HeadsUp is fortunate to have the support of the following values-aligned individuals and organisations who contribute to our network.

They give of their time to support our network and collaborate with us on our Vision/Mission.  We are particularly grateful to Big Change who have provided project funding for the growth of our network.

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Big Change

Big Change was founded in 2012 to rethink how charity could be a catalyst for positive change: helping every young person to thrive in a world of constant change.

It does this in three ways; by backing the pioneers who are leading bold approaches at the frontline of change, by uniting a community of supporters to direct funds and energy to the areas of greatest impact and activating diverse allies as a force for long term system change.

We’re proud to support InspirEDucate and the HeadsUp programme. Their unique provision for Headteachers is vital; inspiring and developing leaders to provide a more holistic, inclusive and equitable education is needed now more than ever.

We believe supporting school leaders to implement change and take action within their school communities is key to setting young people up to thrive in life, and HeadsUp’s work is crucial in bringing about this aim.

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CollectivED The Centre for Coaching, Mentoring & Professional Learning is a community of teachers and other professionals, academics and students with shared interests. It’s values and purposes are to encourage and enable collaborative conversations which create powerful professional learning, to build capacity in the work of educators and leaders to create contexts which support inclusive career-long and profession-wide learning, to break down barriers to professional development through positive engagement with the education sector and allied practitioners and to increase the opportunities for educational change through enhanced  professional agency and well-being.

CollectivED works to expanding the available knowledge base on coaching, mentoring and collaborative professional development through research, make the knowledge base accessible and develop new approaches to active knowledge exchange.

We have created a range of professional programme specifically designed to help teachers, leaders,  support staff and governors develop a range of strategies to improve and embed a culture of professional learning across all education settings.

  • CollectivED: Coaching, Mentoring and Professional Learning Award
  • Enabling change; leading narrative and appreciative enquiries professional development programme
  • Going beyond the support role, developing professional attributes and skills professional development programme
  • Growing the profession; mentoring for impact professional development programme
  • Strengthening self; gaining professional confidence professional development programme
  • Understanding and improving the efficacy of inter-agency working professional development programme
  • CollectivED Co-enquiry

When James Pope first shared his vision for HeadsUp with the CollectivED Advisory Board members there was an instant recognition of why HeadsUp matters and what difference it will make. We are proud to work in solidarity across both organisations.  We share a drive to enable collaborative conversations to build professional capacity and to create contexts which support inclusive career-long and profession-wide learning. We will continue to strive for educational change through enhanced  professional agency and wellbeing.

Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Director of CollectivED

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We are the support network for cooperative schools across the country – around 200 in total.

We have found common ground on many occasions with James, in productive and deeply reflective discussions and workshop sessions. James contributed directly to our thinking on the best approach to cooperative school improvement work –  and this has helped develop our programmes with cooperative values and principles under the working banner of “Good With Schools”.

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Diverse Educators

What is #DiverseEd?

Diverse Educators is a grassroots community and series of events which launched in January 2018. It was co-founded by Bennie Kara and Hannah Wilson, who also co-founded #WomenEd.

Why does #DiverseEd exist?

In the last 5 years we have seen a rise in grassroots movements: #WomenEd, #BAMEed, #LGBTed and #DisabilityEd are all flourishing communities. Each network has arisen out of the need to create support for educators with a protected characteristic.

How did #DiverseEd come about?

#DiverseEd is a space for intersectional conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion in education.

How does #DiverseEd work?

For the last 3 years, #DiverseEd has been an annual event each January.  In June, an event was planned for Liverpool, but due to lockdown the event happened virtually instead. 13, 5000 accessed the event via Twitter, Periscope and Youtube. Future events are being planned for targeted audiences including: the Independent Sector, Governors and Early Career Teachers.

What is a #DiverseEd event?

Run like an unconference, the Saturday grassroots event is a combination of keynote speeches, panel discussions and facilitated workshops.

Who goes to #DiverseEd events?

The content is by educators, for educators, but anyone can attend – other professions have joined us over the last few years including HR, law and health professionals. The audience ranges from trainee teachers to CEOs, includes governors, support staff and those considering teaching.

How would #DiverseEd like to shape the national agenda?

We would like to see:

  • More diverse teachers being recruited into teaching, and being retained
  • More diverse leaders progressing to middle leadership, senior leadership and headship
  • More diverse governance at school and trust level

Who are the #DiverseEd partners? 

Please go to our partners page to find out who we are working with and why:

  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Lyfta
  • Teaglo

HeadsUp presented a workshop at the January 2020 event – James Pope and Audrey Pantelis shared their journeys as Headteachers with the delegates.

