The Kedleston Group is very proud to be affiliated with the team at The National Association of Independent School and Non-Maintained Special Schools (NASS).
NASS run many fantastic development opportunities and courses such as the NASS Leadership Programme. The aim of this programme is to support leaders from schools within the special school and non-maintained special school network to develop their leadership styles and approaches.
Two leaders from our Arc School Napton were enrolled onto this programme, and have given feedback on how they found the course and what they have taken away from this opportunity.
Tania Hales-Richardson is the school’s Deputy Head for Education and has been working at the school since 2017. Beth Tyrrell has worked her way up from starting at the school as a key worker in 2012, and it’s now the Assistant Headteacher – Pastoral. Both Tania and Beth are extremely competent leaders and have a wealth of experience and knowledge to bring to the school. They work collaboratively to ensure every aspect of the school’s day to day running is managed including teaching and learning, safeguarding, behaviour, welfare and attendance.
The leadership programme involved attending 4 sessions across the year, where they were joined with around 25 other leading professionals from other similar schools across the country. The main aim of the programme was to develop a project and strategy that would have a benefit in the long run for their prospective schools. Beth and Tania are both passionate about staff welfare, so decided to work on a project in this area.
They initially identified some issues within the school including staff recruitment and retention of staff, which provided a starting point for their research. They went on a real journey with the project looking into how the school recruits staff, how does the school maintain staff, how does the school look after the welfare of staff (physically and emotionally) and how could staff be upskilled. They realised the journey was very similar to that of a game of snakes and ladders, with both highs and unfortunate pit falls.
Since pulling together the detail into a case study and putting the action plan into place they can already see the benefit. They continue to embed their findings within the school moving forward in an aim to create better working environment for the staff, which in turn of course benefits student outcomes and experiences.
Both said they thoroughly enjoyed working on the project and being part of the leadership programme. They’d had particular enjoyment from listening to workshops ran by guest experts within the special educational needs field, where they could both learn and take away valuable information to use at the school.
We look forward to putting more of our amazing leadership team through this programme to continue to be at the forefront of innovative educational strategies as a group.