Leeds Catholic Schools Pioneer Leadership Course

Three Leeds Catholic High Schools - St. Mary's, Menston, Corpus Christi Catholic College and Mount St. Mary’s are working together to develop the next generation of Catholic school leaders.


This is as a response to national concerns about school leadership development and succession.

These three schools are working collaboratively to provide high quality training and coaching which focusses particularly on Catholic schools. The programme is coordinated by Joe Coluccio and has been written and devised by David Geldart with the aim to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence of aspiring leaders in our Catholic Schools.

Joe Coluccio said "There are many generic Leadership courses available but we wanted to provide a bespoke programme that specifically addresses leadership within our Catholic context."

The Aspiring Leaders programme brings together theoretical study with practical leadership. The course has given all participants a chance to develop their leadership journey together and regularly meeting counterparts from other schools gives the coaching sessions a real vigour.  It offers career development for many different layers and levels of leadership and helps to cultivate an understanding of the big picture while supporting the development of how a specific focus with particular drive can contribute to wider successes. Participants have felt professionally rejuvenated by the challenge the course offers and their contributions and support to other leaders in school is already being felt. 


“The aim of the course was to develop the leaders of tomorrow and we are confident the effects of this course will be lasting for both the school and across the careers of this years graduates. There is already an appetite within the school community for participation in next years programme.”
— Toby Fox, Associate Leader – Teaching, Mount St Mary's Catholic High School

“The Aspiring Leaders course has been a fantastic opportunity to develop my role within my school. The sessions are not only inspirational, but give you clear practical advice on how to progress and the support structure offered by coaches is invaluable. This course resonates beyond my role as a teacher...It is absolutely exceptional.”
— Katie Bell, Corpus Christi Catholic College.

“I have nothing but high praise for the Catholic Aspiring Leaders course. It has provided a valuable opportunity for some of our aspiring leaders to meet together and explore the issues and challenges we face in the changing world of education. The sessions have brought together aspiring leaders from across the Catholic schools partnership giving them the opportunity to network, discuss key themes and to share best practice.”
— Beth Pettifer, Assistant Headteacher at St Mary’s Menston.

At present, there are eight members of staff currently enrolled on the one year pilot course, involving independent study, one to one coaching, workshops and a Leadership Project. The in-house coaching and support is provided by the individual named schools and the workshops by David Geldart. The course has already proved to be a tremendous success.


“Schools, particularly Catholic Schools, need take responsibility for the next generation of leaders and coaches that our schools require; high quality leaders that place Christ at the centre of all that the school does on behalf of its young people. Nurturing the next generation of school leaders is vital for the future of Catholic education in this country, it is far too important to leave to chance.”
— David Geldart

For further information contact Mr Joe Coluccio coluccioj@corpusleeds.org