Leaders for Impact

Leaders for Impact is the Royal Opera House Bridge’s flagship leadership development programme.

Now in its fifth year, Leaders for Impact is designed specifically for headteachers and senior school leaders who are in a position to influence whole school approaches to cultural learning.

“The Leaders for Impact programme is transformational – it will challenge your thinking, provoke deep reflection and introduce you to a network of leaders who are passionate about offering our children and young people a rich, broad and meaningful education”

Quote from previous Leaders for Impact Participant

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

What does the programme include?

Leaders for Impact is a year-long programme of group workshops, training and inspiration sessions, tailored to support the individual needs and interests of the participants in each generation. The cohort take part in a shared leadership challenge, and receive individual mentoring and coaching with national leaders from across education and culture.

This year’s programme runs from Summer 2021–Summer 2022 and offers:

  • Diverse and inspiring creative content, cross-sector speakers and mentors, and approaches to developing leadership for cultural learning
  • Opportunities to build your leadership network and practice
  • Group workshops and inspiration sessions hosted in Zoom, making use of the latest digital collaboration tools to enable peer learning and shared problem solving.
  • Dedicated online resources for the cohort to enable participants to connect with each other and engage in independent and group learning in new ways.

Since it began five years ago, Leaders for Impact has been designed to combine online and offline delivery. This blended approach enables the cohort to develop sustained connections during the programme, supports time-poor participants to engage with a diverse range of content, and upskills leaders to make better use of innovative digital tools in their own schools. This expertise in imaginative, engaging online delivery also means that workshops taking place online are unaffected by the changing circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I was initially disappointed that the programme was going to have to move entirely online this year, but the weekend workshops and evening inspiration sessions have been so engaging that the screen between us has really been no obstacle to participation. I feel that when restrictions lift, I could contact any member of my cohort for a school visit and would be welcomed with open arms, as I too will be ready to do for my fellow participants if anyone wishes to meet up”.

Quote from 2020-21 participant

Please see FAQs for workshop dates and detailed programme timeline.

How does Leaders for Impact benefit participants?

Enhanced and enabled by technology, and focused on leading for innovation, Leaders for Impact is designed to create a ‘generation’ of leaders in cultural learning who are skilled, empowered, and connected to impact change on a whole school, local and national level.

“After feeling uninspired by the look of many leadership programmes on offer for teachers and educators, I definitely found the right one for me in Leaders for Impact. It has been an absolute joy, even in the most unusual and difficult of school years” (Quote from previous Leaders for Impact Participant)

Previous Leaders for Impact participants reported that the programme helped them to:

  • Develop new skills, knowledge and networks to work and lead differently
  • Increase confidence to influence at senior levels and advocate for cultural learning
  • Discover digital tools and ways of facilitating online learning and collaboration that can benefit their students, schools and networks
  • Adapt to times of change and crisis
  • Renew their understanding of developing and sustaining sector partnerships
  • Network more effectively with colleagues inside and outside their organisations.
Apply to Leaders for Impact 2021

APPLICATION DEADLINE Friday 7 May 2021, 5pm

We are seeking up to 18 committed and experienced professionals to join this year's cohort.

  • Do you want to develop your leadership skills?
  • Are you currently leading or ambitious to lead on cultural learning in and beyond your school community?
  • Do you want to make positive changes on a whole school, local and national level?
  • Do you want to join a network of leaders and schools that collaborate, support, and embed innovative practice?
  • Do you work within the Eastern region (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Peterborough, Cambridge and North Kent)?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, this could be the leadership development programme for you.

How to Apply

Please ensure you have read the programme overview and essential information below before applying.

We welcome applications from Headteachers and senior school leaders in schools across the Eastern region and North Kent (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Peterborough, Cambridge and North Kent).

