Next Steps Into Leadership

Target Audience

Those who are at Principal Teacher (PT) level or are an aspiring PT.  Participants will usually have an active leading/managing role, for example responsibility for staffing, NQTs, an area of the development plan or a project group. It is recommended, but not essential that participants will have completed First Steps into Leadership programme.

Next Steps into Leadership has professional recognition, recognising the enhanced, significant and sustained enquiry a teacher has undertaken.  It recognises the teacher as an accomplished practitioner in a particular area, in this instance the particular area is Leadership. A key characteristic of professional recognition is evidence that the participants practice is underpinned by ongoing reflective enquiry.

Applications for 2022/23 will be available from April 2022 email to request an application form.


This programme involves blended learning with the main part of the course involving candidates completing and evaluating a whole school project. Candidates are also involved in a range of activities including shadowing colleagues, mentoring meetings, coaching sessions, personal reflection of literature and upkeep of a learning log.

Sessions 2 – 5 are designed to introduce and explore leadership theories and concepts, participants will then be expected to conduct personal research and critical engagement with literature before putting these theories and concepts into practice.

Session 1 – Introduction to the Course.

Coaches and participants come together with the Programme coordinator to discuss expectations and the outline of the programme.  It is an opportunity for discussion regarding potential areas for project.  Core texts are highlighted to participants, initial action plans are created and support discussed.

Session 2 – Developing Leadership Styles – Leadership versus Management.  An exploration of leadership skills from both the business and education worlds. There is a focus on reading, action research, journaling and the importance for self-reflection for professional learning.

Session 3 – Leading Change in Practice.  A practical session looking at ‘big issues’ in education.  Reflection on how participants could adapt their own leadership style to cope with various scenarios.       Integration of theory (pre-course reading) into practical examples.

Session 4 – Leading School Improvement.  Participants examine their own school improvement plans. The importance of having realistic and achievable improvement plans. Discussion around the key role of vision and the importance of linking all new initiatives to school improvement plan.

Session 5 – The Emotionally Literate Leader.  The importance of self-awareness and awareness of others when leading. Critical reflection of a range of published work.

Submission of written report ahead of session 6.  Formative feedback is given on the written report which form the basis of the participants 10 minute presentation at the evaluative interview.

Session 6 – Presentations and Evaluative Interview.  Presentation by participants of their projects as part of an evaluative interview.  Summative feedback will be given post interview.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course participants should be able to:

  • evaluate and critically analyse the relevance of leadership theories, concepts and principals in relation to their own professional learning.
  • draw on relevant sources to inform their knowledge of leadership, associated approaches and apply a range of these professional skills and techniques in their work context
  • make informed judgements and decisions pertaining to the planning of a school improvement project
  • take significant responsibility for an area of School improvement and make an identifiable contribution to change.

This programme is run on an annual basis and begins in term 1 and concludes before the end of session.  The duration of the programme is approximately 15 months.

Please ensure you have discussed your readiness for this programme and have the support of your Head Teacher before applying for this programme.  The programme is a nominal 200 hours of CLPL.