Developing leadership in aspiring head teachers

January 30th, 2015

Developing leadership in aspiring head teachers

Leadership is a trait that's integral to successful teaching. Guiding young people to achieve the skills and qualifications they need to thrive in the real world is incredibly important, and without the proper approach to leadership, an educator will struggle to help classes reach their full potential.

The position of head teacher ramps up the importance of leadership even more - as the top authority in a school, both students and teachers will look to them for guidance. Making the transition from teacher to head teacher is no mean feat, which is why specially designed courses are tailored to help those aspiring head teachers develop the skills needed to excel in the leading role.

As a deputy headteacher in a successful secondary school, Elspeth Lewis was looking for a professional development opportunity that would provide the last piece of the jigsaw prior to applying for a head teacher post. Having been recommended the Leadership Development Programme for Aspiring Headteachers run by Rhondda Cynon Taff and Insight, she jumped at the opportunity to expand her skillset and progress her career.

Enrolling on the course, Elspeth worked within a small group on a range of leadership and coaching activities, refining her leadership techniques through workshops and constructive feedback over the course of 18 months. "The workshop on proactive performance management was probably the best CPD I have ever receieved," says Elspeth. "The use of actors to provide us with opportunities to have observed challenging conversations and receive feedback on our performances was brilliant. We were able to refine our technique and manage those conversations again. The skills I learned in this session will always stay with me, and are skills that I have used to a positive effect since."

In addition to the sessions themselves, Elspeth explains that the opportunity to work with like-minded colleagues in a challenging but supportive environment was incredibly productive. "The relationships we built up meant we were willing to contribute to sessions and put forward ideas leading to interesting discussions on leadership and organisational culture," she says.

For Elspeth, the key outcome of the course was gaining the confidence to apply for a headteacher position. Having gained greater clarity of the key features of effective leadership in schools, this outcome was achieved.

Now that she has successfully entered into the role of a head teacher, Elspeth admits that she still regularly dips into the notes and learning materials she used while on the course. "They have been useful to remind myself of how to overcome the many challenges that are faced by school leaders every day," she says."I would strongly recommend this leadership development opportunity to other aspiring headteachers."

If you would like to discuss how Insight can help you develop leadership in education, please get in touch with a member of our team by sending an email to or calling 01633 415 631.

Insight team

Leave a Comment

View our events


Click Here to Watch our Latest Video X