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Making the leap: moving into headship

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Thursday 12th July 2018 Birmingham

If your next career step is making the leap from senior leadership to headship, you need to know how to make the most of your opportunities and be fully prepared for the challenges.

If you have secured a new position, whether it’s leading a school you are familiar with or starting with a brand new team, ‘inhabiting’ the role of headteacher and leading with conviction and authority can be a daunting ask.

This one-day event, suitable for those aspiring to headship or those who are newly in post, gives you all the information you need to secure your position and make a it a success.

The morning will be made up of speaker sessions on themes including:

  • The joy of headship
  • What is distinctive about headship?
  • Making the leap from deputy head to head
  • Building the bridge as you walk on it
  • Moving from ‘inheriting’ to ‘inhabiting’ the role
  • Established headship

In the afternoon participants will learn from the experiences of other headteachers in the SSAT network sharing fresh perspectives and personal reflections.

The day will be practical and interactive, with time for discussion, networking and exploring questions and challenges, enabling you to build a network of peers as you embark on this next stage of your career.

Suitable for Senior Leaders aspiring to headship, through to Headteachers in post for up to a year.

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Speakers and sessions

Keynote speaker: Dr Jill Berry

Jill BerryLeadership Consultant, J Berry Associates Ltd

Dr Jill Berry taught for 30 years in six different schools – state and independent, selective and comprehensive, all boys, all girls and co-ed, 4-18, 7-18 and 11-18 schools. She was a head for the last ten years. Since 2010 she has completed a doctorate in education, carried out a range of leadership consultancy work and written ‘Making the Leap: Moving from Deputy to Head’ (Crown House, 2016). Jill has a wealth of practical experience to share, as well as the research findings and insight from her doctorate on the transition to headship. Jill is a popular speaker, writer and Twitter personality.

As part of your event delegate pack, you’ll receive a copy of Jill’s book, ‘Making the Leap: moving from Deputy to Head’, to support your learning.

Mike Adnitt

Mike AdnittPrincipal, The St Lawrence Academy

After an initial teaching career in Suffolk in 1993, Mike eventually took his first senior leadership position at High Ridge Sports College, Scunthorpe in 2005. Academy status saw High Ridge become The St Lawrence Academy. As Vice Principal, Mike helped to oversee a full rebuilding programme under BSF. Significant shifts in ethos and learning culture saw the academy thrive and evolve into a vibrant Church Academy of 750 students from a culturally diverse community. Following the retirement of the principal, Mike was asked to make the leap into Headship at the academy. “Stepping up to Headship” has presented Mike with new day to day challenges as well as difficult decisions about making changes to an already successful academy. Reorganising staffing and restructuring the senior leadership team has been a case of avoiding the “baby and bathwater” scenario, while trying to maximise the outcomes for students under financial constraints.

Has it been a blind leap of faith? Or the next step in energising the academy on its journey of improvement?

Janice Allen

Janice AllenHeadteacher, Falinge Park High School
Janice learnt the power of staff development and how a school can rise when a leader has faith in and invests in their staff from her first teaching role in 1998. Moving to an Assistant Headteacher role and then a Deputy Head role two years later, she was keen to explore if the successful strategies used would work at a school in a different context and moved sideways to an all-through school in Manchester. Although a tough, exhausting and difficult three years, this is where Janice feels she became truly comfortable as a leader.

In 2015, Janice moved to Headship at Rochdale developing a culture where creating a compelling learning experience is at the centre of everything the school does. The school’s strategy of building positive relationships has had significant impact on the ability to recruit and retain excellent staff. Janice is proudest of the school’s incredibly strong professional development and its honest, transparent culture. It’s a vibrant, inclusive comprehensive and she feels incredibly lucky to be there.

Russell Plester

Headteacher, Finham Park 2

After a career spanning 22 years in London, Solihull, Birmingham and Coventry, Russel is now in his third year of headship having set up a new school in a deprived area of Coventry – which recently had its first Ofsted, which Russel be able to tell you about on the day! Finham Park 2 strive for every student to have ‘the time of their lives’ by offering a broad, interesting and creative curriculum with lots of trips and extra-curricular activities, supporting their aim to nurture every child’s unique talents. Russel still loves teaching science and is passionate about comprehensive education.

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Thursday 12th July 2018


9:00am - 3:30pm


£285 (members) £325 (non-members) All prices exclusive of VAT

Event venue and location

Birmingham Diocesan Academies Trust
1 Colmore Row
Birmingham, England B3 2BJ United Kingdom

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