Executive Headteachers

The SSAT’s pioneering Executive Headteacher programme has been equipping school leaders for the challenges and opportunities of executive headship for more than 10 years. 

As policy drives towards greater academisation and the expansion of multi academy trusts (MATs), headteachers need to be fully prepared for this new educational landscape and the greater responsibilities it brings. Being an executive headteacher is a fundamentally different role from that of headteacher and it requires new skills and new approaches. Learning the lessons from those that have gone before and exploring a variety of existing models enables you to decide the best way forward for your context.

The Executive Headteacher programme consists of six visits to successful federations and MATs in differing contexts and stages of development. Each one is selected according to the needs of each cohort to provide maximum relevance and impact. The programme is supported by insights from the SSAT Education team as well as experts from the wider education sector, research and business.

More than 500 school leaders have completed our nationally recognised programme, many of who are now recognised system leaders locally, regionally and nationally.

Read about Wendy Tomes and the success the programme has had at Sidney Stringer Academy.

How the programme works

The Executive Headteacher programme begins with a two day-residential led by established MATs to begin exploring the role of executive headteacher. The school visits that follow are to successful federations and MATs in differing contexts and stages of development, each one is selected according to the needs of programme delegates to provide maximum relevance and impact.

There will be insight and support from the SSAT education team as well as experts from the wider education sector, research and business. You will have ongoing access to online activities, resources and further reading to ensure you get the most out of your experiences.

Event Title Date Location
Year One
One Leading a multi-academy trust (MAT) and the role of the executive headteacher 17 and 18 May 2017 (Two-day residential) Aston Manor Academy and Prince Albert Primary School, Birmingham
Two Cross-phase partnerships June 2017 TBC
Three Autonomy and Accountability October 2017 TBC
Four SSAT National Conference (one day) December 2017 Manchester
Year Two
Five From implementation to impact February 2018 TBC
Six More than the sum of parts June 2018 TBC
Seven Sustainable growth and system leadership October 2018 TBC
Eight SSAT National Conference (one day) December 2018 TBC


  • Explore and learn from a variety of models of executive headship and multi-academy trusts working in differing contexts
  • SSAT’s ‘leading systems’ competency self-audit tool will help you identify current strengths and areas for future focus.
  • A ‘Professional Learning Journal’ to support reflection, action planning and recording impact
  • Determine your principles and non-negotiables as an executive headteacher
  • Develop strategies to build capacity for school improvement, creating a leadership pipeline and effective succession planning to release the potential within your school(s)
  • Join an a powerful and supportive professional network
  • Establish a compelling vision for your schools and strategies for sustained success

In addition, the programme includes one day attendance at SSAT’s flagship National Conference in both December 2017 and 2018.

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.

Start date
17 and 18 May 2017 (Two day residential)

2 years

Eight events, including one-day attendance at SSAT’s National Conference in 2017 and 2018

Ideal for
Executive Headteachers or aspiring Executive Headteachers

£1,375 members per year
£2,062.50 non-members per year
Prices exclusive of VAT

Get in touch with us by email

View full programme details 

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