“It’s usually more important to be in the right room than to be the smartest person in the room.A person with great judgement and average intelligence will usually beat someone with great intelligence and average judgment.Judgment is knowing what room to be in.”

James Clear

Are you hanging out with excellence?

Who are these groups for?

What’s included in the groups?

What Heads say about the groups

How can you join: next steps and dates

Are you hanging out with excellence?

Who are the heads you meet regularly and why?

Typically most leaders regularly meet only the heads in their locality and or MAT/Trust/Federation. 

When you do meet them, meetings are often about updates rather than the sharing of ideas and best practice.

Are you hanging out with excellence?

We’ve all heard the saying that we’re the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.

And whilst every headteacher wants to create the very best school, most won’t because only 6% of schools gain or maintain their outstanding judgement.

94% won’t. 

However 24% of the schools Heads Up supports gain or maintain their outstanding judgement.

And they are the heads you want to be around if you’re committed to creating an exceptional school.


…meeting a group of heads who all understand the importance of culture, are on the cusp of or are already leading a genuinely outstanding school.

…hanging out with a group of incredible heads with a positive yet practical attitude, who have what it takes to make their school genuinely outstanding and are willing to share ideas.

…you and your SLT being shown new ideas and how existing practice can be taken from good to great.

…those repetitive problems going away once and for all.

…having on-going leadership support for you and your SLT focused on creating the very best school you can, an exceptional school, the school you dream of creating.

If that all sounds good to you,

then you’ll be excited to know that I’ve created the Heads Up Community and Mastermind groups, to provide you and your SLT with ongoing support in creating excellence.

Who are these groups for?

Who is in the Heads Up Community and Mastermind groups?

These groups are for heads we know, heads that have completed the ‘Journey to Outstanding’ programme and have their vision and cultural ecosystem in place giving them strong cultural foundations and are ready to work on the fine tuning that is required to create excellence.

These heads are proactively developing excellence in their schools and who understand that excellence is an ongoing journey that doesn’t end.

They also know that being around the right people and being exposed to great ideas and support are all necessary parts of creating excellence.


Why should I join?

You want the best ways to raise the quality of education in your school.

To do that you need to be exposed to the people and ideas who show you how to do that.

What’s included in Heads Up Community Group?

What is included?Frequency
(per annum)
DurationWho can attend
Skills session/strategic input to create higher performance

We will look at ways to level up your performance management, budget, get more time in your week, do less but do it better and more!
Termly (3 pa)3 hoursHT & SLT
Best practice sharing

There is a lot of knowledge within the great group of heads and SLT who are part of the community and in these sessions you will get and give solutions and ideas that you won’t have previously thought of.
Termly (3 pa)3 hoursHT & SLT
Expert speakers to bring you the best ideas

Previous speakers include:

Laura McInerney looking at education trends ahead

Beverley Fihosy and financial management during the pandemic

Outdoor learning and play specialists (OPAL) on making playtimes outstanding
Termly (3 pa)1 hourHT & SLT
Annual events:
Moving to Outstanding – Best practice from recently outstanding headteachers1 pa1 dayHT & SLT
Capability Conference – Kindly and effectively tackling under-performance1 pa1 dayHT & SLT
Successful Difficult Conversations
(2 places a year for new members of your SLT so they can support you and your team with your successful difficult conversations)
1 pa1 dayNew SLT team members who haven’t had this training
Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Good
(2 places a year for new members of your SLT so they can understand the context of the work you have done to create a higher performing culture)
1 pa1 dayNew SLT team members who haven’t had this training

Cost: £999+VAT per term, per school (min 1 year commitment)

What’s included in The Educational Excellence Mastermind Group?

Sonia works with a small group of heads in my Heads Up Educational Excellence Mastermind by invitation only. 

You get everything in the Heads Up community plus:

What is included?Frequency
(per annum)
DurationWho can attend
Headteacher mastermind day

A group of up to 5 heads, having the best termly meeting to strategically focus on your school to get the results you want to create exceptional education.

(In person, can opt to zoom in if travel is an issue)
Termly (3 pa)1 dayHT
Outstanding school visits

To really know what outstanding education is you have to see it, regularly and in it’s many different forms.

Each term we will meet outstanding heads and experience their genuinely outstanding schools.
Termly (3 pa)1 dayHT + 1 SLT member
Headteacher support group (fortnightly)

Imagine being part of a supportive group where you don’t have to wear your ‘leadership mask’ and you can share the challenges you face – and then be given great solutions you wouldn’t have thought of (so we literally turn that frown upside down).
Fortnightly1 hourHT
Termly Senior Leadership Team focus session

We look at the term ahead because as leaders we always need to be a step ahead.
Half termly (6 pa)1 hourHT & SLT
Environmental walk

We keep edging up the quality of your environment with an annual environmental walk around.
Annual3 hoursHT & SLT

Heads Up Community and Educational Excellence Mastermind Group are by application only. Please contact [email protected]


What Heads say about the groups

How can you join: next steps and dates

The group is by application only for schools who are on or have completed our Journey to Outstanding programme.

If you’d like to join the community please contact your Heads Up trainer or Sonia directly letting us know you’d like to apply to join.

Once accepted you can join at the start of a term.


These are dates for the Community sessions which are also available to those who are part of the Mastermind group.

The additional Mastermind session are provided directly to those schools.

Please note dates and times are subject to change.

Spring Term 2022

Summer Term 2022

  • Thurs 21st April, 12:30 – 15:30: Skills session/strategic input to create higher performance
  • Weds 4th May, 14:00 – 15:00: Expert speaker (tbc)
  • Thurs 9th June, 12:30 – 15:30: Best practice sharing

Autumn Term 2022

You can also access to places a year to the following training. Please see the events section of our website for dates for:

Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Good

Successful Difficult Conversations