Short courses


Early Leadership (Level 1): Leadership Development Programme (for New and Aspiring Leaders in Education)

  • Approx. 24 hours in class
  • 3.5 days over 2 terms


This programme will help you to understand yourself as a leader, understand others, and develop good leadership skills.

It's for new and aspiring leaders or middle leaders in education who haven't had any previous leadership development.

It'll help you:

  • understand yourself as a leader
  • understand others - behaviours and motivation
  • develop a range of skills necessary for good leadership
  • gain confidence when having challenging conversations
  • develop and understand professional dialogue
  • ask the right questions about data

The programme is designed to increase your professional knowledge and understanding. This will have a positive impact on your leadership behaviour and will benefit your school and leadership team.

You'll also have excellent networking opportunities.

This programme is level one in a suite of programmes designed for school leaders. It's supported by the most up-to-date research and you'll be taught by curriculum experts from the London Centre for Leadership in Learning (LCLL) at UCL IOE.

Who this course is for

This programme is for:

  • new and aspiring leaders in a first leadership position
  • middle leaders who haven't undertaken any previous leadership development
  • professional staff leading a team of support staff or administrators

Course structure

Over two terms (six months), you'll attend three one-day sessions and one twilight session.

In addition to attending face-to-face sessions, you'll carry out inter-sessional tasks between the leadership days.

Throughout the programme you'll carry out a 'focus for change' project and present this in a learning conversation at the end of the programme.

    Course content

    Each day will cover the following topics.

    Day one: Modelling leadership

    • Being proactive
    • Having vision
    • Prioritising
    • Understanding others
    • Teamwork
    • Work/life balance
    • Communication skills

    Day two: Monitoring

    • Experience of monitoring
    • Giving feedback
    • Using data for improvement
    • Influences on adult learning
    • Feedback on performance

    Day three: Dialogue

    • Thinking styles
    • Professional dialogue
    • Critical incidents
    • Setting up a 'focus for change' project

    Final twilight

    • Present your 'focus for change' research
    • Learning conversation


    You'll receive a certificate of completion at the end of the programme.

    Learning outcomes

    By the end of the course, you'll have:

    • gained an understanding of yourself and others as leaders
    • developed a range of skills necessary for good leadership
    • gained confidence in having challenging conversations
    • developed and understood professional dialogue


    The six-month programme runs twice a year, starting in the autumn and spring terms.

    Other programme delivery options

    Schools, collaboratives and local authorities

    The programme can be run on-site for schools, groups of schools, local authorities and multi-academy trusts. Contact the course administrator for costs and more information.


    For international schools and groups of schools the programme can be run at your overseas venue - contact the course administrator for costs and more information.


    The programme can also be used for new leaders who are planning to undertake the National College Leadership Curriculum.

    Further information

    View the programme flyer (pdf) for further details.

    Learner reviews

    "Organisation of the programme was superb. Delivery was excellent for opening your mind and making you reflect on your practice."

    "The course has been invaluable and I would recommend it to anybody who is new to leadership. Thank you for everything"

    "The facilitators have been a source of inspiration - knowledgeable, friendly and motivating, Thank you I have learnt so much."

    "I really enjoyed this session. I was able to be reflective of my work as a manager, share ideas with other professionals and gained new skills and knowledge to work on my areas for improvement."

    "The course helped me discover my inner leader and it opened my eyes to what it means to inspire others."

    Course information last modified: 1 Sep 2020, 14:32