Chief Executive programme

– for system leaders

The SSAT Chief Executive programme is both strategic and pragmatic, recognising that those leading established and growing MATs are entering uncharted territory for which no blueprint for success exists. We can however learn from the evidence and distill the key ingredients to navigate our way. The programme addresses the essential capabilities required for the chief executive role and the very practical concerns of leaders. Contributors are drawn from both education and business, bringing together experienced chief executives and relevant sector expertise.

How the SSAT Chief Executive programme works

This programme is comprised of four events and includes attendance at the SSAT National Conference.

Event one:
Two day residential

The role of the Chief Executive and MAT leader

  • The role(s) of the chief executive
  • Characteristics of successful MATs
  • Visioning and moral purpose
  • Strategic leadership and governance
  • Curriculum intent, implementation and impact
  • System leader competencies and personality types (Myers-Briggs)

Event two:

Strategic business and financial planning sustainable growth

  • Learning from high performance organisations and business
  • Financial and business acumen, probity and entrepreneurialism
  • Sustainable growth and due diligence
  • Managing risk, mergers and acquisitions
  • Economies, efficiencies and effectiveness – improving schools in times of limited resources

Event three:
Two day residential

System leadership

  • The role of MATs within the wider national education system
  • Establishing and refining a school improvement model
  • Managing data across the MAT and monitoring performance
  • Competition and collaboration
  • Building leadership capacity and succession planning
  • Being a system leader and system thinking
  • Working with Regional Schools Commissioners and Ofsted

Event four:

SSAT National Conference (one day)

  • Engage in the education debate on key issues for school leaders
  • Learn from nationally and internationally recognised experts
  • Participate in school-led workshops hosted by some of the country’s most successful and innovative schools


  • Learn from leading CEOs and sector experts in education, business and finance
  • Develop the essential skills, competences and behaviours to take your MAT forward
  • Join a powerful and supportive national network of system leaders

Speak to your RM

“What was most useful was the quality of speakers, consistent messages, and the time and space to think. It was a good opportunity to be with colleagues facing similar issues and circumstances”
Peter Thomas, Chief Executive, The Future’s Trust

In order to showcase the best variety of leadership practice and school contexts all of our programmes are run at venues across the country. For example, recent programmes have included venues based in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton, Chester and Coventry. The programme is also subject to change dependent on the needs of delegates.

Delegates are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses for all events apart from on two-day residentials, where accommodation for the interim night will be paid for.

contact us

Ten Months

Four events, including two residentials and one-day attendance at SSAT’s National Conference

Executive Headteachers and CEOs (leading more than three schools) of established MATs across primary, secondary and special education needs schools

£4,000 for members
£6,000 for non-members
Prices exclusive of VAT

Download the SSAT Chief Executive Programme brochure

Get in touch with us by email


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