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Welcoming our new cohort to the BWT Leadership Academy

“Successful graduates will be entrusted with the vision and future success of the Trust. Your future starts now!”

The BWT Leadership Academy is a tailored programme, designed to develop leadership skills across our organisation. It is only available to BWT staff and is therefore unique opportunity for our current and future aspiring leaders.

The next cohort of 17 Leadership Academy participants started their journey at the ‘programme launch’ which took the form of an inaugural dinner on 9th November. All the new participants were invited to attend this dinner where they found out more about the programme content and met some of the facilitators, as well as members of the Brooke Weston Board of Trustees.

Mike Phillips spoke about the psychometric testing that he will be carrying out as part of the programme and Alex de Capell Brooke (Member of BWT Board of Trustees) gave the closing keynote, sharing his pride for the programme.

Dr Andrew Campbell, CEO of the Brooke Weston Trust, explains his vision for the Leadership Academy:

“The Leadership Academy is all about us believing in, investing in and supporting our people to reach their full potential and become excellent leaders of the future across our Trust”

“The programme exposes our highest calibre employees to the opportunities and experiences open to them. We encourage them to explore and gain a deeper understanding of how things work across the Trust and importantly, the values that drive us.” said Dr Campbell

The programme is designed to help participants refine their career planning within a growing multi-academy Trust, including an understanding of the existing systems and structures, as well as emerging trends over the next decade or so.

Jane MacDonald, Chair of BWT Leadership Academy tells us more about what they can expect…

“Leadership can take many forms in a multi-faceted education organisation like ours.  We do have traditional ‘Deputy’ and ‘Head’ roles of course but this year we have extended our offer, inviting leaders in other professional roles which are not classroom-based, to apply to join the programme.”

When asked about the qualities required of the participants Jane explained: “This is a really exciting and unique opportunity that we’re offering and so the application process is a stringent one. “Participants are required to come with a willingness to be challenged, embrace new experiences and work with others outside their current context and of course, they must bring their commitment to BWT.”

Anyone wishing to join this cohort of the Leadership Academy was asked to complete an application form, endorsed by their Principal. Applicants were then invited to interview with members of the Leadership Academy Steering Group, giving the opportunity to verbalise their ambition and motivation to join the programme.”

Jane continued: “The programme is an exploration of what it takes to be a good leader. We know that effective leadership isn’t about only the functional elements of a role. It is about ‘how’ you undertake your role; it requires courage, drive, perspective, judgement, social intelligence and personal alignment. These topics are explored in greater depth and generate rich and interesting conversation and reflections.

Other features of the programme include networking opportunities, motivational talks from industry experts about leadership characteristics, developing strong relationships, examining external accountability, governance, implementing change and developing effective teams.

NB: The Leadership Academy does not replace the National Qualifications Framework, rather it is complementary, and we would encourage participants to continue pursuing these too, as part of their ongoing professional development.

So, who makes up the newest cohort?

The latest cohort is comprised of colleagues who have leadership responsibilities, are ambitious to develop their careers and have the professional potential, personality and commitment to grow into our next generation of leaders.

Jane elaborated on the supporting structure of the programme: “To ensure that our offering is the best it can be, we have a ‘Leadership Academy Steering Group’, made up of professionals from across the Trust who are responsible for planning and reviewing the programme. They have specialisms in both primary, secondary and other professional settings combined with a rich and broad experience, making them perfectly placed to craft a dynamic and flexible programme that will excite, challenge and upskill our future leaders.

“It's a really exciting time to be part of BWT and we very much look forward to welcoming our new cohort of ambitious leaders to the programme. Our alumni will testify to the value of the programme, many of them having since been promoted into fulfilling leadership roles since graduating.”  

Feedback from the attendees of the inaugural dinner (held on 9th November)

  • “Really good to meet both colleagues on the Programme but also members of the Trust and Trustees who have such a large part to play.”
  • “Good to share experiences of the different roles we are in.”
  • “It was good to meet other like-minded people. It is always positive speaking to colleagues from the other trust schools.”
  • “It was lovely to meet key members of the programme as well as the other participants. A relaxed and informal atmosphere to understand the programme of events, course establishment and other participants positions and development goals.”
  • “It was great to meet the other participants and understand their reasons for applying. It was also a positive experience meeting and talking to other professionals within the BWT. Knowing the programme and how we will develop our leadership skills and deeper understanding of ourselves is exciting (and daunting!). I am looking forward to learning more about myself and listening to the leaders who will facilitate the sessions.”
  • “It was a great opportunity to meet with all of the members of the group and Trustees. The environment felt extremely positive, and I feel very enthused about what the Leadership School has to bring. Thank you for all the work put into this, to make it a successful evening!”

After an inspiring launch dinner, this year’s cohort of future leaders is motivated and ready to go!

For more information about the BWT Leadership Academy, please visit:



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