Leading cultural change and overcoming resistance to change

Change is a permanent feature of our schools and is an integral part of school improvement. Many teachers and many school cultures, however, are resistant to change and undermine new initiatives and some schools are simply ‘stuck’. This course is designed to give delegates effective techniques for approaching change resistant and ‘well defended’ colleagues, skills in negotiating for improvement and the strategies to implement deep seated cultural change in your school, to improve outcomes for pupils.

This course uses conflict management techniques, which aim first to foster positive change and re-motivation of colleagues and secondly to ensure that any case for embarking on formal procedures is well founded.

Who is it suitable for?

Headteachers, senior leaders, heads of department and subject leaders in primary and secondary schools seeking to bring about individual, whole school or cultural change.

What will you learn?

Personal confidence and the practical skills in this critical area of leadership: the ability to hold ‘courageous conversations’, to recognise the place for coaching and to build a strategy for cultural change. You will analyse the elements of your school culture and begin to evolve a strategy to change it. The day will be an active one, involving some role play and work in triads and will strengthen the performance of your leadership team.

Delegates will:

  • Learn how to apply conflict management skills to challenging situations of change resistance
  • Develop their listening and critical feedback skills
  • Consider effective ways to implement change
  • Analyse the culture of their school and the ‘blockers’ to change
  • Consider how to negotiate meaningful targets and contract for improvement
  • Use informal procedures to establish solid grounds for formal procedures if necessary.


  • Identifying the behaviours and characteristics of ‘entrenched’ or resistant colleagues
  • Choosing effective strategic and emotional approaches
  • Theories and practice of effective change management
  • Understanding and motivating de-motivated or insecure colleagues
  • Preparing for the ‘courageous conversation’
  • Overcoming defensiveness and denial
  • Negotiating for improvement
  • Preparing for formal procedures

Cost: £650 per day plus expenses for up to 24 delegates. Fee for larger groups on application.

“Super course! Steeled my resolve to deal with a corrosive situation.”

“Thank-you Edward. I feel Empowered.”

“Sessions were directly relevant to my role and have the potential to have a direct impact on raising standards of teaching and learning.”

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