Cheshire West & Chester Local Authority

Hilary Berry is the Chair of the Association of Primary Headteachers at Cheshire West and Chester Local Authority. Here she outlines the benefits of the Headspace Programme that they have been running for the last few years.

We continue to work with Education Support Partnership’s Headspace Programme because of the hugely positive impact it has on our headteachers year after year.

Experienced as well as new headteachers benefit. They learn a lot about leadership, managing change, strategy, prioritising, listening and facilitating.

But the course offers much more than the tangible skills. Most of the feedback we have from the gatherings are positive comments about being able to talk openly about challenges, a time for reflection, the confidence they feel after a shared experience, learning to look after themselves for the good of the job, their staff and pupils as well as their own wellbeing and building professional and personal relationships with peers in a safe environment.

It equips headteachers with strategies which help in their professional lives but also offers a guide to their own personal development and wellbeing, in turn increasing their leadership skills, abilities and confidence. We believe the positive and motivational effect of the Headspace Programmes have aided retention at a leadership level as well as with school staff, as the influence of the programme principles cascade through the schools.

The added benefit of Headspace is that the networking that starts on the course continues beyond the classroom. They continue to support each other professionally and personally within the framework and principles of the course. The value of the course is unquestionable and we would  highly recommend it to others.  

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