Mentor Smart: School Leadership Support

'Complex Transitions in Uncertain Times'


With the sudden and dramatic onset of the current Covid-19 pandemic, leaders in schools have been faced with significant strategic and practical issues to address. Schools and local partnerships have remained open for the children of key workers to attend, offered online learning and kept in regular contact with vulnerable children since lockdown. This has been no mean feat of organisation!


However, with the full re-entry of pupils happening now, leaders continue to grapple with the complex organisational issues that ensure schools are a safe environment for staff to work in and for pupils to attend. These issues are complicated, involved, multi layered and require a considered, creative, thorough and robust response, with agile action plans focused on effective operational delivery. It is recognised that these are complex times, with numerous aspects to consider and questions to debate.


Many School leaders have ‘recovery’ plans in place, but each school and MAT is unique and so there is no 'one size fits all' solution.  Leaders will continue to develop, review and tailor plans to address the needs of their pupils, staff, context and community. At times like these, external support from experienced mentors can help by providing an objective perspective, challenge and support.


Strategic conversations might include;

  • How have education leaders and SLT members planned and delivered arrangements for the complex transitions required for both  students and staff?

  • How effective have those plans been?

  • What has ‘re-entry’ looked like in practice and what still needs to happen?

  • What type of leadership is required to help heal your school community in these unprecedented circumstances?

  • Which students or staff members might need ongoing support, additional training or further induction?

  • How can schools help support all their students to achieve well going forward, embracing  creativity and new opportunities?

School leaders, who have already achieved the unthinkable, now need to create space for themselves to explore how to continue to plan flexibly for the

complex transitions and uncertain times that lie ahead.


Mentor SMart includes mentors with significant experience of working in education leadership (primary, secondary, F.E, and H.E.) and specialises in providing online personalised professional mentoring to support leaders through these processes. Mentor SMart offers online facilitation with leadership teams, focusing on activities designed to support strategic conversations and change management.


Mentor Smart offer to Education Leaders


  • Access to confidential mentoring support 

  • An opportunity to reflect within a supportive, confidential setting

  • Access to support in identifying key issues, solutions and strategy planning

  • Benefit from the wide range of educational expertise and experience of facilitators




1:1 mentoring (1 hour) £125

Facilitation of web based 2 hour strategic meeting with 1 facilitator- £ 275

Facilitation of web based 2 hour strategic meeting with 2 facilitators- £375




Mentor Experience

IB - Secondary education background. Experience includes Head Teacher of a large secondary school in South West England for fourteen years, during which time the school secured an Outstanding Ofsted judgement for Leadership and Management. Executive Head Teacher and, subsequently, the CEO of a cross-phase Multi-Academy Trust, comprising three secondary schools and three primaries. Currently a SIP, Education Consultant and trainer.  

SC - Previously Head of Education for a large rural County Council. Now an independent Education Consultant , mentor and trainer, remaining active and passionate about all aspects of education. Head Teacher, inspector and primary phase adviser experience, with an MSc in Educational Research and awarded an OBE in 2011 for Services to Education. Currently a trustee of a charity delivering youth services, including alternative provision, a governor for an F.E. College and a MAT primary school trustee.  

SD -  Experienced Professional Development Consultant with proven leadership and change management experience, training skills and expertise. Previously a Head Teacher (primary), LA Remodelling Adviser, NCTL Associate and Training and Development Agency Regional Programme Lead. School Leadership Support mentoring experience. KS1 to HEI teaching experience. Currently supporting and developing both organisational and individual development and effective transformational change.