Posted: 15 Sep. 2021 3 min. read

Supporting headteachers through Impact Labs

15 years of Deloitte and Teach First - Making an impact on futures through education

Deloitte and Teach First are delighted to announce a huge milestone – 15 years in partnership. Throughout this time, we have worked together with the shared aim of building a fair education for all children. To celebrate what we’ve achieved, we’re speaking to some of the people who have made an impact. 

Supporting school leadership

Working together, one of our key objectives is to support strong school leadership. Following two academic years of disruption due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that schools have sustainable and effective leaders to help them navigate this challenging time. 

A recent survey from the National Association of Headteachers found that following the pandemic, 47 per cent of leaders said they were less likely to stay in leadership for as long as they had planned.

To help, Deloitte and Teach First are offering a number of early career headteachers an Impact Lab –a workshop which Deloitte has run with over 1,000 clients to support them to make the move to senior leadership roles.

A steep learning curve

 Will Mackintosh is part of Teach First’s pilot Headship First programme which helps heads to be clear on expectations and gives them support to achieve them through coaching, practical tools and advice. Will also took part in our first Impact Lab for new headteachers in early 2021.

Here he tells us about why he signed up to the Impact Lab and what he got out of it.

When I became a headteacher in 2019, I joined Teach First’s ‘Heads Forward’ network, which offers support to headteachers. I moved into my new role having previously been a teacher. Teach First ‘Heads Forward’ network and the Impact Lab were really supportive in making this step up.

Some of the elements of being a headteacher you can’t do until you become a head - like the school’s finances and HR-related responsibilities. It’s a huge learning curve.

Motivated by my own experience, and those of others, I feel strongly that high quality support for new headteachers is an essential part of improving education across the UK. My Teach First mentor Martin, an ex-headteacher, suggested I attend Deloitte’s first Impact Lab for new headteachers in early 2021.

Motivation to learn

The Impact Lab was a significant investment of time but, for me, at that stage in my new role it made total sense. It was clear I could get a lot out of it – particularly around the strategic elements of my role focused on business, finance, the use of my time and leadership skills.

Time well spent

Having the time and support to step back from my day-to-day and think more broadly about my job was a really useful exercise.

The structure of the sessions and the expertise of the facilitators meant that the session was very high quality. The facilitators asked challenging questions and used a coaching style which provided space for reflection.

Putting learning into practice

The Lab provided me with helpful steps for me to use in my role which I’ve since been able to put into practice. I was able to use what I’d learned to help me and my team focus on a few key objectives  – narrowing down our priorities to use our time effectively, to ensure our school and pupils have the best possible education and that my staff are supported to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

I’ve even got some of the learnings from the Lab stuck up on the wall in my office as reminders for me and my team.

Doing business

Business can make a big difference to education – through the Impact Lab, Deloitte has been able to provide me and other headteachers with expertise on strategy, finance and leadership. Businesses can get a lot from working with schools too, being part of their local communities.  

To any new headteacher that gets the opportunity to take part in an Impact Lab – I’d say do it, it’s a hugely valuable exercise. To get the most out of it, you need to be open and honest and you need to commit the time to making it a success. But I’d thoroughly recommend it.  

Plans for the future

Following the success of Will’s Impact Lab, we’ve continued the pilot for an additional four new headteachers and look forward to supporting more in the future.

We know this is just the beginning. We’re looking forward to growing our partnership over the next 15 years, with our shared aim to build a fair education for all and at Deloitte, supporting our goal of helping 5 Million Futures through education and employment by 2030.   

To find out more about Teach First and Deloitte’s partnership and to read more of our 15th anniversary stories, visit our Responsible Business blog.

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Key contact

Charlotte Boyle

Charlotte Boyle


Charlotte has been working at Deloitte since 2011 across various marketing roles. She has been part of the firm’s Responsible Business team since 2016, managing marketing and communications for One Million Futures and the recently launched 5 Million Futures programme in the UK.