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Teaching Leaders: a day with some of our brightest middle leaders

Creative Education Trust recently reached a key milestone – Ofsted now rates more than half of our schools as good. This is an incredible achievement given that most of those schools were in special measures before joining our network.

The turnaround of these schools would not have been possible without great teachers and leaders. Middle leaders in our schools are really helping to drive this improvement – building strong departments, inspiring and leading their teams, and ensuring high quality teaching and learning every day.

We recently held our annual Teaching Leaders Participants’ Action Research Day at Weavers Academy, Wellingborough. An event unique to the Creative Education Trust, this saw all of our middle leaders participating in the Ambition School Leadership Teaching Leaders programme come together to offer their peers an honest assessment of what had worked well (and not so well) in their schools.

Participants shared their findings on a number of topics, including; leading a new team who have little experience but much enthusiasm; improving accountability in a school; ensuring quality professional development that will have a real impact on teaching and learning; developing training and support for trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers; the role of mentors; embedding the Creative Education Trust’s key concepts.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing some of our participant’s research projects and learnings as part of a blog series.

As well as fellow middle leaders, participants also go to hear from Holly Hartley, Principal at Thistley Hough Academy, whose “inspirational leadership” Ofsted recently praised for “unlocking the potential in all pupils”. Holly shared her experiences of turning around a school once described as “beyond saving”. With humour and heart, Holly told participants, “if you think you can achieve brilliant things, you can achieve brilliant things”.

Participants also had the opportunity to hear from Alister Beasant, winner of Ann Brougham award, given to the person who best embodies the Teaching Leaders values.

Philip Cantwell, Director of Education, Creative Education Trust said,

“This is always one of my favourite days of the year. It is great to see staff from across the network coming together to connect and collaborate with their peers. They have all worked hard on the Teaching Leaders programme, improving their practice and the practice of others in the process.

Middle leaders are the future of the Creative Education Trust and the education system, and seeing the quality on display at our Teaching Leaders participants’ day; I am excited for that future.”

James Ogden, Senior Relations Manager (West Midlands), Ambition School Leadership said:

“Working with Creative Education Trust is great – their Teaching Leaders participants’ day is not something that most multi-academy trusts do. This is a prime example of their commitment to developing the very best middle leaders. It is a great opportunity for participants to step back and realise the massive impact they have had on their schools.”

For more information on how and why we invest in our middle leaders, through the Teaching Leaders programme, watch this short video by Ambition School Leadership.

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We are always looking for great middle leaders and those moving into middle leadership. If you would like to chat to somebody about joining the Creative Education Trust and helping to transform our schools and the life chances of our pupils, please email