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Hannah Wilson

Who I am:

  • I am an independent consultant and facilitator who specialises in leadership development and training.
  • I am a DfE coach for the Women Leading in Education initiative and an advocate for flexible working (the focus for my MA in Education).
  • I specialise in: Diversity, Inclusion and Equality, Professional Learning, Early Career Teachers, Mental Health and Wellbeing.
  • I am a collaborator and a networker; I am involved in a number of networks which I have co-founded and co-lead for who I deliver bespoke training.
  • As a collaborator and a networker, I am involved in a number of networks which I have founded and co-lead for who I deliver bespoke training.

What I do:

  • I am the Co-Founder and Director of Diverse Educators.
  • I am a Resilient Leaders Elements Coach.
  • I develop and facilitate leadership training.

What I did:

  • Head of Secondary Teacher Training, University of Buckingham
  • Founding Executive Headteacher of Aureus School & Aureus Primary School, GLF Schools
  • Strategic Lead for the GLF Teaching School Alliance
  • Sub-Regional Strategic Lead for the SE Women Leading in Education Network for Oxon, Berks and Bucks (NCTL)
  • Professional Learning Lead for the Harris Federation Teaching School
  • Specialist Leader in Education and National Professional Qualifications Facilitator
  • School Leader and Teacher of English, Drama and Media for 18 years

I was privileged to speak at the inaugural HeadsUp event in Liverpool in Autumn 2019 –  I shared my journey with the assembled group of school leaders and my experience of Gardening Leave. The community is a safe and supportive space for leaders who are going through an ordeal or who have come through it to find their voice, find their feet and find a support network. Supporting the HeadsUp coffee mornings throughout lockdown nurtured the courage and amplified the compassion of the values-led educators who are involved.

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Integrity Coaching

Integrity Coaching was founded in 2008, by former Headteacher, Viv Grant.

There are twelve core members of the Integrity Coaching Associate Team. All are experienced coaches and a number have expertise in the areas of adult psychology, race and organisational dynamics.

Our Vision is of a humanitarian school system lead by emotionally and psychologically healthy school leaders; who understand how to “probe their sense of purpose and invite deliberation about what matters most in good leadership.” We are committed to the vision of a society in which racial equality and social justice are promises that are fulfilled for everyone.

Through our services we help school leaders to become active agents for social justice and race equality. Our services enable them to lead with increased depths of authenticity and integrity, whilst keeping hold of their humanity, joy, love for the profession and the communities they serve.

As the pressures of Headship continue to mount, our profession is in urgent need of  leaders like James, who have walked the path of Headship and are willing to share with others what it really takes to lead with authenticity, humility and courage. It is testimony to James’ courage that he continues to champion the cause for Headteachers and be a light for many who have been or indeed are going through dark times.

Viv Grant: Director – Integrity Coaching

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NAHT is the largest union for School Leaders. We support and protect members against the pressures and challenges of school leadership. We produce timely guidance documents on all aspects of running a school with a Library of over 400 distinct and bespoke guides.  Our telephone support is managed by former headteachers, HR and Finance professionals and able to dispense advice on personal and professional issues. We campaign and lobby government to bring about positive changes to the profession and have 123 years’ experience of supporting school leaders. Our sole role is to provide members with the assistance they need.

Our members experience the pressures and of school leadership daily. Working with HeadsUp we will work to raise the awareness and argue for positive changes to the profession. Together we look at ways we can betters support school leaders to prevent burnout and support people through crises.

National Governance Association

NGA is the membership organisation for governors, trustees and clerks of state schools in England. We are an independent, not-for-profit charity that aims to improve the educational standards and wellbeing of young people by increasing the effectiveness of governing boards and promoting high standards. We are expert leaders in school and trust governance, providing information, advice and guidance, professional development and e-learning. We represent the views of governors, trustees and clerks at a national level and work closely with, and lobby, UK government and educational bodies.

Our members have told us in no uncertain terms that they are in awe of the leadership headteachers and senior executives  shown day in and day out in their roles. However, they remain concerned about the toll that our current education system takes on leaders. One of NGA’s priorities is to promote the development, diversity and welfare of headteachers and senior leaders, working with so many of the other brilliant initiatives like HeadsUp to stress the governing board’s role.


Opogo is a social enterprise and we’ve made it our responsibility to re-invest a percentage of our profits back into our business and create real, positive social change.

We believe in building innovative, effective technology that meets the changing demands of schools and educators – then giving it to them for free.

As an EdTech recruitment business, one of our biggest drivers is flexible working and creating solutions that not only improve budgetary outcomes for schools but also provide you access 24/7 to secure talent quickly and easily. Our offerings include:

  • Transparent rate cards and talent profiles
  • Opogo is REC accredited
  • Dedicated consultants
  • Customised talent pool

We thrive when the education community thrives. The Opogo Community has:

  • 100+ CPD video course material presented by leading education thinkers
  • Access to over 20 education game changers.
  • 250+ articles providing insights on Leadership, SEND, Safeguarding, Classroom Success and more.
  • Webinars that enhance learning and development.

