Thursday 26 January 2023 or Monday 13 March 2023
9:30 - 16:00
Expert trainers
Complimentary best selling book
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Ticket price per person is £350 ex-VAT. Click on the date below to go the registration form.

Thursday 26 January 2023

Thursday 13 March 2023


What is our ‘Successful difficult conversations training day’ like?

This 2-minute video will give you a flavour:

The ability to have difficult conversations and achieve results is an essential leadership and management skill. As a senior leader, there’s no doubt you’re faced with these tricky conversations on a regular basis.

Are you one of the few people who has been properly trained to have successful difficult conversations consistently?

Or are you one of the many who tries to resolve these issues but doesn’t always succeed?

Most schools have issues that negatively impact you, your team and your children; issues such as:

  1. A teacher who isn’t marking to school policy.
  2. A moody secretary.
  3. A teaching assistant who is always late.
  4. Caretakers who do what they want, when they want.

If you realise the negative impact these unresolved issues have on your pupils and you want to stop it, then you’re not alone.

We’ve trained hundreds of school leaders who desperately want to fix these, and other, issues and give their pupils the best education they can

  • Do you shudder at the prospect of having a difficult conversation?
  • Are you having the same conversations and hoping for different results?
  • Do you wonder why things don’t improve despite your best efforts?

If the answer to any of the statements above is yes, then it’s time to change.

We’re going to be giving you all the best bits of our 5 day “Successful Difficult Conversations” training course, in fact we are not just giving you the best bits, but the best of the best bits!

What are these best bits?  They’re parts which the 100s of school leaders I’ve trained love most, they include:

  • How to make sure your message is heard
    (you know what it’s like when someone walks away having ‘heard’ something else!)
  • Avoiding the biggest mistake that we see at least 50% of school leaders make
    (and we’re being kind when we say 50% :/ )
  • How to keep your conversation on track
    (and not let those ‘diversion demons’ get the better of you)
  • How to get the party started
    (with confidence and kindness)

And for the first time we are going to share some of the best tools and techniques we’ve used time and time again to move an issue which isn’t improving forward (and which are usually covered at the end of our 5 day course).  We’re going to cover a lot on the day so you can go away with a stack of strategies and techniques to make those difficult conversations more successful.


“Having had a number of difficult conversations I have often felt emotionally drained. I now feel I have the tools and techniques necessary to have more positive difficult conversations” Headteacher, Bristol


“After attending this training the fear and anxiety of having a difficult conversation is a distant memory” Assistant Headteacher, Colchester


“A very engaging and a must do course for all school leaders. Strongly recommend it!” Headteacher, Sydenham


Our training proves to be invaluable for:

  • Headteachers
  • Deputy Headteachers
  • Assistant Headteachers
  • Senior Leaders
  • Middle Leaders


We have a great team and several of us will be working with you on the day.

We’re looking forward to it 🙂

Sonia Gill - Trainer

Sonia Gill is the author of #1 ranked book ‘Successful Difficult Conversations in School’. She and her team supported 100s of school leaders have more successful difficult conversations with startling results: unresolved issues which have been bubbling along for weeks, months or terms have been resolved in one or two conversations and without court or capability. She shares easy to apply techniques and offers insight into why an issues is not moving forward. The training is 100% recommended by delegates.

Lilian Flynn - Trainer

Hello, I’m Lilian Flynn and I’m a Heads Up trainer.

I have spent over a decade in the education and training field, teaching both primary and secondary school students in a teaching career that has taken me from Dublin to Abu Dhabi to London. I am also a qualified coach and I hold an MSc in Applied positive psychology and coaching psychology.

Two of my passions are, education and helping others realise their full potential. I love being part of the mission to make every school outstanding, so all children can have the education they deserve.

Maria Brosnan - Trainer

Hi, I’m Maria Brosnan and I’m a Heads Up Trainer and educational leadership coach.

I’ve worked with schools for over 12 years in my capacity as co-founder and CEO of companies the Story Spinner and Striver. We developed award-winning resources and I’ve delivered hundreds of Inset training sessions in primary literacy across the UK.

I was a Director on the Board of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) for 5 years and Chair of the EdTech special interest group.

I’m passionate about education as a powerful agent for change in the world and look forward to supporting you in your journey to outstanding.

Sophie Bevan - Trainer

Hi, I'm Sophie Bevan and I'm a Heads Up trainer.

Since 2014 I've been supporting school leaders to create genuinely outstanding schools, helping them craft powerful visions for excellence and supporting them to have successful difficult conversations.

I graduated as an Actor from the Drama Centre London and enjoyed a professional acting career in Theatre and Film. I developed an interest and expertise in personal communication and development and used my skills as an actor to help businesses, such as KPMG, CitiBank and Barclays Capital, to communicate effectively and bring about change.

Since bringing up two children and becoming involved in their education. For me, there is nothing more important than the education our children receive. Through my work with school leaders I see, daily, their passion and commitment to educating our nation's children - it's inspiring! And so I'm honoured to support schools on their journey to becoming genuinely outstanding, by helping headteachers and their SLTs put in place the cultural foundations for high performance.

Carol Starks - Actor

Hi, I’m Carol Starks and I’m an actor.

I trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and since then I’ve appeared in a whole range of theatre and television over the years - from Dirty Dancing in the West End, to Arthur Miller and Sondheim at the National Theatre, from one-off television dramas to a two-year stint on a soap.

I have two sons and I was always very involved in their primary school, helping out with drama productions and in their classrooms, so I’ve spent a lot of time in schools.

It’s very exciting to be part of Heads Up and I’m looking forward to using my experience to help you solve these difficult conversations.

Czarina Deen - Actor

Hi, I’m Czarina Deen and I’m a role play actor.

I trained as an actress at Arts Educational Schools & Drama Centre. My acting career has been varied, encompassing theatre, commercials, short films, radio and even stand-up!

I completed a BA Hons in Performance Studies and have taught theatre and acting in drama schools and FE colleges.

I love my work for Heads Up as it is a perfect way to use my expertise in theatre techniques and performance skills to help people become better communicators. I believe in giving candidates the skills and confidence to conduct necessary ‘difficult conversations’ to learn and grow, which ultimately leads to an outstanding school environment for all.


Delivered online via zoom:

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

Did you know the CBI estimates 20% of leadership time is spent dealing with conflict – that’s one day a week of each of your leaders! Which is about 13k a year for a one form entry school.