New charity launches today: Ambition School Leadership

Nov. 22, 2016

A new education charity named Ambition School Leadership has launched today to raise the achievement of disadvantaged children in schools across England.

The new charity will develop a new generation of great leaders for schools in challenging contexts, after research shows that children are not making enough progress at school in areas of low social mobility.

Ambition School Leadership will take forward the work of The Future Leaders Trust and Teaching Leaders. It identifies and develops great school leaders at all levels – from middle leaders in charge of subject areas to CEOs of multi-academy trusts – to ensure schools give all children an equal opportunity to aspire and achieve.

James Toop, CEO of Ambition School Leadership, said: ‘Addressing social mobility has to start with great schools. Great schools have to start with exceptional school leadership at all levels. Seeing how far students are falling behind in Opportunity Areas means we have to support their schools to improve. 

“Our new organisation, Ambition School Leadership, is a chance to make this happen. We develop school leaders – from heads of department to headteachers and beyond – and are going to be working even harder to reach the schools and children who need it most to make sure they get a great education.”

As part of the launch, Ambition School Leadership commissioned research from the Education Policy Institute into the progress of disadvantaged children in England.

The research found that persistently disadvantaged students in Opportunity Areas - who have spent at least 80% of their time in secondary school eligible for free school meals – made 20.1 months’ less progress than their wealthier peers across England in 2015.

Ambition School Leadership is the result of The Future Leaders Trust and Teaching Leaders joining forces.

The Future Leaders Trust was set up as an independent charity in November 2006 by ARK, the National College for Teaching and Leadership and The Schools Network. Its mission was to raise the achievement of children, regardless of background, and to provide them with equal choices and opportunities in life. Through the Future Leaders programme, The Future Leaders Trust developed teachers to take up headship roles in schools in challenging contexts and improve life chances for disadvantaged students.

Teaching Leaders was set up as a charity in 2008, in partnership with the National College, ARK, Teach First and The Future Leaders Trust. It addressed educational disadvantage by growing a movement of outstanding middle leaders in challenging contexts. The organisation aimed to transform the life chances of pupils through high quality leadership development for those in the ‘engine room’ of the school – middle leaders.