How Lead Practitioner Accreditation can supercharge your professional conversations, staff interactions and learning discoveries

  • How Lead Practitioner Accreditation can supercharge your professional conversations, staff interactions and learning discoveries

About me

Name: Andy Williams
Job Role: Consultant
Organisation: SSAT

Having been instrumental in training hundreds of Lead Practitioners, moderators and in-school trainers, Andy continues to delight in hearing about the impact SSAT Lead Practitioners have made in their schools

What is an SSAT Lead Practitioner?
This is an exercise we do in training – and it’s a tough one! Just some of the descriptors are a ‘leader of learning’, a ‘change agent’, a ‘brilliant communicator’, a ‘researcher’, a ‘negotiator’, and ‘coach’. In short, they’re the ones who effect positive impact on school priorities – making a difference! Through their efforts at extending their reach – carrying out small-scale action research and nurturing colleagues’ professional development – Lead Practitioners provide tangible insights into ‘what works’ in context, producing learning portfolios that inform and educate others. They help other teachers perform their roles better, more confidently and more professionally than ever before.

Why Lead Practitioner Accreditation?
Any school leader will tell you that the very best professionals in your school need to be recognised, valued and celebrated, and SSAT’s Lead Practitioner Accreditation does just that. The programme improves the professional skills and expertise of all those involved in educating children and young people, offering an accreditation that validates the absolute best practitioners who are embedding and extending teaching and learning; who inspire and develop others. Accreditation is the quality mark of excellent practice and of a school’s commitment to professional learning, delivered through a blended approach of training and coaching online and offline.

How does it benefit the individual?
The Lead Practitioner standards framework guides participants in the questions to ask of themselves and others. They see each interaction with colleagues as a professional learning opportunity. As Lisa Hamilton, Lead Practitioner in English at Bristnall Hall Academy, recalls, “I became involved in a staffroom discussion about deepening students’ responses to marking. Before I knew it, we were researching approaches to marking – critically evaluating each one, and planning a pupil voice workshop. What could have been a fleeting conversation became a moment of deep thinking.”

Why should a school or trust introduce the programme?
The beauty of the programme is that it’s a scalable and sustainable model that tracks school improvement projects and develops individual leaders. SSAT’s Lead Practitioner Accreditation is transformational, and leaders should take the time to investigate how it can benefit their school or trust.

SSAT Lead Practitioner Accreditation provides…

• A standards framework with a focus on impact for benchmarking in leadership of learning

• A professional development online tool and learning portfolio to identify and set professional targets

• A formative process that encourages evaluation, critical reflection and collaboration

• Training to develop skills and attributes to lead learning across all contexts

To learn more about SSAT Lead Practitioner Accreditation and its whole school impact, visit

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