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Leading Without Limits

Attendees at Leading Without Limits event

A “Next Practice” leadership event in Stoke-on-Trent

Educational leaders from across the country recently came together to explore current themes, including what it takes to be an inspirational and effective leader across a group of schools (e.g. a collaboration, a MAT or an academy chain).

Characteristics of collaborative leadershipThe leaders shared their own learning journeys throughout the day and were inspired by like-minded professionals during this “Leading Without Limits” event. The leaders from schools in the UK were also joined by Dutch leaders from Katholieke Pabo Zwolle, who were in Stoke-on-Trent as part of a unique week-long leadership exchange programme.

The event was organised by Britannia Teaching School Alliance in partnership with the University of Worcester and The St. Bart’s Academy Trust. Tom Whittingham, from The University of Worcester, and John Collier, from Britannia Teaching School Alliance, were the facilitators across the day.

The day revolved around “Next Practice” in leading a group of schools into the changing educational landscape, thus creating and sustaining effective professional learning communities.

The participants also had the opportunity to share and reflect on their own experiences, time and space to read, think and discuss and time to celebrate achievements.

Next steps  

The plan is to now create an online platform where the “learning conversations” between participants can continue. One particular area that is being explored is the question: what skills and characteristics are needed in a leader of a number of schools? The outcomes are then being benchmarked against the National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers. This also raises the question of how the system is identifying future aspirant leaders and how it is planning for succession, as fewer schools are now being led by a single Headteacher.

Tom Whittingham in discussion with attendee

Comments from attendees

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone and look forward to seeing where our work goes next!”

“The cherry on top” (of Katholieke Pabo Zwolle’s week-long leadership exchange programme)

“A great opportunity to share and learn from colleagues”

“What a privilege to share with leaders from across Europe”