Leadership Programme for Special Schools’ Leaders: 2023-2024

As a Trust we are committed to working in partnership with all our Special School colleagues and following on from the immense success of our leadership programmes, we are delighted to offer any interested Special School the chance to participate in our 2023-2024 Programme.

The programme is led by Birmingham Special School Headteachers alongside Tracy Ruddle (Trust Development and Leadership Consultant) and is aimed at leaders below the level of Headteachers. Their leadership and specialist knowledge of the Special Schools’ sector means that the course is tailored to meet your leaders’ needs.

It is a 4 day course spread over all 3 terms and participants should be able to attend all 4 sessions. Details of the course can be found below.

Following feedback from past participants we have made a number of changes to delivery and expectations.

Each day will have a different focus, and all will have the expectation of Pre-work and follow up gap task activities.  There is ample opportunity for practices and discussion related to the focus of the day, as well as a time for reflection at the end.  Each session is evaluated by participants with a final overall evaluation of its impact following the 4th session.

Each session also brings in Industry leaders from outside the education sector and will also include a chance to listen and learn from other serving Special School Headteachers.  It will also include past alumni from earlier programmes to talk about the leadership changes they have made as a result of the course.


Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre  (MICROSOFT SUITE)

Stonehouse Lane
Bartley Green 
B32 3AE 

Participants will be provided with refreshments and lunch for each day. Car parking is available. The cost of the programme is £300 per participant and there are a maximum of 20 places available, so to book a place on this course OR for further information please email tracy.bgp@outlook.com


DAY 1: TBC Nov/Dec : Led by Denise Fountain: Values -Led Leadership

Content will include: Discussion about the pre-work.  The importance of alignment between personal and schools’ values, the importance of trust and how to build it, the impact of climate on performance and the power of accountability systems to improve performance.

DAY 2: 31st January 2024: Led by Alison Carter and Simon Harris: Leading for Performance

Content will include Feedback on gap task from day 1 and discussion about the pre-work in preparation for day 2. The difference between coaching and mentoring.  Discussions around natural leadership styles, provide a model which could be used to explore whether to coach or mentor, identifying the different development needs of staff they lead and the leadership styles required as a result. It will also teach participants how to work in partnership with staff to get agreement on the leadership style required.

DAY 3: 17th May 2024: Led by Sinead Davies: Brave Leadership

Content will include Feedback on gap task from day 2 and discussion about the pre-work in preparation for day 3.  Explore why some conversations are difficult and examine the implications of not taking actions.  It will link again to accountability systems from Day 1 and will give participants opportunities to practice and prepare.  Management of change will thread throughout this day.

DAY 4: 3RD July 2024: led by Emma Pearce: Connected Leadership

Content will include Feedback on gap task from day 3 and discussion about the pre-work in preparation for day 4. Participants will be given the chance to meet with a range of partners who work in Birmingham who they will need to call upon once they become school leaders.  They will discuss the power or partnerships and the importance of systems leadership in supporting them to improve.


From Cohort 1: 15 delegates

2 participants have been externally promoted.

1 is now leading the cross Trust Arts project

1 is now leading the Trust English network

2 have led and developed an innovative new curriculum for their school.

2 leaders are now providing outreach support for SEND children in mainstream.

1 leader has been promoted to the CAT team

2 promoted to AHT in their own school

4 are leading the Quality of Education Team across their MAT

Feedback from all participants 35 over both cohorts has been incredibly positive and here are just a few examples:

“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.”