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Deputy Headteacher Courses, Support and Training

I offer Deputy Headteacher training courses for colleagues new to role and training for more experienced deputy headteachers.  You can join a cohort at the start of an academic year and train with other DHTs from different parts of the UK, or you can have a programme designed specifically for a group of Deputy Headteachers in your MAT or family of schools which can start at any time.  In addition to training courses, I also provide 1:1 coaching and group coaching.

With over 25 years of experience in education and leadership posts in schools and a large local authority, and having delivered many years of leadership training, my Deputy Headteacher courses are highly rated and will give you the skills you need to succeed.   

"The journey I have been on has been amazing.  Thanks for everything.  I would highly recommend this training to others."  Deputy Headteacher course - new to role.

"Every session has been immensely useful." Deputy Headteacher training - Catalyst Training Programme for experienced DHTs.

"The whole course has provided excellent resources and support in allowing me to develop further as a leader." Deputy Headteacher course - for new and experienced DHTs.

Deputy Headteacher training : new to role

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Deputy Headteacher new to role training is 6 modules across the year:

  1. What is special about the role of the Deputy Headteacher?  Understanding your remit. Considering what is unique about the role and what skills and knowledge you need to draw on to be successful.  Typically, this includes completing a strengths finder assessment and consideration for how your strengths relate to those of other people in the team.  The module considers how you operate with the SLT and outside it.

  2. Communication at a DHT level. This module provides tools to help you evaluate your current levels of communication against 4 communication segments: strategic, operational, stakeholders; conflict & resolution.  You take away with you a brilliant planning tool that will enable you to increase the impact of your communication.  The module considers what makes effective interactions and how your communication is 'experienced' by others.   Working effectively with the Headteacher is also included in this module.

  3. The DHTs role in school improvement, including consideration for utilisation of data, school self-evaluation activities, and change management.  This module helps you to improve your impact at whole school level and how you fit into strategic planning.

  4. Leading whole school developments; consideration for your remit as a DHT; maximising the impact of others; harnessing motivational theory.  With the demands of post-covid employment, the needs of generation 'Z' and the recruitment/retention crisis, managing people effectively has to be on the agenda for DHTs.  

  5. Personal effectiveness in the DHT role, e.g. delegation, time management, prioritisation, leadership style, day-to-day working practices, leading and being part of teams; emotional intelligence to support self-management; self-care and well-being.

  6. Setting and achieving high standards as a DHT: different types of standards, e.g. internal, external; setting and communicating standards across different areas of school life; the development, role and implementation of policies; raising expectations; challenging conversations; accountability.

A year-long deputy headteacher course enables you to sink your teeth into this critical role and make the transition from senior leader to Deputy Headteacher. Designed for colleagues in their first two years of being a DHT, it helps people to grow into the role, increases leadership impact and supports colleagues to grapple with the complexities that typically accompany working at this level in a school.  Having worked with many new DHTs, I fully understand the challenges and reality.  Let me help you become the Deputy Headteacher you really want to be.

Will be able to cope with the demands of the new to deputy headteacher course?  As a Deputy Headteacher, you have limited time available for study.  With this in mind, there are 6 days across the year for the course itself.  This provides much needed headspace for training and personal growth.  On each of the days, time is set aside for you to complete tasks and engage in thinking that will be useful to you when you return to school. In addition, there are usually at least two 90 minute 1:1 coaching sessions to help you dig into issues and develop your own leadership style.  This provides structured reflection and helps you to build this into the year. Beyond this, there are no tasks, set reading materials, activities.  I do provide materials that are optional and offer guidance as to what you can do to deepen or broaden your study, but leave that entirely up to you.  This means everyone can gain without being overloaded.  At the end of the programme, certification is based on your participation throughout the course rather than an end assessment, and again, this means that the programme is manageable.  The group size is kept purposefully small to ensure there is an excellent relationship between myself and the individuals in the group.

Deputy Headteacher training : for experienced DHTs

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As an experienced DHT, you will have already attended a variety of leadership training courses over your career, and therefore this programme is pitched to take your learning beyond this. The course is designed to continue to expand your knowledge base, but also offer structured methods of reflecting on leadership theory.  Colleagues attending training at this level have commented that every session has been immensely useful, and considering the wealth of expertise of colleagues attending the Catalyst Programme, this makes me immensely proud.

I believe that there are no perfect leaders and every leader should desire to grow and improve. What is it that you really need as an experienced deputy headteacher?

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The six modules are:

  • Culture - curse of cure;

  • Leading leaders - the multiplier effect;

  • Strategy and motion;

  • Relationships and people management;

  • Complexity, plurality and simplicity;

  • Crossing the finishing line.

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To deepen and broaden learning, the programme provides an opportunity for participants to consider the leadership skills, leadership thinking and leadership behaviours they are drawing on:

  • today,

  • sometimes,

  • every day, and

  • those they wish to draw on in the future. 

It draws on 9 areas of leadership that are specific to the ICTWAND CATALYST programme.  These 9 lenses can be used to consider leadership as a whole and leaders can consider how each links to the 6 modules.

Deputy Headteacher Course

A bespoke programme can be created for DHTs in a MAT or family of schools.  It is a great way to develop networking and tap into peer support as well as develop new insights into leadership.

Evaluation comments:

"Through the course I have had opportunities to think about my leadership style and how this may be perceived across school. It has taught be a more in depth knowledge around strengths and weaknesses of this style which will impact positively going forward. The course has also increased my knowledge around strategic leadership and how the deputy role fits into this."  Catalyst Deputy Headteacher training programme.

"I have found all the sessions of the course informative and taken huge amounts of knowledge away." Catalyst Deputy Headteacher training programme.

"To meet with others in this DH role has been so valuable. It has allowed me to visit other schools and see their approach to curriculum, behaviour, learning environment and vision. Their experience and knowledge of the role has supported me in the loneliness I have felt in transitioning from AHT. In addition, their advice and encouragement, laughter and honesty have given me the energy and determination to go again and again and again." Catalyst Deputy Headteacher training programme.

"It has been a breath of fresh air arriving and hearing similar issues with people in similar roles and having professional conversations to give solutions to things you are currently experiencing." Catalyst Deputy Headteacher training programme.

Resources: 'One word - Excellent'; Quality of trainer: 'Again, one word - excellent.'  Incredibly organised, adept at IT and great at facilitating. Atmosphere: Positive, warm and engaging.  Open climate of mutual value.

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