SSAT delivery – Stepping up to Senior Leadership

Deliver in-school leadership training to your new and aspiring senior leaders and across your wider networks

Moving from middle to senior leadership requires a mind-set shift to whole school thinking. SSAT’s Stepping Up to Senior Leadership programme will equip new and aspiring senior leaders with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to positively influence and impact the teams they lead.

How does it work?

Using SSAT’s quality assured materials, two teachers from your school will attend an online Train-the-Trainer event to become qualified trainers. They can then deliver the programme to a cohort of staff in your school or across your networks.

Included in the price is attendance on the online Train-the-trainer event for two people and a licence for one year of delivery. There are five fully resourced modules with tutor notes to enable in-house delivery.

Supporting materials

  1. Personal and professional readiness
  2. Developing a vision for yourself as a senior leader
  3. Leading change and managing complexity
  4. Leading, motivating and influencing
  5. Finance and HR management

Each module is designed as a two-hour training session. Modules are fully resourced and come with PowerPoint presentations, trainer notes and materials. The module content is not intended as a one size fits all approach as we recognise that no ‘off the shelf’ package will completely meet a school’s needs. We encourage licence holders to tailor materials in a way that suits their context and schools may choose to select, adapt and add to the content.

Find out more about each module and session aims.

The cost effective, time-saving way to grow your own leaders

The programme’s flexible modular structure allows you to tailor content to meet the professional development needs of your context, whether you are a single school, teaching school or multi-academy trust. Delivery partners can also market commercially to other schools to provide a source of income generation.


Licensing of the Stepping up to Senior Leadership programme is open to schools rated by Ofsted as good or outstanding. Licence applications will be considered on their merits and based on geographical coverage.

Group sizes

Deliver training to groups of up to 20 participants.


All modules will be accredited by SSAT. Participants will receive a certificate for modules successfully completed.

Intellectual property

SSAT has invested many years of experience and knowledge into developing the modules and accreditation. The materials provided to support the programme, including any case studies, are solely for the use of those trainers licensed to deliver the Stepping up to Senior Leadership programme. All materials remain the intellectual property of SSAT and are protected by these rights.

The licence agreement and duration

Stepping up to Senior Leadership programme is licensed to schools on an annual renewal basis.

Licences for the next cohort will run for one year from the Train-the-trainer event. Any school delivering modules within this period must hold a licence. Schools will retain their status as a Stepping up to Senior Leadership licence holder, subject to the school or academy continuing to meet the evaluation, quality assurance criteria and payment of the annual fee. Robust systems will be in place to ensure consistency of high-quality training.

Quality assurance

A robust quality assurance system ensures the high status of Stepping up to Senior Leadership amongst schools nationally and provides validation of training standards for SSAT and its partners. Quality is assured through (but not limited to): a policy of continuous improvement, selection of licence holders and trainers, facilitator training events, ongoing evaluation and moderation. SSAT reserves the right to terminate the licence if expected standards or agreed terms are not being met.

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‘Train-the-Trainer’ session

This session is delivered online on demand.

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SSAT Member
£1250+VAT (Annual licence fee) + £200 per module delivered for SSAT-member schools

£1500+VAT (Annual licence fee) + £240 per module delivered for non-SSAT-member schools

The cost includes one training session for two delegates and the delivery of a minimum of five modules. Up to four additional people can attend the training day at a cost of £75+VAT per person.

As part of the licence agreement, all licenced partners are expected to deliver at least five modules over the course of the year and will be billed in advance for this when booking. Licensed partners are required to inform SSAT of any planned additional delivery.



Module 1: Personal and professional readiness

Aims for the session

To develop our personal and professional readiness for senior leadership through:

  • reflecting on what may be different about senior leadership roles
  • discussing concerns and potential challenges
  • reflecting on our professional journeys and how these experiences have prepared us for the role
  • evaluating our own strengths and areas for development
  • becoming more self-aware, more emotionally intelligent
  • reflective leadership coaching

Module 2: Developing a vision for yourself as a senior leader

Aims for the session

To develop our personal and professional readiness for senior leadership through exploring:

  • your own leadership vision, moral purpose and values
  • the importance of vision alignment
  • how culture contributes to high performance
  • differences between strategic leadership and management
  • leadership approaches and styles and their application
  • characteristics of strong schools

Module 3: Leading change and managing complexity

Aims for the session

To develop understanding of leading change and complexity through exploring:

  • implications for leading in a time of constant change
  • theories and models to support effective change management
  • how we can lead change and manage complexity
  • the difference between ‘wicked’ and ‘tame’ problems
  • how they can apply the learning in their contexts

Module 4: Leading, motivating and influencing

Aims for the session

To develop our theoretical and practical understanding of leadership, motivation and influence through exploring:

  • the three circles model of leadership
  • theories of motivation and how we can motivate others
  • the power of influence, how we can influence others and how others influence the work we do
  • strategic leadership for school improvement

Module 5: School budgets, finance and human resource management

Aims for this session

To develop understanding of school budgets, finance and human resource issues thought exploring:

  • some key principles related to financial management in schools
  • how schools are funded and how finance is managed
  • how schools can save money and generate income
  • the role a senior leader plays in HR issues and the skills they need to do this
  • how they can build on and apply the learning in their contexts