Trust Leaders

Coronavirus update: Our 2021 cohort is going ahead and we are still welcoming applications and enquiries.

Join our Trust Leaders training programme to become an exceptional leader, shape the strategic direction of your organisation, and transform the lives of pupils in disadvantaged areas.

Apply for Trust Leaders

The application deadline for our next cohort is 15 December 2020. Start your Trust Leaders application using our application portal by clicking the link below.

Apply now
"My commitment is to support CEOs to strategically lead their MATs better than they thought possible, while helping them raise standards for pupils and become the employer of choice in their community."
Sir David Carter, Executive Director of System Leadership

Why apply? Back to top

Improve the life chances of your trust’s pupils

  • Trust leaders have the largest span of influence across our education system. Becoming an expert trust leader will help your trust to improve and will positively impact on the life chances of children in your schools that you may never meet.

Become a successful CEO

  • Gain greater understanding of yourself, your organisation and the system, with exclusive insight into the political and operational layers of our education system from experts including Sir David Carter.
  • Self-reflection in a safe environment to identify your strengths and your personal priorities.

Explore approaches to leading complex organisations over multiple sites

  • Investigate the complex academy system and learn the practical strategies to build a single trust culture
  • Gain insight into leading trusts, how they achieve success and the barriers they overcome

Drive change at scale

  • Build your understanding of change theory with direct application to the trust sector.
  • Develop a clear, strategic vision for your trust to lead improvement across schools, raising standards and outcomes for pupils.

Build strong communication links with your stakeholders

  • Develop your communication skills to engage with your trust, your community and the media.
  • Learn how to influence and managing complex stakeholders.

Grow a talent management approach across your trust

  • Design a trust specific talent strategy and build a sustainable workforce for the future.
  • Understand what works in continuous professional development so that you can help your teachers and leaders to keep getting better.

Build a powerful network

  • Meet and share knowledge with a large group of like-minded CEOs and executive leaders working in similar contexts.
  • As a graduate of the Ambition Institute Trust Leaders programme you will join our alumni of the programme who represent the leading minds across the sector.

Content Back to top

The Trust Leaders programme has been designed using the latest research and expertise from within Ambition Institute and across the sector.

On this programme, you’ll benefit from:

  • Four two-day conference events, led by sector experts, sharing evidence informed insights and strategies to develop your trust. These will take place on 25-26 January 2021, 24-25 March 2021, 15-16 June 2021 and 11-12 October 2021.
  • Learning visits to leading trusts to see how these insights are applied in practice
  • Six hours of executive coaching, giving you specific support to unlock your full leadership potential
  • Peer-to-peer development sessions to learn from leaders facing similar challenges
  • Access to leadership expertise from outstanding individuals and organisations, drawing on findings from our People Power and Building Trusts research

"The opportunity to meet and discuss similar challenges with like-minded trust CEOs has been hugely beneficial. As a CEO of a trust that is in its infancy, the programme has provided critical insight into the potential challenges and barriers we may face as we grow and also considering some of the solutions from those who’ve been there before us."
Annette, CEO, Weaver Trust

The programme costs £9,450.

Next steps Back to top

The deadline for our next cohort of Trust Leaders is 15 December. Start your application for our 2021 cohort by visiting our application portal.

If you'd like to find out more, please fill out this quick enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch with next steps.

Apply now


This course is open to executive leaders of a trust or similar school group organisation including:

  • Newly appointed MAT CEOs
  • Existing MAT CEOs who are looking to lead growth or change in their organisation
  • Directors of Education who are working in a MAT, supporting its growth strategy, or looking to take up the role of CEO

The programme is also designed for those with the Accounting Officer responsibilities of a trust or similar, associated responsibilities.