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Aspiring to Headship Programme

Schools are facing a challenging time, with squeezed budgets, changes to governance and significant reductions in the support offered by local authorities in many areas.  Good leadership is so important in this changing, tough climate. 

The Aspiring to Headship programme focuses on the necessary personal and professional qualities required for successful headship and executive leadership. There will also be the opportunity throughout the programme to receive mentor support and undertake mock interviews, if you are considering taking the next step in your career.

Sessions have been designed by Sir Michael Wilshaw and a group of experienced school and education leaders, bringing a wide range of skills and experience from both primary and secondary schools, in different geographical areas, as well as experience of systems leadership. 

Download our course leaflet

Dates and Times

Please register your interest for our next course by emailling


Each evening will include presentations, thought provoking discussion and role-modelling, as well as the opportunity to learn from each other’s experience.  Refreshments will be provided and there will be an opportunity to socialise and network after the formal session has concluded. 

Session one

Programme overview and the changing nature of headship in the 21st century

Session two

The importance of school culture as a pre-requisite for raising standards

Session three

The leadership of teaching and learning

Session four

The importance of student assessment to ensure good progress and outcomes

Session five

Staffing and financial management

Session six

Consultation, accountability, planning and review

Session seven

Communication, marketing and community engagement

Session eight

Networking and social evening to reinforce sharing of experience


This course is designed for aspiring head teachers as well as serving heads who may want some ‘professional reinforcement’.


Participants who complete the course will receive a leadership accreditation certificate from St Mary’s University.  It will also be possible to convert the learning from the course into credits to contribute towards a Master’s degree.

For more information about this course please contact