2016-18 Women’s Leadership Programmes

“This has been the best programme I have been on throughout my career and I am so grateful to you. It has been wonderful to be with so many inspiring female leaders and the words of advice and modelling from others has had a profound effect on me. I have always been affected by imposter syndrome and even when I got my new post all I thought was, ‘why me?’ Thanks to your programme, there has been a tangible shift of my mind-set to ‘why not me?’ ” 2016/17 participant

“‘By far the most inspiring and useful training I have been on. After each session, I found I could go back into school and apply something that I had picked up during the session. It has been a brilliant experience.” 2017/18 participant

The programmes

Leading with Confidence and Leadership Beyond One School (formerly Senior Leadership Development for Women and Headship Beyond One School) were leadership development programmes designed exclusively for women, which enabled experienced middle, senior and executive female leaders to develop the confidence, skills and attributes needed to progress in school leadership.

The programmes were fully funded from the NCTL Leadership Equality and Diversity Fund and ran for two years from 2016-2018 with 74 participants in total.

Programme structure

The programmes were structured to be responsive to the baseline and developing professional learning needs of participants in a supportive environment that fostered peer-to-peer learning and network building. Their content drew on general principles of leadership development, which it sought to adapt to specific school contexts. The programmes prioritised having serving women school leaders design and deliver sessions, in order to provide participants with inspiring role models and a network to draw on in the future. Each programme was also coordinated and facilitated throughout by a programme lead who is a serving woman Headteacher and who acted as a key point of contact for participants and speakers throughout the programme, providing participants with additional tailored support as needed.

You can follow these links to read a full description of the design and delivery models for Leading with Confidence and Leadership Beyond One School. These documents also contain information about speakers and programme leads for the two programmes.

Evaluation of impact

Participants indicated strong satisfaction ratings with all aspects of both programmes. Perceived as particularly helpful were the coaching sessions, the residential (introduced in the second year of the programmes), and the opportunity to shadow more experienced colleagues in their own schools. Participants also valued the networking possibilities afforded by working together as a group of female leaders over the course of an academic year. Finally, the majority of participants stated that the project had either motivated or enabled them to apply for a promotion, and/or increased their confidence to do so in the future.

You can find a full impact report including case studies from both 2016-17 programmes here and an evaluation analysis of both 2017-18 programmes here. You can also hear personal reflections from our programme leads and some of our 2017-18 participants in the below video clips.

Reflections from our Programme Leads

Reflections from our participants