A Step Towards Headship

A Teaching School Council sponsored leadership programme


Commissioned by the Teaching School Council, this fantastic opportunity is almost fully funded for leaders from the South Yorkshire & Humber region.

This targeted leadership programme aims to support senior leaders who are at an early stage of pursuing a career in headship and looking to take the next steps on their journey. It is ideally suited to senior leaders who have undertaken a NPQSL (or similar level) qualification and as a precursor to NPQH.

Designed and delivered by experienced National Leaders of Education (NLEs), participants will be supported to develop the key leadership attributes, behaviours and skills required to successfully lead at a whole school level and to consider the associated challenges within the current and emerging educational landscape.

Full details including application forms are available below.

Applications close at noon on Wednesday 28th March 2018.


Ofsted Seminar

Sharing Good Practice and Experiences from a Recent Inspection (Primary)

21st March 2018 10.15am – 12.00 noon at Flanderwell Primary School, Rotherham. S66 2JF

Flanderwell Primary School was inspected by Ofsted on 23rd January 2018 and was judged to be Outstanding in all areas. Previously identified by the DfE as one of the 500 worst performing in the country and judged by Ofsted to be ‘requiring improvement’ in 2013, the school has been on a fantastic trajectory of improvement over recent years with outcomes now placing it within the top 2% of schools nationally.

This informal leadership session will be led by Alison Adair, Executive Headteacher of Flanderwell, St. Alban’s CofE and Rossington St. Michael’s Primary Schools, and members of Flanderwell’s senior leadership team. It will provide colleagues with an opportunity to hear about their inspection experience in its entirety and, of course, the school improvement work that has had such a positive impact across the school. There will also be an optional opportunity to visit classrooms and meet other teachers/leaders within the school at the end of the seminar.

There is no cost for attendance but places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

To reserve a place at this seminar, please email your name, school and contact details to


In 2017 the Department for Education (DfE) convened an expert group of system leaders to reform the existing NPQ leadership qualifications and oversee the development of a new ‘executive leadership’ level within the suite of qualifications.

Learners First is delighted to have been successfully accredited as a DFE provider of the reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) at all four levels. Therefore, as well as the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML), the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL), and the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), Learners First now offers the new National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL).


This is an exciting addition to the Learners First Leadership Curriculum and will further support leadership development and progression into new and emerging leadership roles.

How to Apply

The application windows for the NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH and NPQEL programmes commencing in the autumn 2018 will be opening after easter.

To register your interest in any of these programmes please email

You will then be notified of the application dates and respective deadline of the programme you are interested in, as soon as they become available.

If you would like to discuss in more detail and/or require further information about any of the NPQs please do not hesitate to contact the Learners First team.


Learners First – an inclusive teaching school partnership

Learners First is an inclusive teaching school partnership of over 200 schools from all phases. Established in August 2012 Learners First is a not-for profit company whose main focus is to build excellence and address underperformance in equal measure through system-led school improvement and leadership development. The principle objective is to better deliver the mission in a greater number of schools and settings. Learners First aims to achieve this through investment in three core interdependent areas of work:

  • Leadership development and transformation
  • System-led school to school support
  • Governance and governor development

The education landscape is changing significantly with schools and school leaders at the heart of these changes. Whilst recent reforms present many fantastic opportunities for collaboration, innovation and school-led improvement, it can also be quite a daunting prospect for schools and their leaders, particularly at a time of austerity and with fewer resources at their disposal. However, Learners First is well placed to support and make a significant contribution to the maturity and effectiveness of a school-led system. Far from creating a dependency culture, Learners First is able to support schools, academies and MATs to lead their own improvement by providing and brokering additional capacity and school expertise.

To discuss your requirements please contact us:-

Tel. 01709-731272

Interested in a Career in Teaching?

Teaching is a hugely fulfilling career and Learners First Schools Partnership has an amazing track record of recruiting, developing and employing high quality trainee teachers across South Yorkshire.  As a trainee you could be eligible for a bursary of up to £30,000 and there may be opportunities for you to earn while you train through the salaried routes.

