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An introduction to Executive Headship

Online course


Book for  8 December

Member - £149
Non-member - £230

Facilitator - Philippa Ollerhead

This course will focus on the role of the executive head teacher/CEO, offering practical advice on how head teachers can formulate a long-term plan to up-skill in preparation for this change in focus and career.    

Delegates will reflect on how the role of executive head/CEO differs from the role of head teacher in a single school. You will consider how to form a multi-school structure ensuring it is efficient, effective and financially viable. This course will also consider teaching and support staff structures in more than one school to ascertain whether they are "future proofed" and financially sustainable into the future.

Consideration will be given to multiple school business planning, teaching and support staff structures, and governance. Delegates will have the opportunity to consider how they will develop their existing skills into system leadership skills.


Head teachers and senior leaders in primary, secondary and 6th forms from maintained, academies, independent, special and alternative provision settings.


  • Evaluate the difference between the role of head teacher and executive head teacher/CEO
  • Discuss the business, staffing and governance structures within a group of schools
  • Assess why and how creative workforce deployment across several schools can support schools to achieve improved outcomes and financial viability
  • Develop a clear understanding of the senior leadership skills required to develop a system leadership structure
  • Develop a clearer understanding of best practice senior leadership, teaching staff and support staff deployment across a multi-academy trust or federation


  • Learn how to analyse the essential elements of effective executive headship
  • Evaluate the skills required for delegated system leadership
  • Take time to develop a personal training plan   
  • Develop a plan for business, staffing and governance in a multi-academy trust based on best practice advice

Pre-course preparation

Delegates should have copies of their current structure for leadership, teaching staff and support staff


Philippa Ollerhead

Philippa has had a long career in education, having been a Head of English, a Vice Principal of a large sixth form college in Greater Manchester, Head teacher of a pupil referral unit and Head teacher of a secondary alternative provision school. Philippa is formally trained every academic year in the rigorous of the common inspection framework in order to prepare primary and secondary schools for Ofsted visits.

Philippa is a training partner for the National Association of Head Teachers, delivering courses for Head teachers across the country, in subjects such as Removing the Stress from Ofsted Inspections, Safeguarding, Financial Transparency for Maintained Schools, Growing MAT structures and An Introduction to Executive Headship.

Philippa has been an education improvement adviser for 6 years and works with schools in all sectors around the country supporting school leaders.

What people have said about this course


A relevant, well resourced course, with an extremely knowledgeable facilitator.

Many of the other head teachers were embarking upon taking over a second school and forming an academy / federation. My school has already been through this process. It was good to network and speak to other colleagues. I wanted to gain further strategies and ideas to develop our federation. The day did allow me to think about future strategy and how to plan forward.