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Leadership Matters 10

When and where?
Wednesday 16 January 2019, Park Plaza Hotel, Boar Lane, City Square, Leeds, LS1 5NS More info

Leadership Matters: for all those who identify as a women, in a senior position in higher education

Module 1: Wednesday 16 - Thursday 17 January 2019 (residential)

Action Learning Set: Wednesday 6 February 2019

Module 2: Wednesday 27 - Thursday 28 February 2019 (residential)

Location: Park Plaza Hotel, Boar Lane, City Square, Leeds, LS1 5NS

£2,650.00 Advance HE LGM Member Price (from 1 February 2019)
£3,320.00 Advance HE LGM Non Member Price (from 1 February 2019)
£2,385.00 Prospectus Launch Member Price (until 31 January 2019)
£2,988.00 Prospectus Launch Non Member Price (until 31 January 2019)
  1. Overview
  2. Programme structure
  3. Who should attend?
  4. Benefits
  5. Book a place
  6. Facilitators & Speakers
  7. More »

Leadership Matters is our unique bespoke senior women's leadership development programme, designed for all those who identify as a women, in middle to early senior positions who are aiming for the highest levels of leadership in higher education.

This 5-day programme addresses both technical and personal leadership aims, drawing on feedback on what senior women most want from a leadership programme, to help achieve their aspirations to lead at the highest level.

It is practical and “experiential” in style, facilitated by an expert facilitator team of Rachael Ross, Sally Cray, Christine Abbott, and Gill Ball, and draws on the full depth of experience from within the delegate group, by allowing plenty of time for reflection, active discussion and practical application of the learning to real situations at work.

The themes we cover are:

  • Demystifying the financial, legal and governance context and structures in our HEI’s
  • Exploring and building confidence at navigating the culture and politics in the HEI context
  • Influencing key stakeholders and strengthening external partnerships
  • Building and affirming your unique leadership purpose and personal narrative in order to increase leadership presence

External Speakers

We draw on a wide range of external speakers to expand perspectives, hearing from experts and experienced leaders in the wider HE sector.


If you would like to attend Leadership Matters or book a place for someone else please book online via the orange button. You'll be asked to log into MyLF using your MyLF identity. Once you're logged in MyLF will allow you to book yourself or select other delegates via a simple search option or add new delegates as required.

If you need any assistance with MyLF please contact

The delivery is split into 2 x 2-day modules, both of which are residential, so as to maximise the opportunity to network with industry peers, and explore learning with the expert facilitator team members.

An Action Learning Set day takes place between the 2 modules, hosted by participant institutions, which will provide participants with more opportunity for small-group working and to explore a real workplace challenge and to further apply their learning.

Leadership Matters Winter

Module 1: Wednesday 16 - Thursday 17 January 2019 (residential)

Action Learning Set: Wednesday 6 February 2019

Module 2: Wednesday 27 - Thursday 28 February 2019 (residential)

Location: Park Plaza Hotel, Boar Lane, City Square, Leeds, LS1 5NS


*please note, participants can choose not to stay overnight, for example if they are based locally, or due to personal preference. Regardless, we encourage participants to stay for dinner to take full advantage of this additional networking opportunity.

Middle to early senior women leaders, in both academic and professional service roles, who are looking to top up their knowledge re: financials, governance, boost their confidence around their leadership role, identify and power to influence as a senior women leader in HE, and explore how to navigate, and challenge, HE culture.

Previous participants have included:

  • Head of School
  • Director of HR
  • Director of Research
  • Associate Dean
  • Research Director
  • Senior Programme Manager

For individuals

As a result of participating in Leadership Matters participants will:

  • Feel much more confident and comfortable with  the technical aspects of how the higher education sector works – understanding Institutions’ governance and legal founding and function
  • Have demystified the financial structure for higher education institutions and how this relates to their purpose as institutions, and have taken a deep dive look at their own University’s Annual Report and Accounts or equivalent publically available financial data
  •  Have deepened their understanding of the macro and micro politics of higher education institutions and how to navigate these effectively as a senior woman leader, as well as having explored how to create influential relationships with stakeholders and external partners
  • Have a powerful sense of their unique purpose and values as a leader and affirmed their own personal  leadership  narrative
  • Practised developing personal presence and power as a leader by experimenting in a safe and confidential working environment, and co coaching with colleagues
  • Expanded their network of senior influential women and have developed a strong learning group who will support and challenge each other as they move forward with their career aspirations
  •  Feel more empowered to take their career to the next level of leadership

For institutions

  • Delegates will return from Leadership Matters with a renewed sense of purpose and focus around their own aspirations and will be translating intention into strategic action regarding career next steps.
  • They will have a clearer sense of the technical function and structures of their organisation and will have increased their confidence in navigating the culture and politics of their organisation, founded on a stronger grounding in their own unique leadership purpose, narrative and presence   
  • It will be important that line leaders, sponsors and decision makers are conscious of their own part in supporting and challenging women as they return from Leadership Matters, and are committed to responding as needed to participants’ renewed sense of purpose and aspiration.
  • Provides institutions with enhanced networks through the individuals partaking in the programme. 

