Institute and Deloitte team up on course for academy chiefs

A new executive leadership training programme will launch later this year, the latest to pop-up in response to the government’s £500 million drive for new academy chief executives.

The Institute of Education (IOE) has partnered with consultants Deloitte to create the new nine-month programme aimed at helping senior staff expand their academy trusts.

Registration is due to open in June, before an autumn start for the first course. A price has yet to be finalised.

The government has set aside £500 million over the course of this parliament to build capacity in the system – including “developing strong multi-academy trusts”.

Toby Greany, professor of leadership and innovation at the IOE, told Schools Week: “This [course] will help staff design and lead an effective organisation that has clear educational purpose, vision and values.”

He said it would run for whole leadership teams from medium-sized multi-academy trusts (MATs) with about five to 15 schools, and would include three “intensive” residential modules.

Julie Mercer, a partner at Deloitte, said the firm’s work in trusts highlighted that leadership teams faced a “real challenge” responding to the complexities of expansion.

“This is a new sector being asked to do new things and it is not surprising that leaders do not yet have everything they need in their leadership toolkit.

“We know from our organisational  health check work with MATs that many do not have the financial, organisational and governance expertise needed to support sustainable growth at scale, while protecting the quality of the education offer that is critical for our children’s future.”

She said the course would expand leadership and management skills by bringing in ideas from other areas, including the third sector and commercial enterprise.

The Future Leaders trust launched its executive educators’ programme for current and would-be academy chain chief executives last year.

Cambridge Education also runs a five-day course for trust bosses looking to build capacity.

The Department for Education provided £50,000 towards the IOE programme. A spokesperson said: “We have been clear that we are taking steps to encourage the development of strong multi-academy trusts and this is part of that commitment, following a successful pilot programme with Future Leaders last year.”

Some of the country’s best universities and business schools were now coming forward to help increase leadership capacity in schools to “ensure there is a wealth of senior leaders equipped to lead trusts.

“We are committed to growing more high-performing academy sponsors and we are building a network of system leaders, ensuring we have high-quality leaders in every part of the country.”

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