Leading Together

School leader carries work and smiles

When your leadership team thrives, your pupils thrive.

Build a stronger school leadership team with our fully-funded programme.

  • Develop your entire senior leadership team and build more capacity.
  • Bespoke support for your school, tailored to your needs.
  • Free for schools.
  • Accelerate your school’s improvement strategy and create lasting, sustainable change.
  • Learn and implement evidence-based best practice.
Duration
Two years
Only available to eligible schools. For more information see 'Apply'

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

Benefits

Your school’s challenges are bigger than ever. But handling these challenges shouldn’t be down to a headteacher alone.

Leading Together is a free, two-year programme that builds and sustains strong leadership across your entire senior leadership team.

With bespoke support and expert coaching and training we can help accelerate your school's improvement journey.

Develop strong leadership across your entire senior team

Leading Together is unique in that we work with your entire senior leadership team, collectively growing their ability to deliver sustainable improvements across your whole school.

Dedicated support for your school, tailored to your needs

Now more than ever, it’s vital to have strong school leadership.

Over two years, your senior leadership team will work closely alongside one of our Achievement Partners – an experienced coach and former school leader that we match with your school.

They’ll support, guide and coach your senior leadership team to understand the specific challenges your school faces and create a robust plan that tackles them in the long-term.

Accelerate school improvement and create sustainable change

The programme equips your leadership team with the capacity and expertise to make changes that last across your entire school.

Our programme’s mix of learning and support provides your team with the knowledge and skills to identify and implement sustainable improvements – 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 and online, they’re focused on key aspects of school leadership such as curriculum, assessment, developing others, strategic planning and implementing change.

From our recent survey of school leaders who started the programme in 2020:

  • 97% rated the quality of the Leading Together programme as ‘excellent’, ‘very good’ or ‘good’
  • 87% agreed that the programme has improved their use of evidence-informed strategies for school improvement
  • 85% agreed that Leading Together supported the development of leadership skills among their senior leadership team.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

Introducing Leading Together

97% of school leaders

rated the quality of the Leading Together programme as ‘excellent’, ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

teacher and pupils at desk smiling
Our motivation for joining Leading Together was rooted in the school we are, the journey we’re on and getting the right support with that journey.
Paul Greenhalgh,
Headteacher at Hazel Wood High School

Impact

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 (Ofsted data).

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. From our survey of school leaders who started in the programme in 2020:

  • 87% agreed that the programme improved their use of evidence-informed strategies for school improvement.
  • 81% agreed that the programme increased the ability of the school’s leadership team to function effectively to improve their school.

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

The best person I have met in education in 30 years. the level of challenge, coaching skills, directed questions, support, knowledge of the evolving education issues were fantastic.

Programme Member

Looking for a different leadership programme?

The impact of Leading Together on our school has been significant and multifaceted. At its heart, the programme has given us the time to prioritise our professional development. The impact of the programme has cascaded to our pupils.
Simon Reed,
Deputy Headteacher at King George V Primary School

87%

of programme members rated their Achievement Partner as ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ at helping their team implement specific improvement priorities for their school. 

Teacher and pupil with table tennis rackets

Programme

Built around your school’s needs

Leading Together is delivered in four phases over two years, with close support throughout from your Achievement Partner- an experienced school leadership expert who’ll we’ll match with you to address your school’s specific goals.

  • Diagnose – analyse your school’s priorities and strengths to identify the strategic improvements 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 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.

 

Thriving leadership teams build thriving schools. Take the next step with a free senior leadership course: 

Read more here

Want to join the Leading Together programme? 

Register your interest

The Leading Together programme just came along at the right time for us. That was when we were really able to start to build our leadership team from the ground up.
Amanda Arnold,
Executive Head at Delves Junior School
Headteacher talking to pupils
Teacher and pupils at science lesson

Cost

What’s the cost?

There isn’t one. Our programme is fully-funded by our generous supporters.  

Looking for a different leadership programme?

What I’d say to a primary school thinking of joining the programme - it's a good opportunity for your leadership team to have some dedicated time together and take a step back from school and the day-to-day goings-on and actually look at your priorities.
Simon Whitacre,
Vice Principal at Werneth Primary School
A pupil points at a maths sum on the board

Apply

Eligibility

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.

*If you're unsure if your school is eligible, please get in touch with our team at leadingtogether@teachfirst.org.uk.

How to apply

To apply for the Leading Together programme starting in April 2022, please register your interest below. 

We will be working with schools in the following areas:

Primary 

  • Birmingham. 
  • Greater London. 
  • South East. 
  • Greater Manchester. 

Secondary  

  • Greater London. 
  • West Yorkshire.

Please note that spaces are limited and may fill up quickly based on the level of interest we receive 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. Please check your school eligibility before completing this 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

National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

Leadership matters. Make a real impact in your school with our NPQs.

Apply for our February 2022 cohort.

School leaders standing together

Want to join the Leading Together programme?

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