Blog: Additional Support Offer

Apply, Thrive, Sustain: Our Additional Support Offer for New Headteachers

Becoming a headteacher is both a massive achievement and an exciting opportunity. It also comes with a raft of new responsibilities – they include not just striving for excellence and best practice, but a responsibility to recognise the challenges that come with the role and consider your own professional and personal needs.

The Additional Support Offer (ASO) for new headteachers from Education Development Trust addresses the complexities of headship and will help you navigate your first years in the role to ensure you’re equipped to flourish beyond and throughout your career as a headteacher.

It’s built around three core principles: Apply, Thrive, Sustain. We will help you apply the skills and knowledge that brought you to becoming a new headteacher, to thrive in the role as you start out and into the future, and to sustain yourself in the job through resilience and awareness.

The Additional Support Offer is for new headteachers in their first two years of headship. It complements the National Professional Qualification in Headship (NPQH) and it adds value whether you are already on the NPQ programme or have already completed it.

Full funding is available to headteachers in state schools in their first two years in the job that have completed the NPQH or are currently taking it.

Headteachers need support. The seniority that comes with the role brings a unique opportunity to shape a school community and deliver excellence and opportunity for pupils.

However, like any new job and particularly a senior one, it can potentially come with stress, feelings of overwhelm, imposter syndrome and occasional self doubt. That is entirely normal. Recognising those responses and harnessing them won’t just help you through the early years as you settle into the role and define what sort of headteacher you are, it will set you up to succeed through an entire career in education.

For the ASO for new headteachers we’ve focussed on three core strands: Apply, Thrive, Sustain.

Apply. Your knowledge and skills have been recognised and now you are a headteacher. We will help you to apply what you already know and what you learn from the NPQH in a sustainable, creative and practical way.

We will match you with two more new headteachers to embed support and peer review. You will go into each other’s schools to observe and provide follow up feedback and take part in peer review conversations.

We know from our extensive experience and research that peer review is a powerful tool to help new heads hone their skills and sustain them going forward.

Thrive. Being a headteacher brings new and unforeseen challenges. Never has that been more true than over the last two years and at the current moment in education. But these are also opportunities to test yourself, grow personally and professionally and embed a robust and excellent culture in your school. We will introduce you to the practice of collaborative problem solving, learning how to involve others in tackling challenges and making sure everyone feels part of the process and we will do so in a way that will make it straightforward to apply what you’ve learned in the school setting.

Sustain. Headship ought to be enjoyable, rewarding and enduring. It is a role that requires resilience and self awareness. This strand will help you cultivate the qualities you need to support you in leading for a lifetime, able to take care of yourself and others. As a new headteacher you may be inclined to put your own personal needs last, we will teach you and encourage you to honour your needs to benefit not just you but your school community.

Our wealth of experience in delivering programmes for excellence means we understand the experience of being a new headteacher – both the personal and emotional challenges and the practical ones that come with fitting in training and developing excellence alongside a busy day to day workload.

We work in partnership with schools and fellow expert organisations both in the UK and across the world giving us a unique breadth of knowledge to draw on.

In everything we do we draw on our values of excellence, integrity, accountability and collaboration. The same values that the very best headteachers recognise and model.