If you would like to attend Leadership Matters or book a place for someone else please book online via the orange button. You'll be asked to log into MyLF using your MyLF identity. Once you're logged in, MyLF will allow you to book yourself or select other delegates via a simple search option or add new delegates as required.

If you need any assistance with MyLF, or if you have any other queries about the programme itself, please contact


The event fees include all costs associated with:

  • Dinner, accommodation and breakfast for the nights of the programme (1 night per module). Delegates may book additional accommodation for the night before or after the event. 
  • Lunch and refreshments during the programme times
  • Materials
  • External speakers 


The team are all experts in their own fields of leadership development, financial and governance administration, and culture and politics in Higher Education.

They share an ambition of empowering senior women to reach their highest possible potential and are committed to delivering a first class learning environment in which participants are encouraged to try things out, tap into each other’s and the facilitators’ experience and expertise, hone their own approach and boldly be the change they want to see.

Our facilitators

Rachel Ross (130x130)

Rachael Ross
Programme Director, Leadership Matters 

With an academic background in modern languages from Cambridge University followed by the early part of her career in industrial relations and change management in the oil industry, Rachael founded the consultancy Schneider-Ross in 1989, and since then has worked with senior leaders both in the private and public sector to support and challenge them as they take a step up into executive level leadership.

In the last few years she has enjoyed working more frequently in Higher Education, and has designed and delivered leadership development programmes and coaching assignments with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Newcastle and Durham. Her work with Advance HE involves her working on a number of public and bespoke programmes with delegates from across all parts of the sector in the UK and beyond.

Working with small groups and 1:1 with executives she helps expand their portfolio to include visionary and coaching skills and broaden their ability to engage and influence all stakeholders.  

Programme and coaching themes often include the foundation building work of clarifying leadership purpose, values and identity, and through this developing presence and resilience. She enjoys working with applied emotional and cultural intelligence (EQ and CQ) across organisation and global boundaries, and has a longstanding passionate interest in diversity and inclusion.

In 2014 she published best practice research commissioned by the Leadership Foundation, Equality Change Unit and others on how vice-chancellors are leading change on diversity. She is a leadership coach and Programme Director with Advance HE.

She lives in Wiltshire, UK where she is a Trustee of Inner Flame, a youth charity based in Swindon.

Gill Ball (130x130)

Gill Ball
OBE Facilitator, Leadership Matters

Gill, a qualified accountant spent the majority of her career within Higher Education with the last 20 years as Director of Finance at the University of Birmingham until she retired from that role at the end of 2014.

She developed a deep interest in the finances of the wider sector through supporting a number of HEFCE initiatives such as the Financial Sustainability Strategy Group (FSSG), the TRAC Review Group, Sustainability Metrics Group (SMSG) and the team working on “Financial Sustainability and Efficiency in Full Economic Costing of Research in UK HEIs” which produced the Wakeham Report- all of which impacted on the sector’s sustainability agenda.

From 2002 until she retired, Gill worked with Advance HE delivering the “Strategic Financial Management in High Education” module for 31 of the cohorts of the Top Management Programme which she enjoyed very much.

Gill remains committed to the higher education sector by continuing as a member of FSSG and SMSG, mentoring senior staff in a number of Universities, operating as a member of the Science and Technologies Facilities Council- one of the UK Research Councils- and working as an advisor to Accelerus Education which is developing models for reviewing efficiency of teaching and supporting leadership teams in implementing change.

She is an associate of Advance HE and supports a number of programmes for sector colleagues.

Gill was awarded an OBE for services to Higher Education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2012.

Sally Cray (130x130)

Sally Cray
Facilitator Leadership Matters

Sally is an experienced Leadership and Organisational Development Specialist, who cares passionately about adding value to the individuals, teams and organisations she works with. Following early promotion to a Director role in the NHS, Sally has spent much of her career working in a Consultancy role. She spent over 20 years in an external facing consultancy role at Canterbury Christ Church University where she enjoyed success in building relationships with Chief Executives, Directors and Senior Managers in the NHS, the wider Public Sector and Charitable Sector. During this time she also delivered leadership development programmes, set up action learning sets and was engaged as a coach within the University. 

In 2015 she took the opportunity to set up as an independent Consultant and particularly enjoys using her energy, experience and skill in the service of helping organisations and the people working within them thrive. She uses a Strength based approach in designing and delivering interventions and programmes, whether this is as a facilitator of workshops, team building or a large-scale event or through her role as coach, action learning facilitator or in leadership development programmes.

