Future Leaders

Lead a challenging school within 12-18 months
For leaders close to headship

Future Leaders is a leadership development programme for those who share our commitment to eradicating educational disadvantage, and have the talent and commitment to become headteachers of challenging schools.

Applications for the Future Leaders programme are now closed. Click here to register your interest. 

The Future Leaders programme includes:

  • Intensive leadership development training
  • Ongoing mentoring and coaching from our pool of experienced headteachers and executive coaches
  • Visits to exemplary schools across England
  • Career development and guidance to enable you to reach headship within three years
  • Support from the growing network of over 500 Future Leaders across England

Applications are now closed. Register your interest in future programmes here

For more information on the programme or the application process, email candidate support or call 0800 009 4142.

To join the Future Leaders programme: 

  • You must have the track record, potential and commitment to become the headteacher of a challenging school within 12-18 months
  • As we are looking for applicants whose next step is headship, we will be focusing on deputy heads in secondary, and deputy and assistant heads in primary
  • You will have evidence of having made substantial positive impact on a school or organisation
  • You will be an exceptional teacher with QTS or QTLS and have experience of teaching in English schools within the past five years
  • You will already work in a school that meets our eligibility criteria

The deadline for applying to the Future Leaders programme has passed. You can register your interest for future programmes here

  • Do I have to pay for the programme?

    There is no upfront cost to participants, who commit to paying back some of their own time to the network. NB Secondary schools supporting existing staff are required to pay a one-off fee of £1500.

  • How much will my salary be?

    Your salary will be arranged between yourself and the school; The Future Leaders Trust does not engage in salary negotiations between participants and schools.

  • What does the application process involve?

    Entry onto the Future Leaders programme is highly competitive, and our rigorous selection process has been designed to reflect the recruitment process for current senior leaders who want to lead a challenging school.

    We are committed to ensuring that all of our applicants are treated fairly, with respect and without bias. No applicant will be treated less favourably than another because of their ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, race, religion/belief or disability.

    Your selection process will be broken into three stages:

    Stage 1: Your online application

    We are looking for applicants with the talent and commitment to become a headteacher of a challenging school within three years. To demonstrate this we ask for three competency-based essays and a complete record of your work history, with references which confirm your suitability for this programme.

    We encourage applicants who have a disability or long-term health condition to share this information on their application form. This information is treated with complete confidentiality and will be used to help us arrange any reasonable adjustments at your Assessment Centre.  

    If your application is successful you will be invited to complete our online cognitive tests and then to attend an Assessment Centre.

    Stage 2: The Assessment Centre

    The Assessment Centre lasts for half a day, during which you will take part in a variety of competency-based assessment tasks, designed to show your behaviours against our competency framework and to assess your commitment to the objectives of the programme and the Future Leaders mission and core beliefs.

    If you are successful at our Assessment Centre stage you will then be invited to the third stage of our process: a call with the Future Leaders Schools & Partnerships Team.

    Stage 3: Phone call with the Schools & Partnerships Team

    This is the final part of the Selection process and involves a phone call with a Regional Officer who will conduct final checks on your suitability for the programme and who will set up your matching visit ahead of your placement in a school.

    If you are successful at this stage of the process, you will then be offered a *conditional place on the Future Leaders programme and placed in our 2016 matching pool.

    *Final offers will be made subject to satisfactory references and background checks.


    For more information about the Future Leaders programme, please call 0800 009 4142 or email

  • How can I find out more about the Future Leaders programme?

    To contact us about the Future Leaders programme, please call 0800 009 4142 or email