Executive Educators: Building and leading a sustainable MAT

Our flagship executive leadership training for executive leaders looking to grow their MAT
For serving executive leaders thinking about growth within their trust or organisation (from 3-5 to 6-8 schools), and looking to build a central operating function.

Executive Educators is our flagship offer for executive leaders, supporting you to lead with confidence and transform the life chances of the pupils you serve. 

The programme offers specialised training and support designed to help you implement and sustain change across multiple schools. Evidence-based training focuses on the skills, behaviours and knowledge specific to executive leadership, delivered by experts from across and beyond the sector.

With Executive Educators, you will:

  • Navigate increasing complexity and change
  • Create a strategic vision for your multi-academy trust (MAT)
  • Plan how to build the capacity and capabilities required 
  • Understand how to build effective and aligned central and school improvement teams across your MAT 

This programme is suitable for applicants who are serving executive leaders thinking about building a central operating function within their Trust or organisation. Their Trust is therefore likely to have at least 3-5 schools and they are likely to be thinking about growth. 

We also will accept applications from senior central MAT team members who are using this programme as a development tool to progress to the CEO role providing they can demonstrate the opportunity to lead organisational strategy. For example: 

  • The CEO of a MAT with 3 schools who is looking to grow over the next 2-5 years to 8 schools. They have just appointed an Executive Headteacher and are looking to build a bigger central function.
  • The Executive Head of three secondary schools who is opening a free school next year. They have been an EHT for 2 years. There is no CEO above them and so they are really acting as a CEO. They are aware they will have to continue to broker new schools to meet the needs of the local area which is struggling with underperformance and need help in developing a sustainable plan and creating the capacity within their group. 
  • A Regional Director for a large national MAT with oversight of 10 schools in their area and input into organisational strategy. They have been a RD for 18 months. They also have personal plans to become a CEO of a MAT when the right opportunity comes along.

  • What is the curriculum content?

    Our curriculum is based on a deep understanding of the needs of our participants and we focus not just on technical skills and knowledge, but on behaviours.

    You will explore and develop competencies in the following areas:

    • Role and identity as an executive leader
    • Corporate risk and compliance
    • Your role as strategic lead, and strategies for growth
    • Finding the right model for your MAT
    • Creating a successful organisational culture
    • Building financial capacity
    • Finding the right governance model and working effectively with your Chair
    • Workforce planning to meet your MAT’s ‘people’ need
    • The art of negotiation and the importance of collaboration
    • Brand management and PR, including crisis management

  • What are the benefits of the programme?

    • Attend three immersive residential events, learning through facilitated training, peer-to-peer discussion and the exploration of real-life examples

    • Apply your learning immediately through the development of school improvement and organisational development projects

    • Attend inspiring Learning Expeditions – structured opportunities to visit a range of MATs with different operating models and approaches

    • Access six hours of executive coaching opportunities and a range of tools including a behavioural competency framework and 360 review

    • Develop your team by bringing colleagues along to specific sessions and events

    • Share insights and learning within a close-knit cohort of peers, and access Ambition School Leadership’s national network of more than 5,000 leaders and 1,500 schools


  • "High impact. Left the weekend much more focused and with a clear strategy of how to improve my organisation." Helena Mills, Chief Executive, Burnt Mills Academy Trust

  • "The best thing has been the sharing of perspective with others and the likelihood of being part of a new, influential network of leaders." Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive, Brooke Weston Trust

  • "Do I wish I had done the training three years ago? Then the answer is yes." Adrian Rogers, Chief Executive, Chiltern Learning Trust