Supporting school leadership

For the last 15 years, Deloitte has worked in partnership with education charity Teach First – helping to create a fairer education system so that disadvantaged children have more opportunities to succeed and thrive.

Since 2006, through fundraising, volunteering and pro bono work, Deloitte has donated more than £2 million. We’ve also supported 1,352 teachers and leaders who are facing some of the biggest challenges in schools to have a positive impact on 414,700 pupils.

A steep learning curve

Throughout our fifteen-year partnership with Teach First, one of our key objectives has been working together to support strong school leadership – which schools need more than ever after two academic years of disruption.

A 2021 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, we’re supporting early-career headteachers with ‘Impact Labs’ – which are based on the Transition Labs leadership programme, through which we’ve helped over 1,000 Deloitte clients make the move to senior leadership roles.

Meet Mr Mackintosh

Will Mackintosh is part of Teach First’s pilot Headship First programme, which helps headteachers to be clear about what’s expected of them, supporting them with coaching, practical tools and advice. He took part in our first Impact Lab for new headteachers in early 2021.

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

Will said: “Becoming a headteacher is huge learning curve and a big step up in responsibility.

"And there are lots of elements to the role that you can’t do until you are in it - like the school’s finances, HR-related responsibilities and recruiting staff.

“When I became a headteacher in 2019, I joined Teach First’s ‘Heads Forward’ network, which offers support to headteachers. Support from this network and the Impact Lab were instrumental in supporting me to make this step up.

“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 suggested I attend Deloitte’s first Impact Lab for new headteachers.”

A time investment

“The Impact Lab was 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 – the business, finance and use of time and leadership skills.

“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 – they asked challenging questions and used a coaching style which provided space for reflection.”

Putting learning into practice

“The Lab provided me with helpful, practical 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 for the school – 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.”

It's worth it

“Business can make a big difference to education – and they can also get a lot from working with schools too, like working with and for the local community.

“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 to commit the time to making it a success. But it’s totally worth it.”

5 Million Futures

Teach First is a key part of our goal to support 5 Million Futures through education and employment by 2030. Through fundraising, volunteering and pro bono work, Deloitte is helping charity Teach First create a fairer education system so that disadvantaged children have more opportunities to succeed and thrive. 15 years in, our partnership is going strong.


Sunita Ghalley, PR assistant manager
+44 20 7007 6612 | Email Sunita