The Training Centre
By Aspire
Mar 1 23

Leadership Development

Phillippa Butterworth

We have teamed up with BTS Spark to provide you with excellent opportunities to support leadership development and wellbeing.

BTS Spark is the non-profit education practice of global leadership consultancy BTS. Their programmes are all delivered by professional leadership coaches and offer highly flexible, personalised and affordable leadership development and wellbeing support for individuals, teams and groups of any size. To date they have worked with 18,000 school and trust leaders in the UK and internationally.

Download their brochure for more information about their leadership products and services for a range of school leaders.

If you would like to book any of their programmes please email us at and we can make the booking on your behalf.

* Win a free coaching programme! *

BTS Spark are offering a free coaching programme comprising 5 x 60 mins 1:1 online coaching sessions with a professional leadership coach, experienced in working with school leaders.

The programme will begin with a personal leadership review to help you hone in on your current leadership strengths, and the shifts in your practice that would make the biggest difference for you, given your current priorities and challenges. Your coach will then support you in gaining new insights, developing new strategies and experimenting with new approaches in your leadership role over a six month period. You will be able to book your sessions at times to suit you, via BTS Spark’s online coaching platform, and access helpful online leadership materials to support your coaching journey.

How to enter

Scan or click on our QR code below, follow us on social media and subscribe to our mailing list to be entered into our prize draw on the last day of Term, 31 March 2023.

If you have subscribed and are following us already please feel free to email to enter your name into the draw.

Sep 7 22


Phillippa Butterworth

Staff at Aspire Academies Trust kicked off the new academic year with a wonderful & practical wellbeing session with the renowned wellbeing expert, Dr Emma Kell @thosethatcan

Look out for further training sessions delivered by Dr Kell through The Training Centre by Aspire.

Jul 19 22

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Phillippa Butterworth

The Foresight Project has created a Five Ways to Wellbeing guide, to take care of your mental health, modelled on the 5 A DAY healthy eating campaign.  Evidence suggests that a small improvement in wellbeing can help to decrease some mental health problems and also help people to flourish.  Five Ways to Wellbeing is a set of five simple evidence-based actions which can improve wellbeing in everyday life.

1. Connect… with the people around you.  With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.  At home, work, school or in your local community.  Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them.  Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

2. Be active… Swap your inactive pursuits with active ones.  Go for a walk or run.  Step outside.  Cycle.  Play a game.  Garden.  Dance.  Exercising makes you feel good.  Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy; one that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

3. Take notice… Be curious.  Catch sight of the beautiful.  Remark on the unusual.  Notice the changing seasons.  Savour the moment, whether you are on a train, eating lunch or talking to friends.  Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling.  Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

4. Keep learning… Try something new.  Rediscover an old interest.  Sign up for that course.  Take on a different responsibility at work.  Fix a bike.  Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food.  Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving.  Learning new things will make you more confident, as well as being fun to do.

5. Give… Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger.  Thank someone.  Smile.  Volunteer your time.  Join a community group.  Look out, as well as in.  Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and will create connections with the people around you.

Jul 19 22

Healthy Eating

Phillippa Butterworth

5 A Day  

The 5 A Day campaign is based on advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables a day to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.  Evidence shows there are significant health benefits to getting at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.  That is 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in total, not 5 portions of each.  A portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g.

Why 5 A Day?

Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium.  They are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestive problems.  A diet in high fibre can also reduce your risk of bowel cancer, heart disease, stroke and some other types of cancer, as well as contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.

Eating a balanced diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you feel your best.  This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.  If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you will put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat.  If you eat and drink too little, you will lose weight. You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you are getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

It’s recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day and women should have around 2,000 calories a day, but most adults in the UK are eating more calories than they need and should eat fewer calories.

The Eatwell Guide

The Eatwell Guide is the UK government’s healthy eating model.  It is divided into five sections, which show how much food from each food group is needed to have a well-balanced, healthy diet, although a balance between the groups is not necessary in each individual meal.

It does not apply to children under two years old and children between the ages of 2 and 5 children should gradually move to eating the same foods as the rest of the family in the proportions shown in The Eatwell Guide.