Applications will be assessed on the extent to which your application shows you:

  • are currently leading or are ambitious to lead on cultural learning in and beyond your community
  • are in a position to make change happen
  • can have influence beyond your school
  • are self-aware and able to reflect on your areas for development
  • want to develop your leadership

N.B. The deadline for applications is 7 May 2021 at 5pm. Interviews will take place via Zoom over a two week period; 1 – 4 June 2021 (half term) and 7–11 June 2021.  Applicants will be informed of decisions by Friday 18 June 2021.

Frequently asked questions
Who are ROH Bridge?

Royal Opera House Bridge works to ‘connect children and young people with great art and culture’.

A rich and meaningful cultural life, both in and out of school, is the right of all children and young people. Through strengthening the local cultural infrastructure, we strive to enable all children to access creative learning opportunities, wherever they live.

We work across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex and North Kent to ‘bridge’ the gaps that exist between arts and cultural organisations, schools and communities. We act as a catalyst to create sustainable, needs-led cross sector partnerships that attract investment. For the latest news and opportunities follow us @ROHBridge or get email updates.

What is “Leaders for Impact”?

Leaders for Impact is a leadership development programme for Headteachers and senior school leaders in a position to influence whole school approaches to arts and cultural learning. It will enable 18 committed and experienced professionals to increase their professional impact through honing their leadership skills.

Participants are leading or are ambitious to lead on cultural learning in and beyond their school community to impact change on a whole school, local and national level. Now in its fifth year, Leaders for Impact connects participants with a network of leaders and schools that collaborate, support, and embed innovative practice.

Participants return to school re-invigorated, better networked, and empowered with advanced skills to make a stronger contribution to school improvement.

Previous participants described Leaders for Impact as;

“A leadership programme like no other. Rather than teach a prescribed leadership approach it will support you to develop your own authentic leadership and clarify your aims and purpose. I feel as though I have joined a powerful movement and leave with support and determination"

and

“A unique training experience and opportunity to become part of the next generation of cultural leaders and join a network of passionate, likeminded advocates.”

Why are we running this programme?

ROH Bridge is committed to nurturing networks, sharing learning and fostering innovation within the education, arts and culture sector. We recognise the need to support the leadership development of cultural learning advocates in our region.

This programme has been designed to provide individuals with opportunities and training to both develop their individual leadership styles and create networks of support with the other participants to impact future activity.

Enhanced and enabled by technology, and focused on leading for innovation, Leaders for Impact is designed to create a ‘generation’ of leaders in cultural learning who are skilled, empowered, and connected to impact change on a whole school, local and national level.

What is on offer?

The content of Leaders for Impact is tailored to the needs and interests of the selected participants. It will include the following core elements:

  • Group Workshops & Inspiration Sessions: To deliver knowledge and skills training, develop networks, and provide inspiration and reflection
  • Group Leadership Challenge: To explore a shared problem, test approaches in participants’ schools, and develop problem-solving skills
  • Dedicated Leadership Resources: For participants to pursue individual training needs and develop leadership knowledge and skills.
  • Mentoring: To develop participants’ approaches to leadership for cultural learning, to act as a sounding board and share knowledge, networks and leadership experience.
  • Coaching: To challenge thinking, behaviour or practices which might be a barrier to participant’s achieving goals or moving forward and empower participants to plan and deliver ambitions for cultural learning.

Each participant will receive more than 10 days of tailored leadership development training, inspiration and support.

Workshop dates are fixed so please only apply if you are available to take part in all of these days:

  • 24–25 September 2021 (online)
  • 12 November 2021 (venue tbc)
  • 15 January 2022 (online)
  • 12 March 2022 (venue tbc)
  • 20-21 May 2022 (online)

“This programme gave me the confidence to approach my new role with clear strategic thinking, grounded in my values and the shared importance of arts and culture for young people. The mixture of coaching and mentoring alongside the group challenge and whole cohort sessions has given me so much assurance for how to make change happen”.

Quote from 2020-21 participant

How does this programme take into consideration the changing circumstances of Covid-19?