Sally’s’ recent clients include: Public Health England, A number of NHS Trusts, A large academy of schools, Three regional charities, A facilities, building and engineering shared services agency, A global legal services publishing firm, two different Universities and Health Education England.

Sally is an associate of Advance HE and has been involved in Leadership Matters from the outset.











Guest speakers

At Leadership Matters, participants will be joined by the following guest speakers: 

Amy Norton (130x130)
Amy Norton
Senior Policy Advisor, HEFCE
Amy Norton is a senior policy adviser at HEFCE, where she was worked for 17 years. She leads a small team to develop and implement public policy around higher education leadership, governance and equality. As well as implementing HEFCE’s Public Sector Equality Duty, Amy is responsible for the Council’s policy and funding to tackle sexual harassment, violence and hate crime affecting students, which in 2017-18 will see over £5 million of funding towards over 100 projects to combat these issues in the sector. Amy oversees HEFCE’s relationship and funding of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and through this commissions leadership and governance programmes and research for the benefit of the higher education sector in England.
An English literature graduate from the University of York, Amy started her career at the Institute for Learning and Teaching (now the HE Academy) and has built her career in HE sector-level policy. She further studied Human Resource Management whilst at HEFCE and is a member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development. She authored the HE Workforce Framework (a strategic workforce planning report for the HE sector in England) and produced the first Single Equality Scheme in the HE sector.
Amy will transfer to the Office for Students in April 2018 where she will be leading on equality and diversity. She’s looking forward to the opportunities to mainstream E&D through the new regulatory framework for the HE sector.
Tracey Lancaster (130x130)

Tracey Lancaster
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Communications), Leeds Beckett University

Tracey Lancaster is deputy vice-chancellor (Corporate Communications) at Leeds Beckett University with strategic responsibility for home and overseas recruitment, widening participation, and internal and external communications.

She joined Leeds Beckett in July 2016 and, prior to that, was director of External Relations at Sheffield Hallam University for three years, where she reshaped and united its corporate affairs functions, delivering year-on-year increases in student recruitment numbers against a declining demographic and its first national reputation marketing campaign. She also led a significant increase in the University's national and international media profile and established its first fundraising team, focused on generating support for disadvantaged students.

Educated at the University of Cambridge, Tracey started her senior career as a marketing manager for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1997 before moving into the higher education sector in 2002 when she became the University of Birmingham's first director of marketing and, subsequently, director of external relations.

Tracey is a governor of the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford and a member of the teaching faculty for the CASE Strategic Marketing Institute.

Liz Bromley (130x130)

Liz Bromley
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Central Lancashire

Liz Bromley is deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire. She joined UCLan in September 2016 after four years as registrar and secretary of Goldsmiths, University of London. Having read English at Worcester College, Oxford in the early 80s, Liz lived in the Middle East, teaching English and working for Japan Airlines before moving to Oman with a young family.

Liz joined the Open University in 1996, leaving eventually after serving a number of years as associate dean in the Faculty of Health and Social Care, responsible for Quality, Students and the academic staff of the Faculty working in the OU’s 13 Regional Centres. She then had a spell at the AUA as Executive Director, before joining Salford University as the director of a brand new department, Student Life, which delivered the full range of student support services, plus accommodation, catering and sports.

Liz is deputy chair of the Mulberry Multi Academy Trust, a non-executive member of The Association of Higher University Administrators (AHUA) and a number of other Boards, and has served for a number of years as a Justice of the Peace. She has four children, all of whom have lived through - and survived - the significant changes to higher education over the past 10 years, and a stepson who is at university.



