Be Inspired

Eastwood_BfT 2019 (1) (Medium)

“It’s proved an extremely popular initiative and has been well received by heads across the board. Despite the pressure on time that comes with moving into a leadership role, it is clear that new and aspiring headteachers place great value on learning form the experience of people who have been there and done it.”

“What is particularly encouraging is how many people have engaged with learning how to become a mentor themselves, meaning the scheme will have a degree of sustainability when the Opportunity Area’s funding support expires in a year’s time.”

Getting ahead with peer support

New and aspiring headteachers in Bradford are benefitting from a dedicated programme designed to support their personal and professional development during the early stages of their new roles.

The New To Headteaching initiative, commissioned by the Bradford Opportunity Area, has so far enabled 48 leaders to access specially designed training modules and at the same time form new networks and relationships with colleagues across the city.

Peer to peer training is delivered by experienced heads who take on the role of mentors, backed up by online coaching support provided by the highly respected Star Institute. Sessions are delivered during half-term breaks and culminate with coaching on how to become a mentor to the next generation of headteachers. The programme is supplemented throughout the academic year by a series of masterclasses provided by Exceed Teaching Schools.

“It’s proved an extremely popular initiative and has been well received by heads across the board,” says Christian Bunting, Teaching School Director at Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School. “Despite the pressure on time that comes with moving into a leadership role, it is clear that new and aspiring headteachers place great value on learning form the experience of people who have been there and done it.”

“What is particularly encouraging is how many people have engaged with learning how to become a mentor themselves, meaning the scheme will have a degree of sustainability when the Opportunity Area’s funding support expires in a year’s time.”

Hannah WhittakerOne such supporter of the programme’s value is Hannah Whittaker, who took on the Head of School role at specialist learning provider TRACKS Education in October 2017. “The course content and the opportunity to network with people in a similar position to yourself has been absolutely invaluable,” she explains.

“Taking your first role as a school head can be a daunting experience so having experienced leaders share their expertise in areas such as budgeting, HR and working with governors has been a real eye opener.

“Equally important to me, however, has been developing a network of counterparts at different types of school that I can turn to for support, advice and guidance.”


New To Headteaching was commissioned in line with the priorities of the Bradford Opportunity Area Delivery Plan

View the plan here

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Eastwood_BfT 2019 (1) (Medium)

“It’s proved an extremely popular initiative and has been well received by heads across the board. Despite the pressure on time that comes with moving into a leadership role, it is clear that new and aspiring headteachers place great value on learning form the experience of people who have been there and done it.”

“What is particularly encouraging is how many people have engaged with learning how to become a mentor themselves, meaning the scheme will have a degree of sustainability when the Opportunity Area’s funding support expires in a year’s time.”

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