Developing your career

Effective Continuous Professional Development is central to United Learning's vision.

We all have a responsibility to our pupils and colleagues – and to ourselves – to take CPD seriously. It’s why we ensure that all our employees receive high quality professional development, and why we have established dedicated training streams with a focus on leadership skills. 

Step Up to Headship

Aimed at senior leaders aspiring to reach Headship roles, Step Up to Headship is perfect for those looking to get ahead in the next two to three years. Our Trainee Headship Programme is in place for those ready now. The stream includes a diagnostic day, one to one coaching, a Leadership Development Residential and business management training.

Step Up to System Leadership

Our three-year programme helps existing Heads and Principals take the next step to Executive and System Leadership roles. Courses include an overview of the System Leader role, strategic and business leadership modules and executive coaching and mentoring.

Coaching Network

We believe coaching is an essential ingredient in effective professional development. Coaching builds skills and knowledge, and it ensures staff feel cared for, listened to and empowered. Our highly qualified coaches support the Group’s leaders, both to perform their own role, and to support their teams and peers.

360-degree Feedback

We run 360-degree feedback surveys ​​for all United Learning Heads, every two years, allowing Heads to receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them, and giving them a thorough understanding of the contribution those people make. Participants are expected to share and discuss their results with a coach, establishing a development plan to improve their leadership skills/capability.

Developing Your Career

United Teaching

  • Summer Institute – August
  • School-based training – September to June
  • Subject-based Training Days at University
  • Two Academic Assignments
  • Ongoing Assessment Feedback & Support
  • Assigned Mentors
  • Subject Development
  • Teaching & Learning Practice

Following Step Up:

  • BiE Induction Conference - NQT Pathway

Middle Leadership

  • Introduction to Leadership – Jan Shadick
  • Coaching Skills – Keith Nelson
  • United Leadership: Middle Leader Programme – Jan Shadick
  • NPQML – via IoE (Leadership CoLab)

Following Step Up:

  • BiE Induction Conference – Middle Leader Pathway

Senior Leadership

  • Leadership Development Residential, incl 360 – Various Heads
  • Coaching for Senior Leadership – Internal/External 1:1 coaching
  • Coaching Skills – Keith Nelson
  • NPQSL – via IoE (Leadership CoLab)

Following Step Up:

  • BiE Induction Conference – Senior Leader Pathway

Headship Ready (2-3yrs)

  • Diagnostic Day
  • Coaching for Headship – Internal/external 1:1 coaching
  • Leadership Development Residential, incl. 360 – Various Heads
  • Business Management – Finance & Marketing People Management
  • NPQH (External)

Headship Ready (Now)

As above, plus:

  • Trainee Headship Programme


Following Step Up:

  • BiE Induction Conference – Heads Pathway

System Leadership

This course is a three year commitment to personal development

  • Year 1
    Role of the System Leader – Diagnostic Interview & Report, 2-Day Residential, Reflection Workshop, 1:1 Coaching
  • Year 2
    Strategic Business Leadership
  • Year 3
    Executive Coaching & Mentoring

PDR Process

Every member of staff at United Learning, including those in leadership positions, participates in our Performance and Development Review process. By supporting all members of staff in their professional development, we seek to enable everyone to be outstanding in their role; encouraging meaningful and open discussions regarding an individual’s growth, development and CPD.


The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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