The Small Schools' Programme comprises of a series of half termly briefings, discussion groups and additional resources, focused on the unique challenges and opportunities experienced by small schools. The sessions will be facilitated by our experienced team of advisers and our speakers will be hand-picked for their innovative and successful approaches to leading a small school.


What are the aims of the Small Schools' Programme?

Leaders of small schools face a number of choices particularly around subject leadership, curriculum organisation and models of governance whilst maintaining educational and financial sustainability. In dialogue with small schools, we have developed a programme that provides the opportunity both for leaders to meet and share experiences around key issues and to explore choices open to them through a small school lens.

Launching in February 2024, our programme of bite-sized inputs and follow-up discussion groups is designed to meet the ever-evolving needs of leaders of small schools. The sessions will include case studies shared by those at the chalkface and time to explore the thought processes and decisions made, helping leaders of small schools to manage the challenges of their context and make the most of opportunities.


What is included in the Small Schools' Programme?

Our innovative, low cost, school informed programme comprises of six sessions covering topics from delivering the curriculum in a mixed age classroom, strategic governance for small schools and creating a staff community where the whole workforce feel that they have an important part to play.

In addition to the live online sessions, all the information, recordings and resources will be available to those who book on the programme on the HFL Hub learning platform.


What are the benefits of participating in the Small Schools' Programme?

With a different area in focus each half term, briefings will cover the main areas for leaders of small schools to consider, followed by case studies delivered by colleagues working in and with small schools. The sessions are designed to empower school leaders by providing advice, access to helpful, timely blogs and resources to implement for successful outcomes in their setting.


Small Schools' Programme delivery

The sessions will run as twilights and be made up of three parts, each designed to shine a different light on the topic or theme in focus. Each session will include case studies from leaders currently working in small schools. They will conclude with the opportunity to join a discussion group and explore practice and key themes further.

The live, online sessions will run as twilights from 3:30- 5:00pm half-termly and will include short briefings which will be recorded and can be replayed and used in staff meetings or shared with relevant school personnel.

Session 1. Thursday 08.02.24 - Leading the curriculum in a small school 
Session 2. Wednesday 13.03.24 - Delivering the curriculum: pedagogy when teaching mixed ages 
Session 3. Tuesday 23.04.24 - Ambitious, inspirational and strategic governance in small schools 
Session 4. Wednesday 05.06.24 - Designing leadership models for long term exceptional outcomes 
Session 5. Tuesday 17.09.24 - Disadvantaged pupils: a small school’s perspective 
Session 6. Thursday 14.11.24 - Creating a staff community where all feel empowered and valued


Easy access to live sessions, recordings and resources

The live sessions, recordings and support resources will all be available to those who book on the programme.  All the information, recordings and resources will be stored together for ease of access, on a page on the HFL Hub learning platform.

For delegates who are not able to attend the live webinar, a recording will be available shortly after each date along with any supporting materials. Any materials will be available to re-watch and share with staff and governors after each event.

Participation costs

The cost of the full programme, just £200, has been kept deliberately low so that no school feels excluded. There is also an option to book just the first session, as a ‘taster’ for only £20. Should you subsequently choose to book onto the full programme, the £20 taster session fee will be refunded.*

For further information or queries, please contact the HFL Events team at or call 01438 544477.

*prices are excluding VAT

Contact the training and events team