During the initial lockdown in 2020, we took the initiative to provide a go-to handbook, the EdBook. This is a collaboration of influencers who are re-imagining and shaping the education narrative.

Our proactive approach helps us to solve one of the biggest challenges faced by our industry every day: retention.

It’s our mission to support every educator around the world. And we’ll get there.

Opogo is delighted to partner with HeadsUp and their network of highly experienced professionals. We admire HeadsUp’s determination and dedication to make a meaningful difference to headteachers in their journey to challenge the education system. As a social enterprise, we look forward to working together towards our shared values of improving retention in the education sector.

Justyn Randall – CEO & Co-founder of Opogo

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Schools Advisory Service

We are the largest National Wellbeing and Absence Insurance provider working with schools to create a wellbeing offer for staff and pupils. We are driven to make a difference for schools and work with schools to create a whole school wellbeing culture which is bespoke to your school and community. We have partners far and wide who we work with to help create this offer. Contact us to find out how we could help to build you a whole school wellbeing culture.

Coming Soon

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Supply Well

SupplyWell is changing the way teachers are recruited and how schools can look after their staff and their wellbeing.

We have 3 simple aims.

  • To keep teachers and money in education
  • Help prevent others from suffering work-related stress
  • Impact positively on social mobility

Co-founded in 2018 by teacher and former senior leader Michael Heverin. Teaching over 12 years in London and Liverpool, Michael saw just how much money was haemorrhaging out of classrooms due to extortionate supply teaching costs, driven by huge levels of absence amongst the teaching profession.

Michael became a statistic, suffering from work-related stress and exhaustion and felt that teaching was no longer a sustainable career. SupplyWell was founded out of a desire to keep teachers in the classroom, teaching happy and in a profession they love.

We work with our partner schools helping them save money on recruitment, reduce staff absence and increase staff retention, positively impacting outcomes for all.

We provide amazing supply teachers to schools and have a flat transparent fee to help us keep the lights on, we pay our fantastic supply teachers fairly based on national pay scales and experience and we never charge a temp to perm fee. We are transparent.

We want schools to know where their money goes and more importantly that they don’t get taken advantage of.

We train Mental Health First Aid Champions as a gift to all of our partner schools and ensure that all of our supply teachers have access to leading-edge mental health support.

HeadsUp provides school leaders with a safe space. Non judgemental support, advice and community. It’s the arm around our school leaders that they need.

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The Teacher Empowerment Project

The Teacher Empowerment Project was created from the frustration that, whilst there was a teacher retention crisis, there seemed to be little to support and inspire teachers who felt on the edge of burn out; those feeling undervalued and lost; or those struggling with the demands of the squeeze of juggling caring and teaching.

The project was created in 2018 by Kathryn Grice, a former secondary head of English, to be the support that was seemingly absent for teachers in need of inspiration, a boost, or for those thinking of leaving the profession. The project supports teachers by providing time and space to figure out what it is they would like to achieve in their working life and how they could achieve it.

The Teacher Empowerment Project also offers independent career advice, for both schools and teachers, to support those taking or facing their next steps which may have occurred due to: redundancy, a decision to leave the profession, mental health issues, capability procedures, end of contract or retirement. By helping to reframe the issues and bring clarity, options and opportunity to situations that can feel overwhelming and uncertain.

Teachers engaging with the project have made changes such as: changing sector, seeking promotions, becoming involved in charity work, and even changing careers. We provide teachers with the space, time, and support to explore their options and help to move them from feeling fearful to being excited about their new opportunities.

Being a Head can be an extremely demanding and isolating role. I wholehearted recommend HeadsUp to any Head who wish to find a supportive network of fellow Head Teachers who will guide, celebrate and advise you in your navigation through the difficulties of the current status quo of the English Education system. HeadsUp is a much-needed service that is created and provided by someone who has been there and gets it.

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At Twinkl SLT we are Cutting through the complexity of school leadership, so that people can focus on leading their school.

Our customers are headteachers, school governors and teachers on their own leadership journeys. We aim to help them by providing the resources they need. From comprehensive guidance to informational documents, we aim to save time and energy by creating and signposting accessible and actionable materials all in one place. Time can then be spent on those areas of most importance to school leaders, such as influencing and implementing strategy, whilst ensuring the wellbeing of staff and children.

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Whole Education

Whole Education was founded as a national network in 2010, emerging from the RSA’s Charter for 21st Century Education. Our dynamic network consists of over 500 schools and partners committed to learning from and with each other to deliver a ‘whole education’.

Educators tell us this vision of a fully rounded education resonates with the reasons they came into the profession, and helps provide a common language and framework for doing something about it.

We believe that the essential knowledge on how to deliver such an education is in the system. WE exist to connect the dots; to enhance the ability of schools, teachers and leaders to offer a whole education to all and provide support to solve common challenges we face.