Coaching & Leadership Development

Early Headship Programme

A School Leadership development programme for Heads & College leaders in the early stages of their careers.

Download the Programme Outline 



Even at the best of times, starting out as a Headteacher can be a daunting task.

There are new school environments to get used to, new relationships to build, new structures and systems to develop, all of which require enormous investments of time and energy.

Yet with the onslaught at the start of the year, of the global pandemic, Headship has now become even more fraught; the challenges have been unprecedented and seemingly never-ending.

The pandemic has shown that many of the school leadership text books and leadership development courses to be ill-equipped to prepare new and aspiring Heads for the current educational landscape.

Heads who are in the early stages of their careers or looking to start out, now not only have to find their own ways to shape and make the role of headship their own, but they now have to do so without the usual or most common frames of reference, whilst also contend with the emotional and psychological impact of the pandemic.

If we are to ensure that new Heads survive and thrive in this new school environment, we believe that they will need personalised support as they take this big step up into Headship and seek to navigate the emerging challenges of the role.

That’s why we have developed an Early Headship Programme for aspiring Heads and those in the early stages of their Headship.

Consisting of expert 1:1 coaching and leadership development sessions, the programme has been designed to help school leaders to navigate their first few years of their Headship, with a view to helping them build their resilience, strengthen their purpose, above all, keeping them in the profession for the long-haul.

Who is this offer for?


This year long development programme is for Heads and College leaders in the early stages of their careers. It is particularly for those individuals looking to:

– Understand how to cope with the emotional and psychological changes that accompany movement into senior leadership

– Increase their confidence and overcome any feelings linked to the ‘Imposter Syndrome’

– Feel less weighed down by the challenges of the role and stay connected to their sense of vocation, passion and purpose

– Address heightened levels of stress and put in place strategies for overcoming them

– Strengthen personal and professional relationships and have a greater sense of work/life harmony



Individuals who attend this programme will benefit from…

– An increased ability to respond with deeper levels of self-awareness and understanding to the challenges posed by the pandemic and the wider challenges of the role

–  Greater confidence and skill in managing one’s own emotions and the emotions of others

– New insights and knowledge as to how individuals truly make it the leadership role their own

– Understanding the personal narratives that have shaped their career/leadership pathway

– A solid understanding of what well-being means for senior leaders and how to survive and thrive in the role

Programme Structure


The Early Headship Programme consists of four key elements:

– One online orientation session (Duration: 1hr)

– Three online leadership development days

– Three 1:1 coaching sessions (via Zoom)

– Half day online closing evaluation session

Leadership Development Days

Viv Grant and Integrity Coaching Associates will deliver several leadership development days (online and face-to-face) designed to help Heads develop the skills, behaviours and strategies that can support them in their leadership roles.

Half-Day Evaluation

There will also be a half-day evaluation at the end of the programme for delegates to share key learning from the programme and identify personal strategies for sustaining growth.

1:1 Coaching Sessions

Each delegate will receive three online coaching sessions to build on the outcomes of the face-to-face days and provide a confidential space for Heads to explore challenges within their roles and find meaningful solutions for addressing them.

“Even if you run an Outstanding school, there is so much to be gained from coaching. I am very grateful for the opportunity”

Download the Programme Outline 

Programme Content

Module 1


Key Focus: Being the leader you want to be

What: Two Online Half Day Leadership Development Sessions

By the end of these days, individuals will have learnt:

–  Why in our current educational climate, leaders need to engage with the role of headship/college leadership differently if they are to survive and thrive

–  The impact their leadership narratives have on their capacity to rise above the challenges of the role

– The relationship between meaning, identity and purpose and their own concepts of self and well-being

Module 2


Key Focus: Self-awareness, well-being and why they matter

What: Face-to-face Leadership Development Session

By the end of this day, individuals will learn:

– How to recognise and address the aspects of the headteacher/college leader role that impact on confidence levels

– How to work successfully with their areas for development and turn them into strengths

– How to identify and overcome potential leadership blind spots

Module 3


Key Focus: Building resilience as a leader and with your SLT

What: Face-to-face Leadership Development Session

By the end of this day, individuals will learn:

– The key characteristics of resilient leaders

–  How to develop these characteristics within themselves and their teams

· The processes individuals and organisations adopt to keep levels of resilience high



Key Focus: Evaluating progress and impact

What: Closing evaluation/celebration event

By the end of this day, individuals will have had opportunity to:

– Share key learnings from the programme

– Identify personal strategies for sustaining growth and development

– Form professional networks of collaboration and support between programme attendeees

About Integrity Coaching

The programme will be delivered by Integrity Coaching. Integrity Coaching is the UK’s leading provider of coaching and leadership development services for headteachers and senior school leaders.

Led by former Head teacher, Viv Grant, the company is committed to providing coaching services for school leaders to help them overcome the distinct pressures of their roles, so that their stress levels are reduced and they are able to maintain their ability to:

– Lead and inspire others

– Stay focused on their vision and values

– Maximise the performance of both their staff and pupils.

– Maximise their ability to impact on future generations

To help you develop your courage, resilience and determination, our coaching process focuses on four key areas…



clarity about what you want for yourself and your school



Strengthening your moral purpose and ability to make the right (and sometimes tough) decisions



Creating positive beliefs about what can be achieved, to help realise your own strengths and capabilities



Embedding new behaviours to support the development of excellence in yourself and others

“The programme will provide personalised support as well as 1:1 coaching for new and aspiring Heads, so that together we can strengthen mechanisms for sustaining successful school leadership”


Viv Grant, Programme Facilitator