Learners First is an accredited provider of the School Direct teacher training programme and offers high quality school-based training in early years, primary and secondary schools. Our training programmes give you the opportunity to ‘learn on the job’ alongside outstanding school leaders as well as achieving a PGCE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Trainees are supported every step of the way and through the professional networks and the wider Leadership Curriculum, employment, career progression and professional development opportunities are plentiful with Learners First.

You could be on your way to an exciting career in teaching sooner than you think with fantastic training and enhanced employment opportunities with Learners First Schools Partnership. We are currently recruiting the future generation of outstanding trainee teachers to our early years, primary and secondary programmes and would welcome a conversation if you would like to find out more or how to apply.

Please contact or visit the School Direct pages.

If you have the drive, passion and commitment, we have the professionals and programme to support you on your journey to becoming an outstanding teacher!

The Governance Handbook

Governing boards are the strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school and academy. They play a vital role in ensuring the best possible education for every child by creating robust accountability for school leaders.

Lord Nash

The Department of Education (DfE) released an updated version of the Governance Handbook in January 2017 together with and the new Competency Framework for Governors.

The ‘Competency framework for governance’ sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that school and academy governing boards need to be effective.

The ‘Competency framework for clerking sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to provide professional clerking to school and academy governing boards.

The following link will take you to the relevant DfE website page should you wish to view or download these documents:


Governor Development Programme


Effective governance has always been crucial to the success of schools and academies but never more so than now when governance features so decisively in the current Ofsted Framework. Our Governor Development continues to be a core area of work for Learners First.

School-to-School Support


Learners First’s approach to school-to-school support is dynamic and innovative. Any support that is provided, brokered or commissioned by Learners First is designed to be bespoke and tailored to meet the needs of the identified school(s) to maximise its impact.

For details of our programmes and events please follow the link below.

Support Staff Development Programme


This programme aims to support colleagues currently employed in Support Staff roles in school to make the transition into teaching. The programme has been designed and will be delivered by a range of Specialist Leaders of Education and serving school leaders from a variety of schools, contexts and phases.

For further details follow the link below.



Schools and Academies

have accessed Learners First programmes


specialist leaders of education (sle)

have been designated and are available for deployment through Learners First


middle and senior leaders and aspirant headteachers

have accessed the nationally accredited, licensed leadership programmes through Learners First since 2012


serving school leaders

contributed to the design and delivery of leadership programmes

See what our course delegates say

Thank you to Learners First, NPQH was a superb programme and I really enjoyed every minute of it. Huge praise to all leaders involved in delivery of the programme.

Mark Allen, Vice Principal, The Dearne ALC, Barnsley

Heatherwood’s Primary Phase Leader has just completed the NPQSL qualification with yourselves and the impact has been fantastic; with regards to both her personal growth and professional development.

Kind regards
Lisa Suter

Heatherwood School, Doncaster

Thank you for the invitation this morning.  I thought the quality of the seminar was excellent.

Dave Vernon
Vice Principal/AST
Tuxford Academy, Newark

Ofsted seminar – 21st Sept

I am just writing to thank you and all the people who delivered/facilitated the NPQH course through Learners First. I am pleased to say that I received confirmation of my successful completion of the qualification over the summer. I have gained lots from the course and feel that without the excellent face to face days, visits to schools and the support that you have offered it would not have been as enjoyable and beneficial to my career as it has been. Can you please pass on my thanks to all concerned and I hope that Learners First continue to provide these outstanding leadership opportunities for years to come.

Karl O’Reilly, St Luke’s School, Scunthorpe

“I like the Learners First approach. It is engaging, stimulating and down to earth with excellent use of relevant expertise.” “Poses lots of questions and gives time and a professional ‘community’ to reflect with and bounce ideas off.”


“An excellent course which has allowed me to develop as a Senior Leader. Often courses are “busy” but you get nothing out of them for you personally, but this is quite the opposite. Also, feedback has felt valued.”