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System Leaders

"It is vital that we back our best school leaders and help them to support struggling schools so that we can continue to drive forward the high standards we are already seeing in schools across the country."

Schools Minister Lord Agnew (2020)

Please note: School-to-school support is not part of Exceed Teaching School Hub's remit. The resources provided have been developed by Exceed Academies Trust and are shared as examples of good practice for schools and trusts that may wish to adopt or adapt the materials. References to the Hub date back to the 'test and learn' phase of Teaching School Hub development when school-to-school support was in the remit. 

System leaders are “outstanding” middle and senior leaders that provide support to other schools and trusts. Exceed Academies Trust works in partnership with these colleagues from a wide range of schools and trusts within and beyond Bradford to aid their professional development in fulfilling this role. System leaders have told us that providing support to schools other than their own is an important part of their own development. This support will help recruit and retain high-caliber system leaders in Bradford and the surrounding areas.

The following tools have been developed to support system leaders to undertake their role effectively:

Commission and brokerage

This guidance defines the Hub's recommended evidence-informed strategy for the commission and brokerage of school-to-school support.


Quality assurance and reporting guidance

This guidance is provided to ensure consistent and robust quality assurance and reporting of the progress and impact of support and any funding/resource allocated to it. Engagement will these processes is typically a condition of any grant funding/resource allocation funded by Bradford Opportunity Area. The purpose of these processes is to help ensure effective support is being provided and whether revisions to the support may be beneficial to the supported school. These are evidence-based approaches.


Opportunity Area-funded support 2020-21: Brokerage processes

The following document summarises the contract brokerage processes associated with the school-to-school support arrangements for 2020-21 funded by Bradford Opportunity Area and brokered to a lead organisation by Exceed Academies Trust. Lead organisations and trusts need to fulfil these requirements as they oversee the support they have been commissioned to facilitate via a Lead System Leader. These are in line with the 'Quality assurance and reporting guidance' (above).


System Leader Handbook

This handbook provides support to system leaders whilst they undertake deployments to support other schools.


School/subject/faculty action plan template

An example action plan template is provided for schools to consider if they don't have a preferred template of their own.


Final/interim report template

This is the report template for interim and final reports relating to the progress of support and its impact.


Record of Visit

Colleagues providing support to another school or trust are required to complete a short Record of Visit after each visit or support activity (e.g. virtual meeting or telephone meeting) provided to another school. This should take one to two minutes to complete; please do not spend more time than this completing the record.