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The art of submitting proposals to senior leaders

Published: Jul 11, 2016 3 min read


Vice Principal (Teaching and Learning)

The Macclesfield Academy

Any great senior leadership team will have teaching and learning at the heart of every decision. The question is: how do you pitch your ideas for science, STEM and CPD in a context which senior leaders will understand and support?

I have created a document, which hopefully you can use as inspiration - edit it, copy and paste chunks of it into your own documents, email it, or print it out and post it into your senior leader’s pigeon hole!  You don’t need to fill in all of the sections, just use the bits that are relevant to you. Whilst you are completing it, have a think about the following:


The senior leadership team (SLT) will ask for the impact of any initiative or development. Have this ready and in clear quantitative terms in addition to any qualitative aims. This may be improved attainment or progress, high quality teaching as evidenced by quality assurance or improved engagement as evidenced by student voice or number of behavior incidents. A good rule of thumb is to use 20% to talk about process and 80% about intended or actual impact. You will be expected to revisit this after your work and evaluate your ideas and work.

Cost and benefit

Have clear ideas about the costing for your school and prepare counter arguments for why this spend is necessary. This would link to impact measures, money saved in the longer term (e.g. staff retention) and possible revenue streams from cascading the development to local clusters or schools.

Improved recruitment and retention

Could your idea lead to increased levels of staff recruitment or retention? Having a stable, high performing staff body is crucial to the success of any great school. Can you answer how your idea or initiative will improve this for the school, for example, rapid development of NQTs, retention of experienced teachers, developing leadership within the school or reinvigorating members of staff whose practice is in danger of becoming stale?

Every time a school needs to recruit, it will cost money, energy and time. Can this be saved by keeping and developing the best staff you have? Can you ‘grow your own’ leaders as part of managing future promotions within your team ie legacy management?

Research led practice

Think about how the best research supports your initiative, e.g. the links between high quality CPD, which undergoes a sharing, review and impact cycle once completed, and improved outcomes for students. Explain your vision to your senior leaders in terms they will understand. The more ethereal concepts may be of abstract interest but any great SLT will be looking for impact on attainment, progress or both. How can you show this to them?

Good luck with submitting your proposals.  I’d be interested to hear about successes (or failures!) you might have – and I’d love any suggestions for updating the document – you could even post your own versions to this blog if you think they’d be of use to fellow applicants in the future… let’s use our collective expertise to help each other get the most out of our CPD opportunities.


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