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Aspire Alternative Provision

Leadership Course for AP settings

Leading Excellence the Alternative Way

Aspire’s Leadership Academy is presented in association with KP&A Ltd.

Overall aims

  • To create exceptional leaders of alternative provision (AP) and, therefore, exceptional life chances for young people.
  • To create space for leadership reflection and commitment to action, growth and change.
  • To explore the roles, responsibilities, skills and behaviours of great leaders.
  • To continue to develop excellence in the field of alternative provision.

Programme Overview

Over course of 6 days and additional coaching sessions, we will explore leadership in lots of ways, generally and theoretically and contextually. The programme plan includes the following elements:

Authentic You

  • What makes exceptional leadership?
  • What is my authentic brand or leadership style (using Myers Briggs Type Indicator)?
  • Why does this matter anyway?
  • What are my strengths and blind spots?

AP Discussion Focus:

  • What does this mean in the context of AP?
  • Is this different to other forms of education?

    Tools: Launch MBTI

Showing Up in the Arena

  • How do I lead in a deliberate and purposeful way that is authentic and true to my brand?
  • What does it meant to be in the arena? How do I want to show up in the arena?
  • How do I practically operationalise my brand in vision and strategy on a day-to-day basis (e.g. Brene Brown, John Adair)?
  • How do I hold myself to account for this?
  • What are the challenges I might face and how do I overcome these (e.g. Chimp Paradox, John Kotter, Johari’s model of blind spots – personal response and organisational change models)
  • How do I hold onto my best self?

AP Discussion Focus:

  • What does this mean in the context of AP?
  • Where might I meet resistance within myself and with others?

Leadership Headspace (60 minutes per participant)
Coaching session:
What is my brand and how will I operationalise this?

  • Exploring VIA Strengths
  • Committing to ways forward in operationalising style

Building Relationships

  • Why relationships matter
  • What makes exceptional line leadership?
    • Strategies for improving performance based on Tuckman Curve of Change (including honest conversation styles, line management formats, mentoring and coaching approaches)
  • Building and sustaining top teams
    • Exploring team blind spots and strengths (including using MBTI team type)
    • Dysfunctions of teams and strategies for recovery
    • People skills (including Transactional Analysis and the research of Brene Brown)
  • Succession planning for legacy
  • The importance of system generosity

AP Discussion Focus:

  • What does it mean to lead with love in AP?
  • What are the key benchmarks for this that ensure legacy?
  • Are system generosity and relationships across the AP sector and beyond important?

Tools: Launch 360 feedback

Being a Culture Curator

  • Becoming a culture curator
    • Creating Psychological Safety
    • Rumbling with Vulnerability (including the work by Brene Brown)
    • Building and working with trust and purpose

AP Discussion Focus:

  • What are the ingredients for of an excellent AP culture?
  • Where can this go wrong? Why?

Leadership Headspace (60 minutes per participant)
Coaching session:
How do I show up in the arena?

  • 360 feedback
  • Committing to ways forward in making leadership changes

Developing Inner Resources

  • Creating personal and organisational sustainability
    • What is well-being and purpose?
    • Blind spots and barriers (including the five key Drivers from Transactional Analysis)
    • Curating a safe place – deliberate calm and relentless optimism (including McKinsey’s research in this area)

AP Discussion Focus:

  • What are the well-being challenges for AP leaders?
  • How do we lead well-being and inner resilience in ourselves and others in an AP setting?

Leading Excellence the Alternative Way

  • What makes exceptional organisations?
  • How do we ensure we work in service of our stakeholders?
  • How do we serve the current generation and those beyond? What is our long-term legacy as leaders?
  • How do we create system generosity and systemic impact for the better good? (e.g. the work of Rebecca Boomer-
  • Clark, research for the Centre of Social Justice)
  • How do we keep on ‘raising the bar’ ensuring no glass ceiling?

AP Discussion Focus:

  • What are the benchmarks for exceptional AP leadership, provision and systems?
  • How do we serve, challenge and sustain social justice?
  • How does AP leadership play a critical role in ensuring children and young people in AP settings and beyond matter equally and find their rightful place in society?

Leadership Headspace (60 minutes per participant)

Coaching session:
How do you move forward from here?

  • Creating a leadership personal action plan

​Each session contains ‘leading in alternative provision’ participant-led discussion combined with holistic leadership skill coverage: theory leading to practice.

Each participant has a 60-minute half-termly reflection/coaching session to consolidate the learning and look at the skills in their own context and check in on next steps as well as explore three programme diagnostics – MBTI Step I, VIA Strengths and a 360.

Programme Diagnostics

360 Report: Participants will be asked to nominate between 5 and 9 colleagues (Managers, Direct Reports, Peers and Others) to offer feedback on their leadership skills – strengths and next steps. A full 360 report will be provided alongside feedback. KP&A work in partnership with Lumus360 to deliver bespoke 360 assessment in line with the content of leadership programmes delivered.

MBTI Step I: Each participant will complete an online MBTI assessment which will assess their personality type. The findings will be explored in a Leadership Headspace session. At the end of the session, each participant will receive a 24-page MBTI Personal Impact Report which will detail their type and how they might respond in certain work-based situations. This enables participants to become more self-aware but also learn to flex their style with those they line lead to enhance relationships and performance.

More information about MBTI can be found here: MBTI® personality type test tool | The Myers-Briggs Company

VIA Strengths: Each participant will complete a brief online strengths assessment prior to coaching session one. The outcome of this will be explored in the coaching session.

More information about each of these diagnostics will be sent to participants as we move through the programme.


​If you are interested in booking on to our next Leading Without Limits course for leaders in Alternative Provision, please get in touch.