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        14. FIFA and corporate governance
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        21. Governance of Scottish Higher Education Institutions: Consulative Paper on HE Bill
        22. Governance issues at Tesco
        23. Student visas
        24. Governance at the Co-op
        25. HE funding - IFS report
        26. Removal of student number control
        27. Governance issues in the private sector
        28. Governance at the BBC
        29. Reforms to how higher education in England is regulated
        30. HBOS & London Met: case studies in governance
        31. New IPPR report on HE
        32. Moocs are coming
        33. Increasing diversity
        34. Kids Company
      4. Getting to grips
      5. Governance publications
      6. Useful websites
      7. Codes of governance
        1. CUC Code of Governance
        2. UK Corporate Governance Code
      8. Research on governance in higher education
      9. Book reviews
      10. HE facts
      11. Illustrative Practice Notes
      12. Roundtable notes
        1. Governance events notes
    6. Governance Briefing Notes
      1. 27. Governing bodies and culture
      2. 26. The new regulatory approach to HE in England
      3. 25. The factors that influence whether governance is effective?
      4. 24. Benefits and impact
      5. 23. Competitive pressures
      6. 22. Corporate ethics and values
      7. 21. Personal ethics and values
      8. 20. Legal requirements and regulation
      9. 19. Estates
      10. 18. Finance
      11. 17. Employment
      12. 16. Remuneration
      13. 15. Nominations committee
      14. 14. Audit committee
      15. 13. The governance system and assessing effectiveness
      16. 12. Size, composition and skills available to the governing body
      17. 11. Monitoring performance
      18. 10. Strategic plan
      19. 09. Students
      20. 08. Risk management
      21. 07. International students and collaborations
      22. 06. Commercial operations
      23. 05. Regulations and compliance
      24. 04. Academic governance and quality
      25. 03. The workings of a governing body
      26. 02. Governance and management
      27. 01. Becoming a governor
    7. Equality and Diversity Toolkit
      1. Overview
      2. Overseeing compliance
        1. The Equality Act 2010
        2. Governance Codes
        3. Overseeing E&D
        4. Reports Governors might use
        5. Case study: Bath
        6. Championing E&D
        7. Case study: ManMet
        8. Case study: Cardiff
      3. Competitive Advantage
        1. Competing in a global market
        2. Improving staff diversity
        3. Case study: Exeter
      4. Issues and Challenges
        1. Student inequalities
        2. Staff inequalities
        3. Assessing specific E&D issues
      5. Value
        1. Increasing focus
        2. Gender diversity data
        3. Improving diversity
        4. Case study 1: UWS
        5. Case study 2: UWS
      6. Questions and Resources
        1. Resources
    8. Board Diversification
    9. Self-Assessment Tool
    10. Governing Body Effectiveness
    11. Governor Dialogues
    12. Governance and Alternative Providers
  6. International
    1. International Engagement
    2. International Reference Group
    3. International Case Studies
  7. Membership
    1. Membership benefits and services
      1. Membership logos
        1. Download the membership logos
    2. How to join
    3. National and regional contacts
      1. Abbie McKenna
      2. Cindy Vallance
      3. Gary Reed
      4. Jean Chandler
      5. Judy Harris
      6. Lesly Huxley
      7. Meriel Box
      8. Rebecca Bull
    4. Membership advisory group
    5. Membership development support
    6. Management Development Resources
      1. Download MDR1: Managing Effective Performance
      2. Download MDR2: Managing Change in HE
      3. Download MDR3: Emotional Intelligence, Personal Impact and Personal Effectiveness
      4. Download MDR4: Lean Management: Doing more with less
      5. Download MDR5: The Current HE Context: Drivers for change
      6. Download MDR6: Commercial Skills for Academics and Researchers
      7. MDR7: Caught in the Middle
        1. MDR7 Contents
        2. Download MDR7: Caught in the Middle
      8. Download MDR8: Working with Academic Motivation and Prestige
    7. Knowledge Bank
    8. Membership community
      1. Members' Directory
    9. Ten great reasons to be a Leadership Foundation member
      1. #10GreatReasons1
      2. #10GreatReasons2
      3. #10GreatReasons3
      4. #10GreatReasons4
      5. #10GreatReasons5
      6. #10GreatReasons6
      7. #10GreatReasons7
      8. #10GreatReasons8
      9. #10GreatReasons9
      10. #10GreatReasons10
  8. News
    1. Twitter
    2. Wales Higher Education Executive Leaders Programme (WHEELP) SUBJECT TO FUNDING CONFIRMATION

We are a membership organisation of and for a sector that has some of the brightest minds in the UK.


Our members are key to our strategy and form a community of higher education institutions with a clear commitment to and experience of developing leadership, governance and management capabilities at all levels. Academic and professional services staff from member institutions contribute to our programmes, projects and research and advise on benefits and services.


Find out more about Membership


  • Membership benefits

    • 25% discount on our open and in-house programmes and consultancy
    • a free consultancy day
    • exclusive access to research publications, development resources and funding opportunities
    • free regional events
    • funding for Staff Development Forum and MASHEIN activity
    • members’ mailing lists, newsletters and magazine
    • participation in our development networks


  • How to join

    • Membership is open to all higher education providers and related sector organisations on an annual or three-yearly subscription basis.
    • We have 154 members with around a third taking advantage of the 10% discount offered by three-year subscriptions.


  • Membership benefits

    • Research and innovation: Access to our latest, highly-valued research, Leadership Insights, Getting to Grips series and practical development project resources.
    • More…

    • Management Development Resources: Flexible workshop materials on key leadership and management development topics, for you to deliver in-house to suit your own contexts NEW: ‘Caught in the Middle’. 
    • More…

    • The Knowledge Bank: Save time with these extensive multi-media training resources for HR, staff development and OD professionals, covering key leadership and management theory and practice.
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  • Get in touch

    Meet the membership team, your national and regional contacts in the UK and Ireland, and LF networks.

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Advance HE
Leadership, Governance and Management

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