Jul 18 22

Physical Activity

Phillippa Butterworth

The World Health Organization (WHO), defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.  Physical activity refers to all movement including during leisure time, for transport to get to and from places, or as part of a person’s work. Both moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity improve health.

Popular ways to be active include walking, cycling, wheeling, sports, active recreation and play, and can be done at any level of skill and for enjoyment by everybody. 

Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and manage non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers.  It also helps prevent hypertension, maintain healthy body weight and can improve mental health, quality of life and well-being. 

Key facts:

  • Physical activity has significant health benefits for hearts, bodies and minds
  • Physical activity contributes to preventing and managing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes
  • Physical activity reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Physical activity enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills
  • Physical activity ensures healthy growth and development in young people
  • Physical activity improves overall well-being
  • Globally, 1 in 4 adults do not meet the global recommended levels of physical activity
  • Up to 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active

People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active and more than 80% of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active. Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, wheeling, doing sports or active recreation, provides significant benefits for health.  Some physical activity is better than doing none.  By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can easily achieve the recommended activity levels. 

Jul 8 22


Phillippa Butterworth

Safer Recruitment – Our specialist training consultant provides accredited training through the Safer Recruitment Consortium, meeting the standard of training consistent with the Local Authority offer of Safer Recruitment Training.

May 6 22


Phillippa Butterworth

Coming soon…

Mindfulness – Covering all aspects of mindfulness and mental health and wellbeing, including stress management and resilience, as well as guided meditation and relaxation techniques. To register your interest, please click here

May 4 22

Facilitator Opportunities

Phillippa Butterworth

The Training Centre by Aspire currently works alongside various organisations and specialist trained facilitators, offering a wide variety of courses, programmes and workshops.  In addition, we are a Lead Partner of the Alban Teaching School Hub, working in collaboration with other strategic partners across the region.

We are always looking for outstanding practitioners who are experienced in coaching and facilitation to create and deliver face-to-face and virtual training opportunities.  If you are interested in working with us, please get in touch at

May 3 22

Managing Workload – Sustainable Leadership By Adam Riches

Phillippa Butterworth

Adam Riches is an Assistant Principal, Head of English and a Specialist Leader in Education. He is the author of ‘Teach Smarter’, a guide to effective and efficient teaching which reduces teacher workload through streamlining practice. Adam frequently writes for TES, Sec Ed and Teach Secondary, as well as Primary School Management, Teach Primary and various other leading publications on the topic of workload, change management and pedagogy.

Workload is one of the main reasons teachers leave teaching.

During periods of change, we must ensure that the appropriate attention is paid to the staff affected by the adjustments. Without careful planning and consideration, new incentives are not effectively embedded in schools. Often the key contributor is the fact that workload wasn’t fully considered in the planning stage.

So how can we ensure that we don’t increase workload when it comes to instigating change?

Plan carefully

Any kind of change needs to be managed effectively. During the planning phases, all stakeholders must be considered and more importantly, the impact of the change on each group of stakeholders must be taken into account. Often, we focus on the short term impacts of change, but in school, workload can spiral quickly if the longer term implementation isn’t considered.

Moreover, the sustainability of the change must be considered when planning. Something that dramatically affects the workload of staff is constantly changing incentives. Before a plan is implemented, be sure that the school will benefit from the change, and most importantly be sure that it won’t have a detrimental impact on staff.

Be transparent

Something that can significantly add to the workload of staff is being unsure of the aim or direction of a new incentive. Without clear parameters, teachers may create more work for themselves than necessary and in turn be less effective and efficient in other areas.

Sharing plans with staff clearly and in digestible chunks is of paramount importance when considering introducing new approaches or ideas. Teaching is a high pressure job at the best of times and what we don’t want to do is cause any additional strain on teachers inadvertently.

Share the load

Collaborative working is an age old way of reducing workload. This approach is vital for the success in the implementation of change.

