Executive Headteachers Programme

Programme Information

This programme is for current and aspiring executive headteachers seeking to develop their understanding of the role and learn from the experiences of others.

There are four virtual half-day workshops which explore aspects of the role and different models of leadership. Each session is led by an experienced executive leader and provide opportunities for discussion, reflection and networking. The programme is supported by resources, reading and activities. There is no blueprint for executive headship, but the programme enables you to compare approaches and shape the principles and practices that align to your vision for school leadership.


  • Gain greater understanding the role of the Executive Headteacher and a variety of MAT models
  • Be better equipped for the challenges and opportunities of Executive Headship
  • Better understand the evidence base of what the most effective MATs do
  • Build up a strong supportive network of system leaders
  • Develop knowledge, skills and confidence to lead effectively within a MAT
  • Receive practical resources that they can used and adapt

It has certainly equipped me for the full range of issues facing exec leaders and given some great contacts to follow up with.

Host information

Dr Dan Belcher, Senior Education Lead, SSAT

Dr Dan Belcher, SSAT

Dan leads on SSAT’s leadership programmes and has a wealth of experience in designing and delivering professional development for all career stages. Before joining SSAT in 2009 he was a senior leader and teacher of French and German. Dan enjoys working with individuals and teams to realise their goals and grow leadership capacity.

Workshop information

Workshop 1: The role of the executive headteacher?

In this first session we explore the how the executive headteacher role has developed, including the leadership of federations and multi-academy trusts (MATs). We will reflect on what an executive headteacher does and how this differs from other roles. An experienced executive leader will share their personal experiences and learning. There will be opportunity to ask questions and discuss your own aspirations and goals.

Workshop 2: Firm foundations

In session two we focus on the importance of collective moral purpose and aligning vision and values. We consider models of leadership – tight and loose – and discuss the extent to which standardised, aligned and autonomous practice are desirable across groups of schools. Finally, we reflect on the importance of the central team and how these functions support the leadership vision.

Workshop 3: School improvement

In session three we focus on leading multi-school improvement, which may include challenging financial and educational contexts. We consider school improvement strategies, schemes of delegation, progression monitoring and quality assurance. We discuss how collaboration can benefit all schools, sharing practice and staff expertise.

Workshop 4: Sustainable leadership and growth

The final session considers building capacity for sustainable leadership and future growth. We cover the role of professional development and succession planning, as well as how to undertake effective due diligence of prospective schools. Lastly, we consider the education policy environment and influence of Regional Schools Commissioners and headteacher boards.

Save more with SSAT Membership

With SSAT Membership you would save £340 off this course, and all other SSAT courses are available at a discounted rate. Whether that be on leadership, or assessment, the choice is yours. Sign up for membership today and access all member benefits immediately.

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Start date:



Four virtual half-day workshops


SSAT member cost: £1695
Non-member cost: £2035

All prices exclusive of VAT

Ideal for

Current and aspiring executive headteachers in all phases

More info

Contact us on 020 7802 0955 or by email.