Setting up your training days for success

Online session:

  1. It’s important your team all have separate devices on which to join the session, this will make sure you get the most out of the training.
  2. Your team can be in one room for the training but please have a second room available for the afternoon.
  3. You don’t need to use headphones but they are helpful if possible
  4. For the duration of the training try to find a space where you are not distracted.

In person sessions:

  • A room for the day where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Enough tables and chairs for everyone, set out as boardroom or horse shoe.
  • A flip chart stand and pad.
  • A projector to connect to our laptop (USB or HDMI connection).
  • A breakout room for every group of 6 is required for the afternoon only.

Getting the most from the programme

The programme is stretching, fun and powerful. It will challenge you and if you like learning and growing your skills, then you’re going to enjoy it 🙂

You know that we get out what we put in so let’s look at what will help you get the most out of the programme. Our tips for you are:

  • You and your team will have some work between the sessions. We appreciate you are busy and so we work to keep this as manageable as possible, but the process is reflective and so what happens between sessions is as important as what we do in the sessions. On your schools training schedule you can see when you will have pre or post coursework and how long SLTs typically need for it.
  • Those who get the most out of it have an open mind, complete the work, are open to and seek and act on feedback from their trainers.
  • Most people find the programme challenging at times and it will have ups and downs. We know from over a decade of supporting schools that school leaders enjoy the journey and can see the difference it makes to their school. It will be hard at times but we will help you grow.
  • What’s the impact of the programme? We’re proud that schools we support are four times more likely to gain or maintain their outstanding judgement than the average (
  • See what some of our previous customers have to say about Heads Up training.

Agendas for all sessions

Scroll down to find the agenda for each session.

Core skills for successful difficult conversations – individual school session with your SLT                

09:30   10:00   Introduction to the session

10:00   11:00    Making sure your message is heard

11:00    11:15    Break

11:15     11:45    Managing the emotions

11:45     12:30    Structuring your difficult conversation for success

12:30    13:00    Lunch

13:00    13:15    Preparing your difficult conversations

13:15     15:45    Practising your difficult conversations for success (incls break)

15:45     16:00   Session wrap up

Core skills for successful difficult conversations – implementation group session with schools on the programme

09:30 – 12:30

Understanding your core values – individual school session with your SLT

09:30 – 09:50 Introduction to the session

09:50 – 10:15  What are values and why are they important?

10:15  – 11:15   What values are most important to you in the school you want to create?

11:15 – 11:30    Break 

11:30 – 12:30   What values are most important to you in the school you want to create?

12:30 – 13:00  Lunch

13:00 – 15:30  Making your values meaningful

15:30 – 16:00 Session wrap up

Understand the strategic priorities for the exceptional school you will create – group session with schools on the programme

09:20 – 09:30 Introduction to the session

09:30 – 10:00  Review of mini-values visions work

10:00 – 10:30  Understanding visions and the strategic triangle

10:30 – 10:45  Break

10:45 – 12:15  Understanding your strategic priorities

12:15 – 12:30  Session wrap up               

Create your compelling vision (am) and environmental walk around (pm) – individual school session with your SLT

09:30 – 09:40 Introduction to the session

09:40 – 10:10  Review of mini-visions

10:10 – 11:10   Finding your ‘why?’

11:10 – 12:20   Creating your vision

12:40 – 12:50   Wrap up morning session

12:50 – 13:30   Lunch

13:30 – 13:45   The environmental walk around – how it works

13:45 – 15:15   Environmental walk around your school

15:15 – 15:30 Session wrap up

Create the 3-5 year plan to achieve your vision (am) & keep your vision alive (pm) – group session with schools on the programme

09:30 – 09:45 Introduction to day

09:45 – 10:00 What is a mission?

10:00 – 10:30 Finding your mission

10:30 – 11:45  Sharing your mission

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 11:20  The difference between Business as usual (BAU) and Development

11:20– 12:20  Developing your 3 – 5-year plan

12:20 – 12:30  Wrap up

Keep your vision alive (pm)

12:30 – 13:30  Lunch

13:30 – 14:55  Introduction to the session

13:40 – 14:10 Communicating your vision and keeping it alive

14:10 – 15:10 Simple ways to embed your vision (incl break)

15:10 – 15:30 Session wrap up

Personal communication – individual school session with your SLT

09:30 – 09:50   Introduction to the session

09:50 – 10:50    How we communicate

10:50 – 11:05     Break

11:05 – 12:35     Communication theory

12:35 – 13:05    Lunch

13:05 – 15:05    Developing the impact of our communication

15:05 – 15:30     Session wrap up

Communicate your vision so your team can get on board – individual school session with your SLT

09:30 – 09:50   Introduction to the session

09:50 – 10:50   Crafting your message

10:50 – 11:05   Break

11:05 – 12:35   Creating your vision communication

12:35 – 13:05   Lunch

13:05 – 15:05  Practice delivering your vision communication

15:05  – 15:30  Session wrap up

Pre-coursework for successful difficult conversations

As an attendee, you’ll get more from the day if you do this one piece of pre-work:

  1. 2-3 weeks before the day attendees need to complete this form:
    This asks you some questions about about a current difficult conversation you need to have, not one you’ve already had. The issue might be one you are already talking about but hasn’t been resolved or one you need to start a talking about.
  2. We recommend everyone gives us their hardest conversation because then we can help you most.

Frequently asked questions


When will we receive our training resources?

Most resources are electronic and will be sent to you by your trainer.

Who is our trainer? 

You will be introduced to your trainer soon after you let us know you would like to join the course. You can meet our wonderful trainers and wider team here:

I’ve got a question – who you gonna call?

Not Ghostbusters! Your trainer is your first port of call. If you’ve misplaced their email, contact us at and we’ll get you reconnected.

What dates are we training?

You will be sent the dates for your school, and if you have any questions please contact your trainer or email us at

What support can we get outside of training?

We’re with you throughout the journey, if you have a question you want to ask us about the training, the work, how to make it work in schools – simply anything related to the programme – email your trainer and we’ll do what we can to support you.

What quality assurance is there?

One of our values is ‘evolving excellence’ for you and for us so we can support you and your school become genuinely outstanding.

There are two main ways we make sure your training is being delivered to our standards:

  1. Your feedback. At the end of sessions we’ll give you and your team a link to a short feedback form. Please share your honest feedback there – we review these after every day.
  2. Trainer cross referencing. Our trainers share the work produced by you and other schools on the course to check consistently high standards are being met across all schools, and to share best practice from the training.

If someone leaves my team can someone new join?

We understand that, for good reasons, people come and go. If someone leaves the course you can let another leader take their place. If this is going to happen please let your trainer know asap – for the new participant they’ll need updating about what we’re doing and where we are.

Can we swap one team member for another once the course has started?

In principle yes, much the same as the answer above. Do contact your trainer if you’re thinking of swapping someone on the course.

Can different people come to different parts of the course?

No, you will want to have as much consistency in who attends as possible.

Naturally you might have some staff changes but other than that attendees need to remain the same as far as is possible.

What if I’m not happy with my trainer?

In the first instance please speak to your trainer, we all embrace feedback and it will be welcomed.

However if you would like to speak to someone else please contact Sonia at

Can we rearrange a date?

We like to be as accommodating as possible.

For group sessions with all the schools, these dates are set and can’t be rearranged. It’s really important that as many of your team as possible attend these.

The sessions with your school can be re-arranged with enough notice (more than 2 weeks from the date of the training). With less than 2 weeks notice we would need to charge cancellation fees as set out in our terms and conditions (


Please click on the following link for our terms and conditions: