Distributed leadership works

Distributed leadership - Talking Point

The way we lead schools is changing, and while no single leadership model holds all the answers, the practice of distributed leadership is developing across the system. In a discussion particularly relevant to aspiring headteachers, Sue MacGregor joins us to explore what distributed leadership is, how to introduce it, and how it might help make leadership more sustainable. Considering these issues and more are Vicky Folkes, assistant headteacher at the Federation of Abbey Schools in Darlington, Sarah Smith, headteacher of St John’s Church of England Primary School in Birmingham, and Janet Wallace, an expert in distributed leadership.


About the speakers

Vicky Folkes

Vicky Folkes is assistant headteacher at the Federation of Abbey Schools in Darlington. In recent years, she has completed Leading from the Middle and has coached participants through the Leadership Pathways programme. Vicky’s current role focuses particularly on leading on curriculum and assessment. She has a keen interest in coaching and mentoring, and she coaches newly qualified teachers and teaching assistants across the federation.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is headteacher of the multi-faith St John’s Church of England Primary School in inner-city Birmingham. Sarah’s school was judged as ‘outstanding’ in its last Ofsted inspection, much of which she attributes to the team of people who lead the school with her. Now in her sixth year of headship, Sarah has made a commitment to distributed leadership and is committed to training and development for all staff at her school.

Janet Wallace

Janet Wallace has nearly 40 years’ experience of teaching in London schools and was previously headteacher of Haverstock School in Camden. Now an independent consultant, Janet works with NCSL, learning providers and local authorities as an expert on leadership development. She is a regular tutor for Leading from the Middle and NPQH, lead tutor for the PG Cert in Consultancy for Education Leadership Development at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning, and consults for NCSL on student leadership.

About Sue MacGregor

Sue MacGregor is one of the UK's foremost radio presenters. She was the voice of Woman's Hour for 15 years, after which she fronted the Today programme. She currently presents A Good Read and The Reunion on BBC Radio 4.