Moving Forwards


The Moving Forward programme is designed to meet the needs of senior leaders who are aspiring to move on to headship or a principal’s post, or for really capable senior leaders who need to be encouraged to realise they can step up to the next level and lead a school or academy.

The programme may be suitable for aspirational early senior leaders with ‘fast-track’ potential. It may also be suitable for very experienced and capable middle leaders working in complex organisational settings, e.g. a MAC or a federation or Teaching School, that offer a wide range of experiences for those who want to apply for more complex senior leader roles, albeit not headship, like a head of school post.

Characteristically, the senior leader will be leading a team and may be: a very experienced middle leader ready to step up to a more senior post like head of school; an assistant or deputy headteacher; an assistant or vice principal; a SENCO with senior leadership experience.

The programme supports learning at NPQSL level, in a Catholic context. The participants may have applied for NPQH or be intending to apply as soon as possible.

Key question for participants: Do you see yourself applying for a headship or a principal’s post (or a head of school post) within 18 to 24 months of starting on the programme?


In line with the developmental stages of the CatholicLinks Leadership Formation and Development matrix CatholicLinks-Leadership-Formation-and-Development-Matrix-2015-005-23.doc the programme provides opportunities for the senior leader to:

  • Explore and reflect on yourself as a human person who is a practising Catholic and a senior leader, and: your role, responsibilities and accountability as a senior leader and how you support the work of the headteacher / principal and the governance.
  • Explore and reflect on the virtues and character attributes required of you as an effective senior leader: your capacity to support and challenge others to improve their performance; your ability to discern the moral imperative that determines what action to take; your character strengthens to pursue what is intrinsically good and true.
  • Explore your vocation with respect to your identity as a Catholic senior leader, in terms of giving strong witness to the presence of God through the authentic daily living of the values of the Gospel and the moral and social teaching of the Church, which flow from those values, by pursuing your educative mission.
  • Explore and reflect on how you impart what [you] know and live what [you] believe as you increasingly articulate visions of the preferred future for pupils / students as human persons and are held to account for their progress and formation.
  • Explore and reflect on your potential for the key leadership post of headteacher or principal in a Catholic setting.

The programme also provides the senior leader with opportunities to know and understand the following and apply the learning to their professional practice and conduct:

  • In a Catholic school or academy the nature of: the mission, purposes and characteristics; the underpinning legal framework; the vision and values; governance and accountability; leading change; and establishing a Catholic ethos and cultural norms, and the ability to articulate these concepts to staff, governors, parents and children.
  • The characteristics, qualities and behaviours demanded of a senior leader working in partnership with the headteacher/principal and the governance of a Catholic school/academy to provide individual and collective leadership to create and sustain an outstanding Catholic school.
  • The strategic relationship between the governance, the headteacher/principal and the accountabilities to the Bishop and other external agencies, e.g. DfE / LA, Secretary of State, Ofsted, et cetera. Sound mental models that underpin strategic thinking and planning and leadership practices in order to develop the capacity for sustained improvement.

The programme provides an opportunity to explore:

  • Shaping the future; leading a Catholic learning community; change management; accountability; readiness for stepping up.

Resources include: a handbook; vocational/career planner; a self-evaluation preparation activity; hard-copy resources; reflective journals; and access to a password protected website.


The programme is delivered over 4 days which are face-to-face training and development days.

Note, these days may be supplemented locally by arranging school visits. There is guidance and materials to support the local organisation of visits if required.

The face-to-face days can be delivered to suit the local circumstances, over a term, 2 terms or 3 terms.  They may also be delivered in a more imaginative manner, including as a residential experience.


The programme involves a significant amount of activity and working together on tasks.  It is necessary therefore to give consideration to the location of the programmes.  What is the size of the room?  How can working in pairs and groups be accommodated?  Is there room to undertake a range of tasks and activities?


The 4 days may be facilitated by one or more licensed facilitators.

