Rethinking Leadership – CfEY at the House of Commons


7th February 2024

On Monday 5th February, CfEY was delighted to launch the new report ‘Rethinking Leadership: What else? What next? What if?‘, in partnership with Big Education at the House of Commons.

CfEY and Big Education were joined at the event by Lord Jim Knight; Nadine Bernard, Head of Van Gogh Primary and Founder and CEO of Aspiring Heads; Lucy Harrison, Headteacher of Archer Academy; Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching; Hilary Spencer, CEO of Ambition Institute; Shaun McInerney, School Leadership and Strategy Lead at the University of Worcester; and many others who welcomed the report. 

CfEY CEO Joe Hallgarten, who co-authored the report, spoke at the launch to share his thoughts on this important topic. Joe highlighted that the nature of school leadership has become more complex over time, due to factors both within education and beyond the school gates. “The pandemic was a catalyst for a complexity that was already growing,” he said.

While Joe welcomed the development of NPQs, he stressed that it currently isn’t enough to attract and nurture the leaders that our schools and young people need. A narrow evidence base that underpins NPQ thinking, and the way they are funded, means they constrain more expansive thinking and actions.

The development of NPQs should be welcomed, but isn’t enough to attract and nurture the leaders that our schools and young people need - Joe Hallgarten Share on X

While we have are amazing leaders in our school system and incredible programmes that do develop their capabilities, Joe said, it feels that these emerge “in spite of, rather than because of, our system’s approach to leadership”.

Joe called on attendees to act now, rather than wait for government changes. “Investing time, thought, creativity and cash in our leaders is probably our best bet for making rapid and longer-term improvements to schools that our young people need and deserve,” he said.

You can find out more about the report here and check out live tweets from here event here.

We’d love you to get involved with the Rethinking Leadership movement – if you are interested please get in touch here. Thank you!