primary & secondary education

Enhancing Headteacher Standards and School Leadership

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:20

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Central London

Coronavirus update: Inside Government has now postponed all its planned conferences, forums and training courses until June. We are in the process of scheduling new dates and will be in touch with all booked delegates. The health and wellbeing of our delegates, contributors and staff is at the forefront of our concern and we appreciate your support in taking this step and your patience in awaiting new dates. Please get in touch if you need any further information, at


This Headteacher and Senior Leaders Standards event provides the opportunity to better understand how to enhance good leadership and governance in schools, in order for them to succeed in achieving high standards of education and improved attainment for pupils. Participants will have a unique opportunity to explore the Headteacher Standards from those leading in the field, including the chair of the Head Teacher Standards Review Team at Department for Education (DfE) and Sir David Carter following the release of the headteacher standards, due in May 2020.

Furthermore, best practice case studies and workshops will discuss innovative techniques for good leadership by drawing on local culture and heritage, using leaders to drive school improvements, achieving a varied curriculum, and successful inspection.

Reflections will also be made on the effects of school closures, due to COVID-19, on school leaders, and how SLT staff can look to ensure positive results for staff and students from the start of a new school year.


This Forum is designed for primary and secondary schools. Typical job titles will include:

  • Headteachers
  • Directors
  • Heads of Year
  • Heads of Department
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chair of Trustee Boards
  • Trustees
  • Board of Trustee Members
  • Governors
  • Principals
  • Clerks
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • Chair of Governors
  • School Governance Advisers
  • Business Managers
  • Directors of Education
  • Directors of Standards
  • Heads of School Improvement

This event is also open to local authorities and the wider education sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Malcolm Trobe, Chair of the review group, Head Teacher Standards Review Team, Department for Education
  • Sir David Carter, Executive Director of System Leadership, Ambition Institute 
  • Andrew Ettinger, Head of Collaborative School Improvement, Education Development Trust
  • Professor Qing Gu, Director, London Centre for Leadership in Learning, University College London (UCL)
View the agenda and additional speakers

In a 2020 report, Ofsted found that 415 primary and secondary schools, teaching 210,000 children, had been judged inadequate since 2006. One of the key reasons for this has been cited as poor leadership.

In response to this, the Department for Education’s (DfE) Headteacher Standards Review Group was established in 2014 and will be publishing the revised set of standards for headteachers in England in May 2020. The new standards will describe the requirements headteachers should aim to meet, outline the values of the profession and increase public confidence in headteachers. Crucially, the standards will include updates to the governance and leadership of maintained schools, well established MATs and newly established MATs. Furthermore, to address the lack of quality leadership, the DfE also published guidance on ‘Recruiting a headteacher’ in 2017. The report is an effort to aid governors and trustees make effective decisions when recruiting and selecting headteachers and other school leaders.

In order to further support leaders and headteachers in reaching high standards, the Education Development Trust produced the ‘Successful school leadership’ guidance including the 8 key dimensions for successful leadership. These include improving conditions for teaching and learning, redesigning roles and responsibilities, enhancing teaching and learning, enriching the curriculum, enhancing teacher quality, relationship building in the school and the local community and having common values.

A further report published in 2020 by EPI on Professional Development found that CPD for teaching staff has a greater impact when it has support from school leaders. The role of senior leaders in understanding the training required and how to deliver this is vital for teacher recruitment and retention. CPD programmes can also be designed to adapt to any changes in school leadership.

To ensure every headteacher is up to date on and ready to meet the Headteacher Standards from May 2020, it is the responsibility of schools and academies across the UK to share best practice and innovate on the delivery style of their leadership.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Professor Qing Gu, Director, London Centre for Leadership in Learning, University College London (UCL) (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Government’s New Headteacher Standards

  • Demonstrating the difference between the 2015 and 2020 standards and explaining the differences, including new guidance for MAT leaders and updates to the governance and leadership of maintained schools
  • Outlining how the standards were created, including consultation of maintained schools and academies across the UK which feed into the finalised standards
  • Assessing key characteristics of the standard within the review and focusing on what makes an excellent leader or headteacher
  • Analysing how school leaders can benefit from the standards, which will shape headteachers’ practice and provide a framework for training leaders

Malcolm Trobe, Chair of the Review Group, Headteacher Standards Review Team, Department for Education (CONFIRMED)


Hot Seat: Examining the Headteacher Standards and the Next Steps for Implementation

This session will provide an opportunity for delegates to ask Malcolm Trobe, Chair of the Review Group, Headteacher Standards Review Team, Department for Education direct questions regarding the Headteacher Standards which are in effect from September 2020 and explore how this will impact leadership and governance.

