Talented Leaders

Matching headteachers with the schools that need them most
For headteachers or senior leaders ready for headship

The Talented Leaders programme is now closed to applicants; for more information contact us.

Click here if you are a school looking for an exceptional headteacher.

Talented Leaders is a government initiative, delivered by Ambition School Leadership, to match exceptional headteachers with schools which have historically struggled to recruit the talent they need. Talented Leaders headteachers commit to a new school for at least three years, setting school and students on track for a great future. 

After passing a rigorous selection process, Talented Leaders heads are matched to suitable schools in agreement with governors and appointing bodies. Once appointed, the school will benefit from:

  • a £60,000 grant to help them create sustainable leadership in their schools
  • Heads with strong track records in transformational leadership
  • Expert coaching and a tailored on-going development programme 
  • Membership of a national peer support network
  • Free for schools; the programme covers recruitment and relocation fees

Most of the participants we have recruited have been matched with schools, but we still have secondary phase Talented Leaders available for national appointments, to be in headship posts by 31st March 2017.

We work across 44 areas of the UK and prioritise schools for Talented Leaders based on Ofsted grading for leadership and management, pupils performance and proportion pupil premium pupils. 

To find out more about how we can work with you to fulfil headship vacancies in your area please contact us at headship@ambitionschoolleadership.org.uk.


The Talented Leaders programme is now closed to applicants; for more information contact us.

Click here if you are a school looking for an exceptional headteacher.

  • Where are Talented Leaders schools located?

    The Talented Leaders programme is now closed to applicants.

    Schools in areas outside London, including but not limited to those below, can sign up to the Talented Leaders programme.

    North East: Sunderland; South Tyneside; Northumberland; Durham; Tees Valley (Hartlepool; Redcar & Cleveland; Stockton-on-Tees; Middlesbrough and Darlington)
    North West: Cumbria; Blackpool; Lancashire; Blackburn with Darwen; Halton; Knowsley; Liverpool; Sefton; St Helen’s; Warrington; Wirral
    East of England: Norfolk; Suffolk; Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough); Lincolnshire; North East Lincolnshire; Bedfordshire (including Luton; Bedford; Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes)
    East of England: Norfolk; Suffolk; Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough); Lincolnshire; North East Lincolnshire; Bedfordshire (including Luton; Bedford; Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes)
    East Midlands: Derbyshire; Nottingham; Nottinghamshire; Leicester; Leicestershire; Northamptonshire
    West Midlands: Telford & Wrekin; Staffordshire; Stoke-on-Trent; Shropshire; Birmingham; Walsall, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Coventry
    South East: Bracknell Forest; East Sussex; West Sussex; Southend-on-Sea; Thanet; Medway; Portsmouth; Hertfordshire; Isle of Wight
    South West: Gloucestershire; Cornwall; Plymouth; Torbay; Somerset; Swindon; Wiltshire; Bristol; Bath and North East Somerset; North Somerset; South Gloucestershire
    Yorkshire and the Humber: Lincolnshire; North East Lincolnshire; North Lincolnshire; North Yorkshire; Calderdale; Bradford; Leeds; Kirklees; Wakefield; East Riding of Yorkshire; Kingston upon Hull; Barnsley; Doncaster; Sheffield; Rotherham

  • What will be the impact on my school

    The first cohort of Talented Leaders, recruited and matched in 2014/15, have now been embedded in their schools for one year. Those who have received monitoring visits from Ofsted have received positive feedback, indicating that the new leadership is having a significant impact on rates of improvement at their schools. 

    Dan Morrow, Headteacher, Oasis Skinner Street Primary School

    Context: The school was placed in Special Measures in March 2015 prior to Dan taking post in June. Since in post, the school received one monitoring inspection in December and one Ofsted visit in June 2016, where Ofsted judged the school’s overall effectiveness as ‘good’ within 12 months of TLP appointment.

    Ofsted monitoring comments: “The school has significantly improved since the last inspection and now provides a good standard of education for its pupils. The principal provides strong leadership, supported by highly able leaders. Leaders have very high expectations of all staff and inspire all to give their best for the pupils. This has led to an improvement in the quality of teaching and good outcomes for pupils. Pupils thrive because they are very well cared for in a nurturing and encouraging environment that puts their needs first. As a result, behaviour is good.” June 2016

    Jean Watt, Headteacher, Ormiston Meadows Primary School

    Context: Previous visit outlined low pupils standards of writing in Year 3 and Year 4 as a consequence of weak teaching in the past. The visit also highlighted the need to tackle the limited progress of the most able pupils in Maths lessons.

    Ofsted monitoring comments: “The academy has clearly improving under the leadership of the new Principal and has made good progress in tacking problems identified in previous visit.” June 2016

    Craig D’Cunha, Chantry Academy, Suffolk

    Context: The school has received two monitoring visits since Craig was appointed, having been in Special Measures in December 2014. The academy has been judged as RI in June 2016, taking it out of Special Measures within 14 months.

    Ofsted monitoring comments: “The Principal has successfully enhanced and exploited a growing sense of optimism among staff about the future of the academy. The reorganisation of the senior leadership team’s responsibilities has created a leadership structure that ensures a clearer focus on the academy’s strategic priorities.” June 2016