Friday, 8 September 2017

Middle & Senior Leadership Qualifications:

Register to start this September

If you, or your colleagues, are looking to develop and accredit your leadership capability, implement sustainable school improvement and help to raise the attainment of your children, then register to join our local, school-led leadership provision starting this September.

The National Professional Qualifications for both Middle and Senior Leadership (NPQML & NPQSL) are accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and delivered by serving school leaders.

To understand what makes our offer extraordinary and to see first-hand the impact our training continues to have on leaders, their schools and pupil outcomes, visit our website.

You can register to secure a place for September here. The registration window will close on 29th September.

Any questions? Contact us on 0117 9209 424 or email

Thursday, 7 September 2017

An opportunity for SENCOs

The NASENCO award is a statutory requirement for all SENCOs appointed new to role from September 2008 and is an excellent opportunity for professional development for experienced SENCOs. This autumn we have training groups for the National Award around the country and we would like to ask you to please forward this email to any relevant colleagues or the person responsible for CPD in your school.

Our NASENCO programme is delivered in partnership with the School of Education’s CPD Department at Bath Spa University (BSU). It incorporates the Postgraduate Certificate in Inclusive Education from their Professional Master’s Programme, worth the first 60 credits towards a Master’s (MA) degree. We are also a member of the NASEN Provider Group that quality assures relevant standards.

Registration will close in September. Candidates can apply at the following link:

We have organised a webinar: NASENCO - Briefing for Prospective SENCOs on Monday, 11th September. Please could you notify any prospective SENCOs in your network that they can register for the online event at the following link:

The purpose of the webinar will be to:
*provide an initial overview of the Best Practice Network NASENCO training programme
*explain the NASENCO assessment processes and timescales involved
*answer any initial questions prospective candidates may have

Any questions? Contact us on 0117 9209 424 or email

Stepping Up To Headship?

Stepping up to Headship? 

Applications for NPQH close 15th September.

If you or a colleague are looking to apply for a headship position, or simply want to be ready when the time comes then you can still apply for the National Professional Qualification for Headship starting this September.

We have planned groups in the following locations:
  • Aylesbury
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Bury St Edmunds
  • Chester
  • Derby
  • Luton
  • Sale
  • Wigan

Registration will close on Friday, 15th September. You can apply here.

To support prospective applicants we hosted a series of ‘Submitting a Successful Application’ online briefings. You can view a recording of one of the briefings here.

The Outstanding Leaders Partnership is school led; our blended training is accessible and flexible; course content is updated and delivered by serving heads and our trainee support is total. To understand what makes our offer extraordinary and to see first-hand the impact our training continues to have on leaders, their schools and pupil outcomes, visit our website.

The course fee is now just £2,250.

Any questions? Contact us on 0117 9209 424 or email

Learning from failure

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Marginal gains: Small changes that make a big difference to your teaching

Teachers can learn a lot from the world of competitive sports when it comes to making small changes to improve their practice.

Walk into a newsagent, pick up a random running magazine and have a quick flick through it. You will be assailed with advice on improving your speed, going the distance and avoiding injury – all of it based on the latest scientific research. But when you look more closely at the research, you will see that they are talking about shaving a second each mile from your marathon time or exercises that worked with elite athletes under expert supervision. These are marginal gains that make all the difference to the professionals but may do very little for the average weekend warrior.

Read the full article here:

Image result for athletes

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How does Google develop leaders?

The transition from individual contributor to manager is not an easy one. In many cases, the skills that got you the promotion will not be the same ones that make you effective as a manager.

Using Project Oxygen, an internal study that analyzed more than 10,000 manager impressions including performance reviews, surveys, and nominations for top-manager awards and recognition, Google identified eight habits of highly effective managers. Google also designed a management training workshop to share its newfound knowledge with its bosses and now the world.

Through the company's Re:Work website, a resource that shares Google's perspective on people operations, Google posted this training presentation in hopes that it could benefit all.

1. Mindset and values

Implementing research from Dr. Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, Google encourages its managers to develop a growth mindset. As opposed to a fixed mindset (the belief that skills and abilities are predetermined), individuals with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be cultivated. This simple idea develops leaders who are more eager to learn, challenge themselves, and experiment, and it eventually boosts their performance. Although success will always require tenacity, hard work, and concentration, this research suggests these traits are byproducts of a quality that underpins them, optimism.

Also, Google encourages its managers to identify values and leverage them within their management styles. The purpose is not to impose set values, but rather to empower leaders to leverage their individual morals to drive deeper meaning and impact to their work. Managers have to make tough decisions. When faced with uncertainty, values can be a manager's saving grace.

2. Emotional intelligence (EI)

Per Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis (experts on the topic), EI is the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and leverage this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. In other words, it's a heightened sense of self-awareness.

Managers who are self-aware make better decisions, communicate more effectively, and are more relatable. In fact, Goleman reported not only that EI-based leadership may be the most important driver of climate but also that climate may account for 20 to 30 percent of organizational performance.

3. Manager transition

All right, so this one doesn't seem like an attribute. However, if you take a look at Google's new manager training facilitator's guide, you'll notice some common themes. As instructors encourage new supervisors to share their transition challenges and frustrations with their peers, they simultaneously teach that it's OK to be vulnerable and honest. As managers open up and tell their stories, others chime in with advice and guidance providing actionable new strategies.

It's important for all managers to know that you're not in this alone. Others have faced similar challenges and can help -- if you let them.

4. Coaching

Through Project Oxygen, it was revealed that the number one quality of effective managers is being a good coach. Google defines good coaching as:
  • Timely and specific feedback
  • Delivering hard feedback in a motivational and thoughtful way
  • Tailoring approaches to meet individual communication styles in regular one-on-one meetings
  • Practicing empathetic "active" listening and being fully present
  • Being cognizant of your own mindset and that of the employee
  • Asking open-ended questions to discover an employee's acumen

5. Feedback

Managers' words have the power to build or destroy. Google understands this sensitivity and teaches its supervisors to be consistent (free from bias) when delivering feedback across their teams, to balance positive (motivational) and negative (developmental) feedback, to be authentic and appreciative, and to state growth opportunities in a clear, compassionate way.

6. Decision making

To ensure judgments aren't made in a vacuum, Google has established a routine to help managers make better decisions. This framework includes asking and articulating:
  • What are you solving for, and is everyone on the same page? (Identify and communicate the root cause.)
  • Why is it important? (Does it support other business goals?)
  • Who is the decision maker?
  • How will the decision be made?
  • When can people expect a decision? (Keep stakeholders in the loop, and manage expectations.)
Also, to ensure informed decisions are made, Google encourages managers to test their ideas out loud and collect feedback by explicitly advocating for their opinions (voicing individual views, reasoning, and providing data), testing their understanding by inquiring about others' perspectives (soliciting ideas and feedback), and then synthesizing the responses to ensure a comprehensive understanding before making a decision.

While these six attributes may seem basic, according to a New York Times article, the results are anything but. Google reported a statistically significant improvement in 75 percent of its underperforming managers after implementing the program.

Are You Ready?

“No Matter How Ready You Think You Are, The Difference Is Staggering” – How I Survived My First Year As A Middle Leader

"You can read all the leadership books you want, but nothing prepares you for having to have a conversation with a team member about the school dress code"

Read through Nikki's very honest account of the challenges of leadership: