Big Leadership Adventure – Pilot evaluation and impact report

Big Education

Big Education is a Multi Academy Trust which runs a number of programmes and projects for schools and leaders offering  a more expansive educational experience. Big Education believes the volatile, uncertain, changing and ambiguous (VUCA) conditions within society mean schools need a generation of school leaders with a broader set of skills and mindsets. This includes the capacity to develop an empowering organisational culture and a broader and more expansive  educational offer, and an understanding of how to become more reflective, relational, open and dialogic.

Big Education launched the Big Leadership Adventure (BLA) programme in 2019. This two year programme develops in senior education leaders the mindsets and skillsets to innovate with rigour.  The programme encompasses leadership of the Head (challenging the status quo, generating new ideas, being strategic), the Heart (finding your authentic self, building powerful teams, inspiring and galvanising others) and the Hand (making the biggest difference, designing great practices, solving thorny problems). The BLA is a rich mix of workshops, residentials, webinars, visits to and from forward-thinking organisations, peer coaching and on the job projects. Now reaching over 150 leaders across England, the work is continually evolving and growing. 

This report is an executive summary of the key findings from the formative evaluation of the BLA pilot cohort, who completed the programme in Summer 2021. The purpose of this evaluation was to;

    • Evaluate the extent to which the programme design drew on the evidence base around effective professional development and learning,
    • Understand the effectiveness of programme design and delivery in order to support development and ongoing improvement, and
    • Contribute to the evidence base, debate and dialogue around leadership development within education. 

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