One of the stated aims of Birmingham Special Schools’ Co-operative Trust is to provide ‘performance and development opportunities for Trust members and partners which secure continued and sustained excellent practice and outcomes for all Trust schools’.

To this end, our CPD Lead has arranged a number of CPD opportunities for staff in the Trust schools to aid professional development and share good practice. These include: Maths and English Working Groups; whole Trust Teaching Assistant training days, and a leadership programme tailored to special schools, which ran from September 2021.

The leadership programme took place over two full days and two half days at UCB. The programme was attended by Deputy Heads, Assistant Heads and Subject Leads from BSSCT schools and the sessions focused upon:

  • coaching, mentoring and communication;
  • managing challenging conversations; and
  • partnership working

The programme was well received as evidenced by the participants’ feedback:

“The programme was fantastic and so relevant and useful. Wonderful group with fantastic and knowledgeable leaders, loved it and want more!”

“As someone that has been newly appointed into a leadership role, I found this course extremely beneficial. There are so many tips around leadership that I took away from each session. I did find the role playing difficult, as this is something I personally don’t enjoy. But, it was extremely useful to do especially, the role playing ‘difficult conversations’.”

“Thank you to all involved for organising and running the Leadership Programme. It has been extremely useful and beneficial to my development as a leader. The opportunity to network and liaise with other colleagues outside of your organisation has also been beneficial.”

“I really enjoyed the course and found it very useful in deepening my understanding of what leadership entails. It made me consider ‘the bigger picture’.”

“The programme was very insightful, and it was a really great opportunity to work with and alongside staff in a similar setting to understand the barriers that we face on a daily basis and discuss strategies to overcome together. It allowed me the time to really reflect on current practice as a leader away from the hustle and bustle of school and think of ways in which to improve further. Practical sessions were great and allowed us to practice what we had learnt in theory”

“I really enjoyed the sessions I think they were very detailed and offered the opportunity to work with colleagues in the community trust. It was nice to hear from professionals and them giving a professional insight into their experiences at their schools.”

The programme is planned to be delivered again during the academic year 2022/23, and will be open to other Special Schools, subject to availability of places. To enquire about this, please email