The main mechanism for accessing the licensed leadership programme is for you to nominate a licensed facilitator to deliver the licensed programme.  You may do this in one of two ways:

1. You can source a facilitator through CatholicLinks.  CatholicLinks will not charge for this service but the individual facilitator will require you to pay for their facilitation services and you will need to negotiate terms between you, separate from CatholicLinks.

2. You can apply to be designated as a licensed facilitator of the CatholicLinks licensed programme.  You will not be charged any fee for applying and being registered, however, you must meet certain criteria as a threshold of expertise and experience in order to be designate as licensed to deliver the programme.  This is purely a process by which certain quality assurances are considered and addressed in respect of the delivery of the licensed programme.  If you wish to do this contact CatholicLinks.

Once you have nominated a licensed facilitator of the programme then you can plan for access to the licensed programme resources and being to plan the delivery of the programme to suit your circumstances.


This information may be used to produce information or a flyer to go out to schools and academies to advertise the programme.  Please note the CatholicLinks origins of the programme must be acknowledged.


1. Website support – the CatholicLinks fee is a flat rate of £250.

For this fee, CatholicLinks will provide a dedicated website that provides the programme documents and additional resources, which prevents the need for additional copying, et cetera. This also covers specialist web support and administration of providing user-names and passwords.

2. Programme provision, review, maintenance and personal support fees – CatholicLinks charges a flat rate of ‘10% of the total income from the fees charged of participants before any deductions’.  This means that the charge CatholicLinks applies is relative to the numbers recruited.

For this fee, CatholicLinks will ensure that the face to face programme materials and resources are continually reviewed, updated, modified and fit for purpose. CatholicLinks will also offer professional advice and support to the planning and delivery of the programmes, as required.

Note: if an organiser of a programme at a local level decides not to charge participants fees or to charge fees that simply cover delivery costs only, then in these circumstances the CatholicLinks support fee may be negotiated directly with CatholicLinks.

CatholicLinks will provide a budget planner to scope the cost of running the programme after the initial telephone conversation to explore the planning of the programme.  Depending on the numbers recruited to the programme and the fees charged of participants, it is possible that there would be a reasonable profit that could be invested in building capacity for leadership development in the schools concerned or in the teaching school alliance or the same.

Some example of ‘costings’

These models for costing the programme are simply models; they are not set in stone. However, they do offer some basic suggestions for costing the delivery of the programmes and may be adjusted to suit the circumstances.

Open here to view the models: CatholicLinks-Models-Costings-2015-001-09

Model A is based on 30 participants with 1 facilitator, attending a 4 day programme with a day of local visits also arranged.  The income is £9000.  The cost of the programme is £4900.  The profit to be invested in building Catholic leadership capacity is £4100.

Model B is based on 20 participants with 2 facilitators, attending a 4 day programme with a day of local visits also arranged.  The income is £6000.  The cost of the programme is £5250.  The profit to be invested in building Catholic leadership capacity is £750.

Model C is based on 10 participants with 1 facilitator, attending a 4 day programme with a day of local visits also arranged.  The income is £3000.  The cost of the programme is £2390.  The profit to be invested in building Catholic leadership capacity is £610.

Further Information

If you want any further information, or wish to discuss any aspect of this programme and how it could work for you, please contact

Ideally, contact CatholicLinks as soon as you are even expressing an interest in accessing the programme. Generally, please give 10 working days’ notice to CatholicLinks before you are planning to advertise / deliver the first session of the programme; this allows for dialogue, planning and any modifications to the programme, et cetera. However, it is possible that your needs can be met in a shorter timescale, most likely by return.


This programme is currently being delivered and is being well received by participants.

Evaluations* September 2015 – West Midlands cohort

Have a deeper understanding of what Catholic leadership is about.

It puts my journey towards further leadership into a clearer focus.

It has made me realise I need to rely on my team more and not try to do it all myself. To delegate. How important a clear vision is and communicating it more effectively.

A really enjoyable day. Thank you!

The tasks were set very carefully to make us truly, personally evaluate ourselves.

* Actual evaluation feedback available for scrutiny on request.

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