Developing the next generation of school leaders with AET

Jan. 12, 2024

Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) has partnered with Ambition Institute on a new national leadership campaign to find and shape the next generation of school leaders.

AET, one of the country’s largest academy Trusts, is a national network of 57 primary, secondary, and special schools spanning five regions.

It has launched the new initiative to support, develop, and champion the next generation of school principals. The campaign aims to eradicate the disadvantage gap and ensure that the 34,000 children at AET schools experience an excellent education.

Ambition Institute is collaborating with AET to identify talented current and aspiring school leaders who wish to create lasting change for children and communities across the country.

Successful candidates will receive a package which includes an individual development account of up to £100,000 to spend on professional development over five years, and the option of a professional sabbatical after five years in the role.

AET and Ambition Institute are creating a new, bespoke professional development framework for these school leaders, including a core training offer which provides networking opportunities and tailored opportunities for individuals and schools.

Ambition Institute is supporting AET in the creation of the new framework, which is based on a 70-20-10 split: 70% on-the-job experience including a year-long induction; 20% exposure to other people including peer mentoring, international study tours, and an inspirational speakers programme; and 10% formal training and development.

This training includes a bespoke AET National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership in partnership with Ambition.

The two organisations have a longstanding partnership on the delivery of the Early Career Framework and National Professional Qualifications.

Research from the Education Policy Institute has shown that effective school leadership can elevate pupil attainment by up to two GCSE grades across all subjects. However, data shows that one in three secondary school headteachers leave their roles within five years.

Speaking to Tes Magazine, Rebecca Boomer-Clark, CEO of AET, said: “We need to ensure investment in headteachers is non-negotiable”, adding that “Leaders need permission to prioritise themselves.”

Hilary Spencer, chief executive of Ambition Institute, said: “Leadership is a key factor in improving attainment for pupils. This is a really exciting new way of working in deeper collaboration with AET: we have strong shared values about the importance of tackling disadvantage, the role of school leaders, and investing in proper long-term professional development. It’s crucial that we empower teachers to prioritise their own professional development.”

The application process is now live. Find out more or register your interest on the AET Leaders website.