Given the growing importance both of school leadership and school to school support, coupled with the potential shortage of headteachers and leaders at other levels, the issue of succession planning and talent management is of great importance. Collaboration and partnership are at the core of ensuring relevant and practical leadership development opportunities for staff. Our Alliance Leadership Pathways programme is already demonstrating its value in providing a framework for the discussion of an individual's leadership journey and the tasks they should undertake along the way.

Following a meeting with each of our Alliance schools, having identified leadership talent and leadership needs for the future, identified staff are invited to join us on our annual Leadership Pathways programme. This programme aims to support participants to identify and realize their career aspirations through the use of a 360 leadership competency diagnostic, high quality coaching, role shadowing in others' schools, and in-school leadership project opportunities. Alliance heads and senior leaders play a crucial role in this programme in contributing to the coaching pool and ensuring that all possible role shadowing requests can be met.

In 2013-2014, 19 of the 22 participants successfully completed the Pathways programme, and of these 9 had secured a promotion, and a further 5 had gained places on accredited leadership courses, by October 2014. In 2014-15 cohort we had 28 participants on the programme. For 2016-17 we currently have 52 partaicipants on the programme from Primary and Secondary phases.



What participants are saying:


    •  "I feel that the Succession Planning and Talent Management Programme is going really well so far and has given me so many opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise. It was a fantastic boost to know that my leadership potential was recognised and was being encouraged. It has provided me with an opportunity to develop a new project into a chosen area with the assistance of a Head Teacher coaching me. It has also given me the chance to shadow someone that is already working in the leadership area that I am interested in. This gave me a crucial insight into the daily workings of a Head of Year, whom I now have links with and has offered her assistance if I should ever need it. Overall, it has been a fantastic experience so far that has really encouraged me and has provided me with a lot of opportunities that I would not have otherwise.”

    •  “I have found my meetings / emails with Headteacher X very helpful as he helped me clarify exactly what I wanted to focus on during the programme, as well as how to ensure I will be able to assess the effectiveness of my work / leadership. I think initially my ideas were a bit vague and he helped me identify the rationale behind what I am doing. The day I spent in School Y was fantastic – Head of Department Z was very welcoming and informative. I felt like I left with a real sense of the demands he is under and how his role fits in to the school as a whole. I appreciate how precious time is to teachers, but I felt like this opportunity was a real eye opener and an invaluable experience.”

Each participant produces a Case History, summarizing the impact of their in-school project during the programme. In-school projects have included:

  • Improving and embedding literacy across the curriculum
  • Introducing differentiation software in Science
  • Upgrading online reporting systems
  • Improving mental Maths
  • Raising achievement of post-16 boys
  • Classroom reward systems
  • Nurture groups in Primary
  • Monitoring progress of Pupil Premium students


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