together Programme.

Empowering teams, empowering schools

Leading Together is a two-year programme supporting schools in areas of greatest need to build and sustain strong, empowered and effective senior leadership teams.   

Leading Together is unique in the education sector with its bespoke support for a school's entire senior leadership team over a sustained period. The programme works to support a school’s own improvement journey by building leadership capacity across the team and beyond. The programme helps schools create a culture and environment in which all teachers and pupils can thrive.   

About the programme

Leading Together provides structured development during and beyond the lifetime of the project.

Achievement Partner
Each school gets two years' bespoke support and coaching from an experienced, locally-based senior leader.
Learning modules
School leadership teams have access to learning modules, local networks and funding for specialist support.
Bespoke school support
The programme provides access and a £10k ‘learning pot’ to fund a range of additional tailored expertise.
School-to-school collaboration
The programme helps leadership teams create support networks in their local community and beyond. 

What makes Leading Together different?

Focus on whole team leadership
Leading Together is unique in its focus on working closely with a school’s entire senior leadership team.
Support to create lasting change
The Achievement Partner works with the leadership team to tailor the programme the school’s needs.
Reaching pupils in low-income areas
We plan to work with 85 schools and 390 leaders over the next three years, reaching 200,000 children
15 years’ experience in education
We are drawing on our expertise, as well as our network and community, to design and deliver this programme

Leading Together has come at a fantastic time for us. It has come at a time when we're going to have to rewrite a plan that's going to take the school to outstanding as quickly as possible.

Linda Emmett, Headteacher, All Saints Catholic College

A teach and her students play with a fountain

Frequently asked questions

Why does supporting school leadership matter?

The success of a school depends on great leadership. But many teachers and leaders in thousands of schools – disproportionately those in poorer areas – do not get the support and development they need to help them thrive. Our extensive research – summarised in the policy paper ‘Why supporting school leadership matters’ – outlines the compelling case for supporting school leadership. That includes the fact that schools with good leadership are ten times more likely to improve their overall Ofsted rating at the next inspection compared those with poor leadership scores.  

What are the key elements of the programme?

Throughout the two-year journey, school leadership teams benefit from four key programme elements:  

Achievement Partner: Each school is matched with an Achievement Partner who has a strong track record as an experienced and successful headteacher and senior leader. The Achievement Partner supports, guides and coaches the senior leadership team throughout the two-year programme.  

This includes facilitating the team to undertake a careful diagnosis of their school's needs, then creating and implementing a robust plan to deliver effective and sustainable improvements across the whole school. The Achievement Partner also helps schools access a wealth of additional external support tailored to the school’s needs.  

Learning modules: The programme members have access to a range of online and face-to-face learning opportunities designed specifically for school leadership teams.   

There are twelve learning modules focused on key aspects of school leadership. The modules are distributed across the senior leadership team and matched to each team member’s remit. They are accessed to fit around a school’s schedule, using a blended learning approach so teams can work in a way that best suits their needs. Learning is tailored, relevant and applied in a practical way to the school’s improvement plan to maximise what a school is already doing and ensure sustainable progress.  

Bespoke school support: The programme provides access to a range of additional expertise. This includes a ‘learning pot’ to use over the two-year period (amounting to £10,000). The Achievement Partner works with the senior leadership team to use this fund, supporting them to find tailored, high-quality, specialist support. This new learning can then be applied in a practical way during the delivery of the school improvement plan.   

Specialist support may be provided by teaching and learning specialists, business management consultants, specialists from schools and international experts. The school also has access to a range of resources and support from Teach First and its wider community. For example, schools have access to pro-bono business advisers and coaches from Teach First’s corporate supporters and we also offer free access to our NPQ accreditation.  

School-to-school collaboration: The programme helps senior leadership teams to create enduring support networks with other schools in their local community and beyond.   

This includes collaboration between schools on the Leading Together programme, opportunities for schools to visit others that have been on a similar journey to their own, as well as access to other teaching schools, experts, the wider Teach First community – that’s over a thousand school leaders – and schools locally and nationally that demonstrate excellent practice. This is facilitated through events, networking opportunities, action learning sets and other collaborative learning structures. 

How is the programme structured?

There are four phases of a school’s journey through the programme:   

Diagnose: The senior leadership team, supported by the Achievement Partner, analyses the school’s priorities and strengths. This identifies a path to sustained progress for the school.    

Build: The team begins to identify, test and implement new approaches to address their priorities. Each team member engages in a series of learning modules to support their development and understanding of key content areas.    

Embed and drive: The leadership team is supported to consolidate and secure the school’s improvements. Further learning modules and coaching provide expertise to support these improvements and build sustained progress and skills that will last beyond the life of the programme.    

Sustain: Through further work with the Achievement Partner and significant reflection activities, the leadership team works to make approaches permanent and woven into a thriving culture of professional development.

Is my school eligible for the programme?

Leading Together is focused on making a real and sustained difference to the lives of children who need it the most. We are therefore working with primary and secondary schools in areas of greatest need (based on Achievement Excellence Area being level 5 or 6) and predominantly those that have been graded 3 or 4 by Ofsted or those in an Opportunity Area that are at risk of falling to a lower Ofsted category at their next inspection.  

For the next group of schools (starting in April 2019), we will be confirming the areas we will be working in within the next few weeks.

Read more about your school's eligibility here

What will the programme cost?

The programme is partially funded by the Department for Education's Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF), alongside donations from individuals, companies and foundations. This allows us to offer the programme free of charge to schools

What else do we do for schools?
Learn how we can support pupils and teachers.
Find out more
Have a question?
Our schools team would be happy to help
Get in touch
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