Leading Change in SEND/AP National Programme

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Sign up to our free taster session on 23rd May

Are you an experienced leader without experience in SEND/AP?

Are you experienced in SEND/AP but not experienced in leadership? 

Join a Unique Leadership Development Programme for Strategic SEND/AP Leads


The Staff College and NDTi are thrilled to offer this comprehensive programme designed for ambitious leaders keen to improve life outcomes for children and young people with SEND/AP and their families.

As a partnership, we have successfully delivered the first cohort of this national programme and are now recruiting for a second cohort, taking place across Autumn/Winter 2024-2025. This partnership has built on the previous successful collaboration in the South West region of England, offering a multi-agency SEND/AP leadership development programme, utilising the organisations’ individual expertise and renown in national leadership development programmes Upon Future Leaders Programme | Supported by the DfE and NDTi national programme: Leadership Development – NDTi.


Programme Overview

The Leading Change programme focuses on building a cohort of well-equipped SEND/AP leaders, strengthening a consistent approach and facilitating intentional leadership across the country.

This will increase professional pride, credibility, and trust across the SEND/AP community and boost life outcomes for SEND/AP children and their families.

Below is an example of the programme structure for cohort 2. The structure of the programme session content may be adapted, therefore this is an indication of the programme content.


360 degree assessment

Taught Sessions

Two-day Orientation Residential (in-person)

Gloriously Ordinary Lives

The importance of lived experience

Your personal leadership

Resourceful and resilient leadership

Action learning

Personal leadership challenges

Mid-programme event (in-person)

Working corporately and politically

SEND and why its history matters

Brave leadership

Strategic triangles and authorising environments

End of programme event (in-person)

Two-day orientation Residential

Working across systems

A focus on Health


Leaders and research – What Works in SEND  

Presenting leadership challenges

Inclusive leadership



Access to learning portal & additional resources

Peer group support

Practical leadership challenge

Programme Structure

  •  8th-9th October 2024: Two-day Orientation Residential (in-person)
  • 13th November 2024: Full day programme (in-person)
  • 10th December 2024 (AM): ALS (online)
  • 22nd – 23rd January 2025: Two-day residential (in-person)
  • 5th March 2025 (AM): ALS (online)



This programme suits those with strategic SEND/AP responsibility within their local area, including:

  • Local Authority strategic leads
  • Social care leads
  • Integrated care board leaders
  • Commissioners
  • Parent Carer Forum leads
  • Young People Forum leads
  • Multi academy trust or school cluster SEND/AP leads

We particularly welcome applications from several colleagues in an area who would be able to work on a leadership challenge together.


Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to continuous professional development, deepening their understanding of leadership, and the willingness to share programme learnings with colleagues.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a place on the programme is £1850 + VAT.

In addition to the learning of the programme, this includes:

  • Day Delegate rates at each in-person event (refreshments, lunch etc)
  • Overnight accommodation, breakfast and dinner at the orientation residential
  • Access to 360-degree feedback tool
  • Access to online learning platform

Hear from past participants

How to apply

We’re seeking up to 30 dedicated participants. 

To apply, complete our online application 

The application and assessment process comprises:

  • Completion and submission of the application process and sponsor nomination
  • Sifting and benchmarking of application forms
  • Feedback to candidates on request

Your Programme Delivery Team

National Development Team for Inclusion

NDTi is a UK-based non-profit organisation striving for a world where everyone matters, empowering those at risk of exclusion due to age or disability to lead the lives they choose. 

Find out about more about NDTi

The Staff College

The Staff College aims to develop leadership and management skills in local authorities and Children’s Trust partner organisations, contributing to improved services for children, young people, and families. 

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