Leading Outstanding Special Schools


If you and your colleagues are determined to get your school to ‘outstanding’, the biggest boost comes from looking outside your own school and learning from leaders who have already guided their schools to outstanding.

Outstanding schools excel at what they do, not just occasionally, but for a high percentage of the time. Nothing is a barrier to achievement. Pupils are put first and strong values and high expectations are applied every day, outstanding schools provide consistently outstanding teaching, rich opportunities for learning and they invest heavily in their staff development and communities. Many of our special schools are now at least good. For these schools, the challenge is to get every pupil to achieve.

This programme will take delegates to outstanding schools in the network and explore how they reached such an advanced level, how they sustain that level, and how they progress even further. There will also be chance to attend a day of the SSAT National Conference .

How the programme works

Event one:

Outstanding leadership and management

  • Defining and sharing the vision
  • Building capacity and leadership development
  • Middle level leadership – the engine room
  • Attracting, recruiting, retaining and developing high-quality staff
  • System leadership – partnerships that lead to improvement

Date and Location:

2 November 2017 – St Giles School, Derby

Event two:

SSAT National Conference

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

Date and Location:

30 November 2017 – Manchester

Event three:

Outstanding teaching and learning

  • Developing a culture of learning
  • Raising the quality of teaching and learning
  • Establishing disciplined learning and consistent staff behaviour
  • Assuring the quality of teaching and learning – systems for lesson observation, feedback and review
  • Coaching, mentoring and sharing best practice

Date and Location:

26 January 2018 – Perseid School, Surrey

Event four:

Personalisation and well-being

  • Curriculum redesign, personalised pathways
  • Enriching the curriculum
  • Working with external professionals, developing your support staff
  • Behaviour for learning; engagement and independence
  • Partnership with parents/carers

Date and Location:

9 May 2018 – Brookfields School, Reading

Event five:

Outstanding achievement

  • Supporting all learners to succeed
  • Key levers for high impact
  • Sustaining improvement
  • Measuring progress and establishing targets
  • Performance data and intervention

Date and Location:

28 June 2018 – Phoenix School, London


  • Learn new strategies to lead your school towards outstanding status
  • Inspire your leadership practice to achieve and maintain an outstanding Ofsted
  • Develop your own school vision through visiting leading schools to see best practice in action
  • Network nationally with like-minded colleagues and share school improvement strategies


book now

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.

book now

Start date
2 November 2017

One year

Five events, including four one-day school visits and one-day attendance at SSAT’s National Conference in 2017.

Ideal for
Special school headteachers and school leaders in special schools

£1,200 for members
£1,800 for non-members
Prices are exclusive of VAT

Download the SSAT Leading Outstanding Special Schools brochure

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