First lecture in education series a resounding success

The former Chief Inspector of Schools in England – Sir Michael Wilshaw – gave an inspiring and thought provoking speech to 100 senior leaders from Bradford schools on ‘The importance of leadership in raising standards’.

Sir Michael, currently Professor of Education at St Mary’s University in London, hosted the first of a series of six lectures on leadership in education. The lecture series is being run by Star Institute, the training and development arm of leading multi-academy trust Star Academies, and takes place at Tong Leadership Academy in Bradford.

The event aimed to inspire school leaders in Bradford to take their schools to new heights by focusing on what is fundamental to the role of school leadership, with insights from two influential and respected leaders in Bradford; Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford City Council, and Anne-Marie Canning, Chair of the Bradford Opportunity Area Board.

Sir Michael spoke about the importance of leaders communicating their beliefs and vision and said:

“Great leaders are made not born. Staff want to know what you believe in and what your red lines are.”

He added that senior staff should be leading from the front and reminded them that children in their schools are the product of the school’s leadership and that this power must be used wisely and effectively.

He concluded his speech by summarising his views on what makes a successful head – integrity, bravery, ambition, adaptability, hard work and being prepared to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in.

Cllr Hinchcliffe then went on to speak about the power of positive leadership and urged delegates to believe that every child in Bradford can succeed as much as children anywhere else in the country.

Ms Canning added:

“Everything grows from great leadership. No school outperforms its leadership.”

There was enthusiastic participation from the audience who were asked to feedback on questions around the greatest challenges facing schools and how important they saw the role of leadership in raising standards. The audience was also invited to ask questions of the panel of high-profile guests which opened themes around mind-set and collaboration.

Ms Canning chairs the board leading the Opportunity Area initiative in Bradford, which oversees the investment of £6m over three years to create strong foundations for positive change for children and young people. She encouraged the audience to see the Opportunity Area as more than a fund;

“This is an opportunity for the organisations in Bradford involved in this crucial work to ‘practice’ working together to ensure sustainability of collaborative working far beyond the lifetime of the fund.”

The Star Leadership lecture series is being organised by Star Institute. The events are free to attend for anyone working in a senior leadership team at a Bradford school. Places are offered on a first come first served basis and attendees must register online at

The remaining five events in the series take place on:

  • 26 September 2019 – The importance of leadership in establishing the school culture.
  • 12 December 2019 – The centrality of the quality of teaching.
  • 16 January 2020 – The value and use of assessment.
  • 19 March 2020 – The role of accountability and performance management.
  • 30 April 2020 – The importance of communication and consultation.

Senior leadership teams from all Bradford schools can find out more and book a place at

For more information about Star Institute, call 0330 313 9870, email or visit the website

LEADING the way in education: Sir Michael Wilshaw (front centre) with Anne Marie Canning, Kieran Larkin, Star Academies’ Executive Director: Education and Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe

Added By: Star Academies | Date Added: 3rd Jul 2019 | Posted In:

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