Professional development for leaders who are values-driven, focused on people and open to change.

Growing Leaders courses
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Subject Leaders / Heads of Department

Designed for subject leaders who are new to the post or for those aspiring to the role.

Topics covered on the day:

  • Looking after yourself: mental health, well-being and work/life balance.
  • Setting the tone of the team: values, conduct and decision-making.
  • The challenges of championing your subject in times of high accountability.
  • Curriculum and assessment design.
  • Turning a department around: how to make a difference in a short space of time.
  • Dealing with under-performing teachers and keeping expectations high.
  • Keeping everyone safe: behaviour, well-being and creating a climate of trust.
  • How to lead a ‘learning’ department: the role of research and evidence-based learning.

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Pastoral Leaders / Heads of Year

Designed for pastoral leaders who are new to the post or for those aspiring to the role.

Topics covered on the day:

  • Looking after yourself: mental health, well-being and work/life balance.
  • Understanding your roles and responsibilities in the whole school context.
  • Setting the tone of the tutor team: values, conduct and meeting expectations.
  • The challenges of balancing the personal and academic needs of the child.
  • Managing and dealing with tricky parents and carers.
  • The importance of supporting children with additional needs: SEND, safeguarding and mental health concerns.
  • Conflict resolution for children: practical strategies.
  • Proactive or reactive? The realities of being a pastoral leader.

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Assessment in Practice: finding solutions to a complex issue

Designed for middle leaders who have responsibility for leading a subject or key stage, or for senior leaders who have whole-school responsibility for assessment.

Topics covered on the day:

  • Moral purpose: the why of assessment.
  • Does the data tail wag the curriculum dog? Re-thinking curriculum design.
  • Multi-purpose assessment: For what? For who? For when? For real?
  • Reliability and accountability: a dichotomy.
  • Validity: Designing assessments that are fit for purpose.
  • Bias. We all have it. Practical strategies to guard against it.
  • Feedback not marking: the power of less not more.
  • Marking scrutinies, book looks, evidence trails and progress markers: making strategic decisions that don’t push teachers over the edge.
  • Assessment and learning: what does cognitive science tell us?
  • Leadership of assessment: a vision for learning.

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Performance Management

Designed for senior leadership teams and governors who lack confidence with performance management.

This course can also be delivered in two half-days, or a half-day and a twilight. The topics can also be tailored to suit an audience of middle leaders who have performance management responsibilities.

Topics covered on the day:

  • The purpose and power of performance management: challenging misconceptions.
  • Performance management and employment law: what do you need to know?
  • The link between performance management and school effectiveness: what does research tell us?
  • Performance related pay: freedoms and constraints.
  • Setting meaningful targets that empower staff and drive school improvement.
  • Workload and well-being issues: why performance management is the answer.
  • Using performance management to support and develop under-performing teachers.

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Teaching and Learning: what works?

Designed for middle leaders or senior leaders who have responsibility for, or an interest in, whole-school approaches to teaching and learning.

Topics covered on the day:

  • Learning from philosophy: what is teaching and what is learning?
  • Current debates in teaching and learning.
  • What does research evidence tell us about teaching and learning?
  • How do we know what research and evidence to trust?
  • The instinct of teaching and learning: should we be dismissive?
  • What does excellence look like in the classroom?
  • Do I teach children or do I teach my subject?
  • Leadership of teaching and learning in an age of accountability.
  • Creating a culture of openness, enquiry and value.
  • Dealing with under-performing teachers and keeping expectations high.
  • Reclaiming the profession of teaching: the balance between autonomy and equity of access.
  • How to lead a ‘learning’ school: the role of research and evidence-based learning.

Contact us for more information.

Mental health and well-being for teachers and school staff

Designed for senior leaders with a responsibility for staff well-being.

Topics covered on the day:

  • Current statistics in mental health and well-being: a stark and worrying trend.
  • What does the law say? Responsibilities of employers.
  • Creating a climate of trust and addressing the stigma – practical strategies.
  • Being a role model: mental health, well-being and work/life balance.
  • Setting the tone of the team: values, conduct and decision-making.
  • The challenge of managing absence.
  • The challenge of managing under-performance.
  • Recruitment: attracting the best and dissuading the rest.
  • Retention: the crucial first five years.
  • Knowing what causes stress and anxiety: where are the flash points?
  • Investing in professional development.
  • Keeping everyone happy: behaviour, well-being and creating a climate of trust.

Contact us for more information.

Beyond Emotional Intelligence

Designed for leaders who have an interest in emotional intelligence and want to explore how it can transform their leadership style.

Drawing on the academic research of Dr Brenda Beatty and Andy Hargreaves, this course looks at the emotional ‘geographies’ of leadership and focuses on the concept of ‘connectivity’ with people in order to lead successfully. The Emotional Intelligence competencies defined by Daniel Goleman will also be touched upon.

The course will explore Hargreaves’ five emotional ‘geographies’ and ask leaders to evaluate their effectiveness in relation to each one. The five ‘geographies’ will be presented visually on an infographic which will be used as a tool for an exercise in self-reflection that will combine research and practice.

After considering Hargreaves’ approach, delegates will be asked to read and discuss a short passage from Beatty’s influential 2000 study ‘Emotional Epistemologies’ which will challenge them to consider how connected they are to the people they lead and to evaluate how highly they value the nurturing of personal relationships as part of their armoury of leadership skills. This evaluation will also ask them to look inwards and evaluate how well they nurture their own emotional health.

Finally, delegates will be asked to set themselves five ‘HEART’ targets.

Health – an aim relating to emotional health or well-being.

Emotion – an aim focused on the understanding and management of the emotions of others.

Ambition – an aim linked to a leadership goal that relies on emotional connectivity with others.

Relationships – an aim to approach a challenging relationship through emotional intelligence.

Trust – an aim to show the emotional resilience required to demonstrate trust and faith in others.

The purpose of the elective is to introduce a theoretical basis, but also to generate deep self-reflection. The HEART targets are intended to become part of an ongoing leadership improvement map that delegates can use for future self-reflection.

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The Heartland Leadership course

A leadership course with a difference. Instead of focusing just on leadership competencies and skills, this course looks at a leader as a ‘whole’ person, with hopes, fears, talents, emotions, pressures and conflicting responsibilities.

This course takes a whole school year to complete. It includes five face-to-face development experiences and is best experienced in cohorts of six.

Based on leading research into leadership, emotional intelligence, cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness, this course focuses on each participant as a person first and a leader second. The course has been designed to recognise that leadership can be stressful and supports participants to be emotionally resilient, emotionally intelligent and connected to others. Support for well-being, stress and anxiety is given throughout.

As far as we know, this is the only leadership development programme that puts well-being first. We believe the best leaders are happy, healthy people who recognise that a focus on their own well-being makes them better at leading others.

We see leadership as a human endeavour that is only truly successful if it addresses the emotional, social and interactional elements of relationships with others. Leaders who are open, emotionally self-aware and connected to their teams get better results. Leaders who recognise the risks of mental health issues in themselves and others have the capacity to transform teams.

For more information, please download this PDF.

Contact us about running the Heartland Leadership course in your school.

Growing Leaders


All our courses are designed to be delivered in your setting over one day. However, variations in timings can often be accommodated, so if you would prefer two half-days, a half-day and a twilight or a different combination altogether, please talk to us.

Make an enquiry today to change your future. Email us from the form at the bottom of the page or call now on 07813 699912

Thoughtful leaders see the human being beyond the function.

Mary Myatt.

Contact us today about leadership development in your organisation.

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