Since it began five years ago, Leaders for Impact has been designed to combine online and offline delivery. This blended approach enables the cohort to develop sustained connections during the programme, supports time-poor participants to engage with a diverse range of content, and upskills leaders to make better use of innovative digital tools in their own schools.

This expertise in imaginative, engaging online delivery means that workshops taking place online are unaffected by the changing circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. September, January and May workshops will be hosted in Zoom and make use of the latest online collaboration tools.

“Hannah and Ceri have so masterfully led our group through our remote workshops that sometimes I’ve forgotten that we haven’t actually met each other in person! At a time when we’re on our laptops more than ever, I feel that when restrictions lift, I could contact any member of my cohort for a school visit and would be welcomed with open arms, as I too will be ready to do for my fellow participants if anyone wishes to meet up”.

Quote from 2020-21 participant

The venue and design of the November and March workshops will be finalised in response to the latest government guidance and circumstances in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is our hope that these two sessions will take place offline at Royal Opera House Covent Garden or High House Production Park.

How will this programme benefit you?

Previous Leaders for Impact participants reported that their involvement with the course enabled them to:

  • Develop new skills, knowledge and networks to work and lead differently
  • Increase confidence to influence at senior levels and advocate for cultural learning
  • Discover digital tools and ways of facilitating online learning and collaboration that can benefit their students, schools and networks
  • Renew their understanding of developing and sustaining sector partnerships
  • Improve and effectively network with colleagues inside and outside their organisations.

100% of participants who completed Leaders for Impact in previous years are now confident or very confident as leaders in cultural learning.

As a result of being part of the programme, Leaders for Impact participants have:

  • Updated their curriculum provision drawing on innovative best practice
  • Developed new cross-sector strategic partnerships to build new programmes of activity
  • Created opportunities for staff to reflect on their practice and empower whole school changes.
Who can apply?

We welcome applications from Headteachers and senior school leaders in schools across the Eastern region and North Kent (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Peterborough, Cambridge and North Kent).

  • are leading or are ambitious to lead on cultural learning in and beyond your community
  • are in a position to make change happen
  • can have influence beyond your school
  • are self-aware and able to reflect on your areas for development
  • want to develop your leadership

The programme actively seeks to be fully representative of, reflect, and meet the needs of the cultural learning community across; gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and class.

We aim to provide an inclusive environment and will work with individual participants to make sure we can meet your access needs, such as confirming wheelchair accessible venues, providing support workers or British Sign Language interpreters or preparing programme materials in alternative formats. Our experienced facilitators will be as flexible as possible in order to make the programme work for your particular needs.

This also applies to our online application process. If, for any reason, you need to apply in an alternative format, do get in touch to discuss your needs.

What does it cost?

The full cost of Leaders for Impact is subsidised by Royal Opera House Bridge and Arts Council England. On confirmation of acceptance onto the programme, schools or individuals will be required to pay a £495 contribution to take part which represents less than 20% of the actual cost. Individuals and their schools will also need to cover the cost of participant travel for workshops and graduation. If this is a barrier to your participation, please contact sally.manser@roh.org.uk.

Leaders for Impact offers are made to individuals rather than to schools, and school commitment to the programme is required as participants will need to take three Fridays away from school for workshops (spread across the academic year).

How do I apply?

Applications are via a simple online application form. The closing date for receiving applications is 7 May 2021.

Interviews will take place via video conference w/c 1 and 7 June 2021.

During the application process, we’ll ask you to respond to the following questions:

  • About you
  • Your name and contact information
  • About your school
  • Name/Location/Whether you are an Artsmark school
  • About your experience
  • Describe your experience and impact as a champion of creative and cultural learning within and/or beyond your school. (Please illustrate your answer with one or two specific examples) - Up to 350 words
  • About your leadership potential
  • Please reflect on a key challenge you have encountered in championing creative and cultural learning within your school, and how you have approached tackling this - up to 250 words
  • Why is this the right moment for you to benefit from this programme? (up to 200 words)
  • Finally, how did you hear about the programme?

If you have any further questions, please email sally.manser@roh.org.uk.