Comments from our January 2020 cohort

I enjoyed the think pieces and being made to think – you don’t often get much time for that in a busy school….

David Cooksey, Head of Secondary, The New English School, Amman, Jordan


I am now more aware of exactly what it is I want in a school and a job and how to find out that information.

Ross Underwood, Teacher of Music and Music Technology, Director of Safeguarding, St Edmund’s School, Canterbury


I’ve enjoyed all of it but the hotseat with the bursar was particularly enlightening

Theresa Donegan, Year 6 teacher and former senior leader, Lycee Winston Churchill


I’ve certainly learnt more about the all-encompassing role of a headteacher and how as a member of SLT you might best support them.

Mark Robinson, Head of Humanities, Ruthin School, North Wales


I’ve enjoyed reading all the really useful comments and garnering ideas from other schools, as well as seeing how people can have quite different attitudes and views on educational and leadership issues whilst we are all trying to work for the same basic ends. I think one thing that opportunities like this provide is the chance to open your mind.  I have got a huge amount out of this course and am very grateful for the opportunity to learn from everyone involved.

David Baker, Deputy Head Co-curricular, Operations and Partnership, Denstone College


This course has encouraged me to plan a more strategic approach to looking at headship vacancies – I need to think about how to show the range of skills needed rather than highlight the best skills I have.

Helen Hynd, Director of Pastoral Care, the Leys School, Cambridge


I have particularly enjoyed forcing myself to take time out and think, sharing experiences and ideas with other course members during the “live” sessions and reading the activity responses. The feedback from the course leaders has also been extremely encouraging and helpful.

Paul Chillingworth, Assistant Head, Chetham’s School of Music


I’ve loved interacting with colleagues, hearing their views and having the drive to read more blogs and articles. I’ve been able to pass links and podcasts onto colleagues and will keep going back to my notes from the course to see what else I can share with our common room.

Liz Gregory, Deputy Head Academic, Monmouth School for Boys


The discussions around vision and values and the research I did really made me think. I feel I have more clarity about what I believe. The course has, quite simply, made me a better leader and more effective in my role.

Angela Prince, Director of Studies, Highfield Priory School


I enjoyed the vision/values task looking at websites. It gave me time to consider what my core values are in my current role and how I would develop these values in a different role and most importantly, how I would bring people with me.  The opportunity to discuss and share ideas with the cohort has been wonderful and very, very valuable. Thank you!

Vanessa Mitchell, Deputy Principal Pastoral, The Ladies’ College, Guernsey


I have found this course very enjoyable and interesting and in no way a chore to do at the end of a long day, even during an inspection. I have recommended it to other staff on my SMT as I think it is important that they develop and understand the challenges of Headship.

Jacky Shackel, Head, Lingfield College Prep School


I have most enjoyed learning from colleagues, and the realisation that many of us face similar challenges in our disparate roles, be they staffing, budgetary, compliance etc.

Tom Butt, Director of Sport, Dover College


I have learnt a lot about relationships within the school setting and certainly more about the role of the head in establishing the right vision of a school and the importance of getting staff ‘on board’.

Rachel Rees, Head of Sixth Form, Monmouth School for Girls


I was looking to understand how to balance and prepare for the multi-faceted task of headship, where you might be tackling and trying to understand issues where you’ve little or no prior experience.  The course has helped to break these themes down into manageable units – and also to realize that even as head you are working in a team and should refer to others to guide you.

Iain Smith, Deputy Head Academic, Oundle School



I particularly liked the business side of the course.  I have greater appreciation of the business and how the school needs to balance this against educating.

Michael Burke, Head of Biology and Head of Section (Years 7 and 8), Durham School
I enjoyed the hotseat discussions. Having three experts who were open and honest was really insightful. All three fulfil roles that we don’t often “mix” with outside of present context. Therefore, being able to hear their views and approaches was excellent.

Grove du Toit, Senior Deputy Head, Forest School


I loved interacting with other colleagues, asking and answering questions and engaging with them outside of normal forums.

Chris Murray, Deputy Head, Holmewood House Prep School


The moment that really made me think came in the discussion on inspection. Although it’s not the first discussion I’ve been part of, it’s definitely the clearest and most valuable one I have had.

Simon Hoyle, Head of Chemistry, University College School


I enjoyed drawing on the skills, knowledge, wisdom and reflections of the course members here and using them to challenge my thinking.

Jeremy Harper, Head-Elect of the Primary School, Derby High School