Delegates are encouraged to submit questions ahead of the forum around this topic on the using the event code #HTC

Malcolm Trobe, Chair of the Review Group, Headteacher Standards Review Team, Department for Education (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Collaborative Leadership – Driving School Improvement Through Collaboration within and Across Schools

  • Leading in and of a self-improving system
  • What collaborative leadership looks like in practice – why and how
  • What are the obstacles and how to overcome them
  • Using peer review as a vehicle for change and improvement
  • How collaborative leadership can accelerate school improvement for one and for many schools
  • How we can use collaboration to help schools and school leaders to ‘recover’ from the COVID-19 situation: Looking after wellbeing, re-designing curricula and taking stock of the effects on learning

Andrew Ettinger, Head of Collaborative School Improvement, Education Development Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Exploring New Priorities for New Headteachers in 2020

  • Recruitment and Retention – Exploring the power of Induction as a key factor in ensuring staff wellbeing and job satisfaction and how this can be implemented
  • A Good Relationship with Governors – Learning how to create a short feedback questionnaire for the governors to demonstrate that you are prioritising a positive partnership and listening to their views
  • Involving Pupils – Outlining how to set out an attendance policy and targets whilst also involving pupils in wider community engagements
  • Creating a Work-Life Balance- Taking time out of school once a fortnight to have dedicated time for paperwork and for strategic thinking away from the day-to-day school environment

Helen Frostick, National Leader of Education, Headteacher, St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School (CONFIRMED)


Practical Guidance Session: High-impact Leadership of Professional Learning

  • Exploring the research behind effective professional learning – both process and leadership.
  • The importance of aligning CPD to individual, leadership and whole-school needs
  • Empowering middle leaders to drive change in and across their teams
  • The power of school-to-school collaboration and CPD hubs

Maria Cunningham, Head of Education, Teacher Development Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Becoming a Socially Conscious Leader - Outstanding Leadership and Governance for Disadvantaged Pupils

  • Outlining how leaders can achieve school-wide impact by developing a curriculum framework at school, allowing them to view the curriculum break down at each learning stage
  • Understanding how school leaders can work in the interest of disadvantaged students by developing skills and competencies needed to be an inclusive leader, including through a governance mentor
  • Demonstrating how heads and senior leaders can close the attainment gap for disadvantaged students by using data to analyse performance of struggling pupils
  • Analysing how leaders can collaborate to achieve a joined-up approach to leadership and share workload to help close the attainment gap

Sir David Carter, Executive Director of System Leadership, Ambition Institute (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Attracting Past Students to School Leadership Roles

  • Outlining how to achieve transformational leadership in the school and community through placing a sense of belonging, welsh language and culture  at the heart of the school’s vision and drive by forming close relationships with staff
  • Creating a healthy relationship with the community to ensure they are supporting the school and leadership by encouraging students to become staff who have good knowledge of local needs
  • Demonstrating how headship was used to inspire 26 local students to return to the school and maintain leadership roles themselves, including a former head boy and girl joining the senior management team
  • Providing guidance on how to support other leaders in the school by outlining practical ways to create close relationships with staff and becoming an approachable leader

Rhian Morgan Ellis, Former Head Teacher, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda (CONFIRMED)

Winner of the Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School Award at the 2019 Pearson National Teaching Award


Case Study: Exploring the Power of Parent Councils in Aiding School Leadership

  • Exploring ‘parent councils’ which helps reduce workload for senior leaders and improve parental engagement since 76% of parents say they would like involvement in school issues
  • Learning how to set up a parent council by asking parents to volunteer themselves, inviting specific teachers to take part or by asking parents to nominate each other
  • Highlighting the benefit of the parent council to leaders and governors including an opportunity to explain decisions and complex issues to parents from a school perspective leading to a well-supported shared school ethos
  • Outlining key considerations before setting up a parent council including consulting with Parents, ensuring the council is representative of the diverse school community, be clear and concise as a leader when providing information

Kerry-Jane Packman, Executive Director of Membership and Charitable Service, Parentkind (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Raising Education Standards Through Leadership Coaching

  • Coaching: Exploring that buzz word
  • How can coaching support the raising of standards of education?
  • What does a culture for coaching look like?
  • How can we create the conditions for the right type of coaching?

Laura Mackay, Assistant Principal, Springwest Academy (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effective Transition from Headteacher to Executive Leader

  • Learning how to navigate the personal and practical effects of the change in role and communicating the change in role to stakeholders
  • Teaching about effective delegation and distribution to appropriate personnel
  • Exploring how to make positive use of additional agencies/professionals
  • Outlining how to step away from operational activity
  • Understanding what successful liaison with governance looks like
  • Analysing what effective communication looks like and how to embed a vision

Karen Burns, Chief Executive, Victorious Academies Trust (CONFIRMED)


Research Case Study: Learning What Makes a Well-Rounded Leader – Exploring Best Practice Research

  • Learning about the role of teamwork in leadership, including investigating the best practice models of collaborative leadership
  • Demonstrating the power of active listening in a leadership role and exploring how this can lead to positive outcomes for you as a leader
  • Exploring key tools which can be used by leaders for problem solving and working strategically
  • Outlining research around effective time management and resilience and how this can be effectively implemented at your school through best practice coaching techniques

Professor Qing Gu, Director, London Centre for Leadership in Learning, University College London (UCL) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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