By including staff during the planning and consultation period, you are able to ascertain how the change may impact others in your school. As mentioned, it is important that all staff are considered. Different teachers in different positions have a varied workload depending on their role. With this in mind, if you are taking a sustainable leadership approach, it is important to ensure that voices are heard.

Collective efficacy is the driver to the success of change. If staff are bought in, there is a much higher chance of the change being effective. With this in mind, the concept of working together must for a fundamental part of the ethos.

Provide support

Planning and explaining change is just the starting point. Following the launch of new incentives, leaders must be aware of the impacts of this change on staff.

Alongside this, it is imperative that appropriate support is put in place to scaffold and sustain the approach. This may take the form of CPD or coaching, or it may be less explicit and be in the form a review. Regardless, staff will need support to ensure that their workload is not impacted negatively by any changes that you implement.

Give time

Sustainable change takes time. I mean this in an intentionally ambiguous way. Firstly, it takes time for change to take hold, to be implemented and to be developed. Secondly, it also takes up a lot of staff time to implement change. With this in mind, it is important that leaders make allowances to directed time to ensure that staff have the appropriate amount of time to ensure the success of an approach.

May 3 22

High Impact Workload Reducing Approaches By Adam Riches

Phillippa Butterworth

Adam Riches is an Assistant Principal, Head of English and a Specialist Leader in Education. He is the author of ‘Teach Smarter’, a guide to effective and efficient teaching which reduces teacher workload through streamlining practice. Adam frequently writes for TES, Sec Ed and Teach Secondary, as well as Primary School Management, Teach Primary and various other leading publications on the topic of workload, change management and pedagogy.

How much can you reduce workload in your school? More than you might think and it doesn’t need to take long.

There are some key areas that can be addressed to almost instantly reduce working time. Schools are places in an ever changing state of flux. That is why you need to ensure that your practices allow staff the time to adapt to the needs of the school and their students.


Marking and feedback is one of the most onerous tasks teachers have. On average in the UK, teachers spend 11 hours marking a week. In most cases, the marking and feedback that goes into books and onto sheets is not revisited, used or sadly, even read. Complex feedback policies mean that departments often mark books in very different ways and although there is evidence of successful approaches in some areas, often, teachers are simply grinding through books because an archaic policy tells them to.

Look at your marking policy and consider how much of it can be done in the lesson by the teacher. If the answer isn’t a lot, then rewrite it so that teachers are empowered to use their time circulating to mark.

Consider using whole class feedback methods to address misconceptions within classes. When combined with live marking, the speed, accuracy and usability of the feedback is second to none. Not only do students get the chance to get feedback as they work, they also get to reflect on the misconceptions they have had or may have in the future…and best of all, teachers have 11 extra hours per week.


In your training year, you expect to be filling in long lesson plans, because you need to learn the mechanisms for lesson and task planning. It’s something that cannot be avoided. Once teachers are qualified however, make sure they can move away from long lesson plans.

Being fully prepared should be an expectation, but there is no need to have a lesson plan to show this.

In an ideal world, you would allow departments’ time in their directed hours to collaboratively plan as to ease the burden on individuals. By using directed time for this, you not only encourage the sense of collective efficacy, you also start to build a culture around the idea of workload reduction.


Centralising pastoral support may seem like a huge shift (and it is) but it will have a massive impact on the workload of teaching staff. By centralising detentions and internal withdrawals, teachers not only feel supported from the top, they are also able to focus on what they need to do – teach.

Pastoral responsibilities can take up a huge chunk of teacher time and by centralising provision, staff save time. This time of course can be used for other things, and in turn increasing wellbeing.


Careful consideration of CPD is of paramount importance. Workload can quickly increase if an approach isn’t correctly introduced, trained and applied. In fact, some CPD significantly adds to workload.

CPD must be treated like a lesson and the fact that it is often held after school must be taken into account. How much value is the planned CPD giving? If it isn’t much, it might be time to reconsider the approach. If CPD is adaptive, it is instantly relevant to the staff expected to be on it. The more relevant it is, the more likely it is they will buy in. Do away with CPD schedules that are planned years in advance – make sure you listen to staff needs and get a good idea of what is happening on the ground.