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Leading Teams

Develop your skills in leading a team of teachers by joining this programme in 2024. Here is what one principal said in 2022.

Thank you for another great PLD session! We had lots of rich discussion in our staff room amongst the six of us! Thought provoking and life changing PLD, I promise! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

When asked what they liked about the programme, schools responded as follows:

The focus on running a good meeting and the emphasis on ‘quick wins’
The way in which each module built from what went before: by the time we got to quick wins the important ideas around theory of action, meetings and the ladder of inference had been covered off.
I love the theories of action session – I keep referring back to the notes as they are so helpful
The quick win cycle was fantastic and the building trust in teams – lots of great advice
Re the Leading Team zoom meetings: Succinct timing and setting the scene but with clear accountability (and respect for people’s time). Goal setting reminder so very important and to get full staff buy-in – we are taking this into our Strategic Plan monitoring process and full staff dissemination. The use of real research and case studies was very practical and down to earth. Good use of models and slides very helpful. But I think Linda the way you present without a ‘peddling’ mindset (i.e., peddling a product) and a genuine knowledge of the realities on the ground and in the classrooms and staff teams was very important.

About the programme

This programme is offered completely online via six interactive 1.5 hour webinars. Participants are asked to trial different strategies between sessions. Each webinar starts with schools reporting back on the effects of these strategies (e.g., changes they make to the way they run meetings; strategies designed to build trust; methods of delegating effectively).


The course will run at 3.30 to 5pm NZ time on Thursdays. Dates for 2024 are: M1 – March 21; M2 – May 9; M3 – Jun 6; M4 – Jun 27; M5 – Aug 22; M6 – Sept 19 .

Who is it for?

This course is aimed at teams of leaders from schools. It is ideal for a new principal and leadership team, or groups of middle leaders from a school. It is preferred that there is at least one senior leader included in the group, otherwise, the risk is that learning cannot be converted into changed practices at a school.

Indicative Costs

For a team of up to six school leaders – $3000 plus $150 for each team member beyond that. If schools wish to have additional, personalized follow-up zoom meetings (as some schools indicated in their 2022/23 feedback), that may incur a small additional cost.

Module 1

Theories of action

This module examines participants’ current theory of effective leadership and outlines some findings about the challenges of leading from ‘the middle’ and the need for a whole school approach.  It provides the opportunity for participants to analyse their ‘theory-in-use’ when working with teams they lead. 

Application of learning

Take notes of the next meeting you run, and write your own theory of action. 

Module 2

Managing meetings

This module continues to examine the theories-of-action revealed by the participants’ own theories-in-use (i.e., their behaviour in meetings).  Participants examine effective practices in running meetings and compare them to their own typical actions. Effective delegation steps are also outlined.

Application of learning

Practise the changes and be ready to report on those at the next session.

Module 3

Building trust in teams

This module provides research-based findings about the importance of building trust in schools. It provides insight into the values and behaviours that underpin openness and introduces skills that are critical to improving trust and engagement when leading the work of improvement.

Application of learning

Participants decide on one action to practise in order to build more trust.

Module 4

How goals work

This module explains the science behind the use of goals, and why it is one of the most powerful leadership behaviours if carried out effectively. This module highlights the nature of different types of goals , and how planning can be minimalised and yet be more effective.

Application of learning

Participants make recommendations about goals and measures for their school or team: What needs tweaking; what changes would they recommend for this year and next year?

Module 5

Improvement cycles

This module outlines the history of improvement cycles, describes how improvement cycles work and then steps participants through Linda’s school improvement cycle. Recent school examples of measurement tools and strategies are used to illustrate the steps.

Application of learning

Participants are asked to clarify potential quick wins and ways of measuring them in their context to create more consistent improvement in cross-school outcomes (academic, social or emotional).

Module 6

Making it work

This module describes the balance between carrying out ‘business-as-usual’ and your improvement agenda. It outlines the basics of cognitive load theory and the implications for effective pedagogical strategies and reminds participants of some key leadership skills and strategies involved in improving outcomes over time that have been covered by earlier modules.

Application of learning

This session also provides the opportunity for leaders to reflect and consider next steps for their improvement efforts.