Leadership Support

DSLS aHead Service

It’s good and important to talk  

Contact aHead:     E ahead@devonsls.co.uk     T 01392 325890

DSLS are delighted to announce a new support service for all Headteachers and Heads of School designed to promote effective school leadership and your personal wellbeing. This service is designed to start from a position of strength and the recognition that it is important to have an opportunity to talk about what is getting in the way before it becomes crisis management.

The aHead service has recruited a team of Professional Partners, experienced, current or recently serving Headteachers to provide;

  • A personal and professional support service for all school leaders.
  • Fresh perspectives to address professional challenges.
  • Advice and expertise to develop and strengthen school leadership teams.
  • Signposting to other professional support and guidance services.
  • Opportunities to work alongside other leaders to develop understanding of and approaches to key issues in schools.

Professional Partners 2023-24

The following e-mail addresses should be used for all DSLS aHead Service correspondence:

David Barnettdavid.barnett@devonsls.co.uk
Nick Banwellnick.banwell@devonsls.co.uk
Colin Butlercolin.butler@devonsls.co.uk
Steve Hitchcocksteve.hitchcock@devonsls.co.uk
Louise Husseylouise.hussey@devonsls.co.uk
Judith Martynjudith.martyn@devonsls.co.uk
David Perkinsdavid.perkins@devonsls.co.uk
Phil Randallphil.randall@devonsls.co.uk
Tim Salvadoritim.salvadori@devonsls.co.uk
Glenn Smithglenn.smith@devonsls.co.uk
Suzannah Wharfsuzannah.wharf@devonsls.co.uk

This redesigned service will comprise of 4 strands:

  • aHeadStart – an induction and support programme for recently appointed school leaders
  • aHeadSpace – a proactive contact programme for more experienced school leaders
  • aHeadStrong – a rolling programme of CPD and annual wellbeing conference
  • aHelpline – a dedicated, confidential professional or personal helpline following self-referral

The aHead service will form part of the Core Membership Offer under Devon School Leadership Services (DSLS) CIO and is available to all Devon primary and secondary school leaders (L/A and Academy) under DSLS.

This service in currently in its infancy and will initially focus on a new programme of induction support for those recently appointed or new to Headship. Once fully up and running we will offer regular termly contact for all Headteachers and Heads of School from an assigned Professional Partner who will be there to provide confidential support for you to be the best you can be.

**NEW** DSLS Headteacher Appraisal – a fresh approach

As a development of our work supporting school leaders across the county, Devon Schools Leadership Services have been piloting a fresh approach to the appraisal process with a number of schools. Our highly skilled and experienced aHead Professional Partners are able to provide totally independent, advice, support and guidance and the initial pilot has been very successful. Read more.

We are delighted that we are now able to offer this service to other schools. For more information about the process and costs click here.

If you have any questions or wish to participate, please contact office@devonsls.co.uk.


Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Additional to the aHead Service, DSLS is delighted to offer an Employee Assistance Programme to its membership of school leaders. This is a new introduction to the DSLS offer and is provided by Education Support.

The EAP provides members with free individual access to a confidential information, support and counselling service which is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day via a dedicated 0800 telephone number.

Read more about the Employee Assistance Programme: EAP Leaflet – Information, guidance and support for wellbeing

Contact Education Support:  T 08000 856 148 (quoting Devon Schools Leadership Services)

Schools leaders are also able to purchase an EAP scheme for their own schools at specially discounted rates – for more information on the EAP scheme please contact office@devonsls.co.uk or Mark Saunders, Business Development Manager at Education Support Mark.Saunders@edsupport.org.uk.