The Strengthening Leadership Experiences strand provides opportunities for Blackpool leaders to deepen their learning in other school contexts, including in successful schools outside of Blackpool.


Middle and senior Blackpool leaders can choose to take part in one or more leadership experiences, which include:

  • Residences
  • Coaching
  • Excellence Visits
  • Leadership Seminars
  • Placements and Secondments
Residencies offer an exciting opportunity to conduct an extended visit to a school in a different context. Participants will identify learning objectives based on specific areas of interest which may represent areas highlighted for improvement in their own school or areas of development they have identified in their own leadership capacity. The participant will be matched with a school which has identified one or more of these areas as particular strengths in their own school. A residency will typically last three to five days.

All residencies will follow protocols of confidentiality and any sharing of information will be agreed by the SLT contact and leader resident. The participant will produce a case study at the end of the residency.

Residencies include:

  • An induction session
  • Two one-hour coaching sessions
  • A three to five-day residency in a host school
  • Peer learning and a presentation in their home school
Coaching is a powerful skill for leaders to use in schools. Taking a coaching approach to leadership and professional relationships enhances effectiveness and improves outcomes.

This Leadership Experience offers an initial two-day introduction to coaching designed to support experienced middle and senior leaders to develop a coaching attitude to professional dialogue. Leaders will learn more about coaching, practice a coaching attitude and consider how utilising the skills taught in the programme could make them more effective in their role.

Following the two-day introduction, participants will be able to take part in further modules on specific themes, chosen to suit their leadership goals and school context, which may include:

  • Coaching for teams
  • Coaching for positive mental health
  • Coaching for improving teaching and learning
  • Coaching for children
  • Coaching to develop capacity for personal insight
Excellence visits are designed to give Blackpool school leaders the opportunity to exchange good practice with colleagues in other schools. This Leadership Experience will provide participants with an opportunity to visit a school, for a half or full day, within the North West that excels in a particular area such as behaviour management, lesson observation, feedback, or subject specialisms. Participants will be able to experience a contrasting school and witness best practice, exploring ways to bring improvements back to their own organisation.

Excellence visits may include:

  • A keynote from the headteacher or senior leaders
  • A ‘Lead Meet’ style session to share best practice
  • A panel or discussion group
  • A tour of the school or key areas
  • A peer review of key policies/approaches

Leadership seminars allow school leaders to share their experiences and expertise on the major challenges facing schools. This Leadership Experience is available to Headteachers and Chairs of Governors who may also invite other members of their senior leadership teams. This is a panel and discussion session bringing together specialists on relevant topics with school leaders from Blackpool to collaborate on a ‘reimagined’ approach to the key issues facing the area.

Each seminar will last approximately 90 minutes and will focus on one of the themes from the Strengthening Leadership modules.

This Leadership Experience may also include:

  • Discussion groups
  • Presentations
  • Good practice sharing
  • Networking opportunities
  • Q&A panel

This Leadership Experience provides opportunities for Blackpool leaders to experience leadership within a different context. These placements are likely to involve undertaking a sustained project in a host school, benefitting both the school and the participant. Placement opportunities will be circulated as and when they arise with durations ranging from three days to twelve months.

They may also include:

  • Short to medium term attachment that may involve project work for one day per week for a period of three to 12 weeks
  • Shadowing arrangement for specific activities over one to two terms
  • Short term secondment for up to six months or long term up to twelve months


The Strengthening Leadership Experiences will take place within Blackpool and in schools across the North West.


Lead Blackpool is a fully funded project. All elements of the programme are free for aspiring and serving middle and senior leaders employed within Blackpool schools. Funding for cover is also available.


If you are working in a Blackpool school and are interested in taking part, register your interest on our enquiry form, call 0330 313 9871 or email

We are also recruiting North West schools to share their good practice by hosting residencies and excellence visits.  Read more about how to get involved.

Upcoming events will be listed on our Eventbrite page.