Big expansion for Outstanding Leaders Partnership

School-led leadership development provider Outstanding Leaders Partnership is expanding in a move that will make it one of the largest professional development organisations of its kind in England.

OLP - led by Best Practice Network in partnership with Ashton on Mersey Teaching School - was established in the north west in 2012 and has grown to 20 teaching school alliances, trusts and individual schools, working in partnership to deliver school leader development programmes across the region.

It has worked with over 900 schools – including some of the region’s most challenging schools – since its launch.

The expansion will see two other school-led partnerships – Nottinghamshire based LEAD Academy Trust and West Hertfordshire Teaching Schools Partnership - becoming delivery partners under the OLP brand.

It means that OLP will encompass 48 teaching school alliances and MATs – comprising over 1,000 schools - using experienced leaders from across the partnership to deliver leadership development programmes in their areas and beyond.

Best Practice Network leads on the design and development of the programmes as well as training, support and quality assurance of facilitators and back office support. This includes the management of all training events, candidate support, marketing and providing an online learning platform and online community for course participants.

Phil Haslett, business development director at Best Practice Network, said: “OLP is a great example of a sustainable, school-led leadership development model working on a regional level. We’re looking forward to the continued growth of OLP as the brand moves into other areas of the country, building on the success already forged by school partnerships in West Hertfordshire and Nottinghamshire.”

Tarun Kapur, CEO of the Dean Trust MAT, said: ‘We all know that we need to tackle the challenge of making sure that enough people become heads and senior school leaders but we can’t do it if we continue to gather together in small clusters.

“The small-scale approach can be costly. The logistics of delivering professional development can also stretch limited back office resources of schools. Small scale can make it more difficult to gather the detailed local intelligence you need to understand in any detail what local pressure points and needs are.

“The approach we are already taking with OLP in the north west could show the way. We believe this expansion of the OLP brand will strengthen everyone in the partnership, and enable us to deliver high quality leadership development on a large scale, in a cost-effective way.”

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