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Leadership Matters 8

When and where?
Wednesday 07 February 2018, Manchester More info

Leadership Matters: for senior women in higher education

Module 1: Wednesday 7 - Thursday 8 February (residential)
Action Learning Set: Thursday 22 February
Module 2: Thursday 22 - Friday 23 March (residential)

Location: Manchester

£2,650.00 LF members
£3,320.00 Non Members
  1. Overview
  2. Programme structure
  3. Who should attend?
  4. Benefits
  5. Book a place
  6. Speakers and Facilitators
  7. More »

Leadership Matters is our unique bespoke programme, designed for senior women leaders 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.

These include a senior speaker from UUK who updates participants with the latest developments and thinking regarding the wider political landscape, as well as leaders from across the sector who themselves hold senior leadership positions and will address themes such as building stronger external partnerships, navigating the power and politics as a senior woman and a developing your own unique and personal expression of leadership 


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 Susie Norton, Marketing and Communications Manager. Leadership Matters is a programme for senior women in higher education, and aims to provide participants with a framework of financial, legal and technical knowledge that will enhance their understanding of how their universities operate, help them to navigate higher education cultures and micro-politics and build better internal and external stakeholder relationships.


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.


*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.

For senior women in both academic and professional services roles, such as professors, heads of department, deputy directors and directors. Whilst not yet at executive level, participants will have been reflecting on their career goals and may well have an aspiration to be on the executive.

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 please contact Susie Norton, Marketing and Communications Manager or if you have any other queries about the programme itself, contact Alice Hargreaves, Senior Marketing and Communications Coordinator. 


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 



Liz BromleyLiz Bromley, deputy vice-chancellor, University of Central Lancashire
Liz Bromley has held a number of senior positions in Higher Education over the past 25 years. She has worked at the Open University, the University of Salford, Goldsmiths, University of London, and is now the deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). She has the unusual background of reaching registrar / COO posts via Student Services, and has had academic leadership responsibilities as well as professional services. Liz was vice-chair of AMOSSHE (the student services organisation) and is on the executive team of AHUA. She is deputy-chair of a multi academy Trust in Tower Hamlets. Liz is a passionate advocate of education as a means to social equality and personal freedom, of women into leadership roles, and of the development of leadership talent broadly across the sector. She loves spending time with ambitious people who are keen to develop their talents and bring others with them.


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.

Rachael Ross 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 the Leadership Foundation 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 the Leadership Foundation.

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

Gill BallGill 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 the Leadership Foundation 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 the Leadership Foundation 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.

Christine Abbott Christine Abbott, Facilitator, Leadership Matters 

Christine has spent almost all her career in higher education.

From 2009 to 2016 she was university secretary & director of Operations at Birmingham City University. Prior to this she was at the University of Birmingham where she held posts in the Information Services, as director of Strategic Planning and as academic registrar. Christine has also worked at Aston University and the University of East Anglia and spent five years with the British Council, undertaking assignments in the UK and overseas. She has a first class Honours degree in French and Russian from the University of Durham, a Masters in Information Management, and a Diploma in Management Studies.

In October 2016 Christine was appointed chief executive officer of Ambitious Futures, the graduate scheme for higher education leadership and management.

Christine was previously a member of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE), and a nationally elected member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Heads of University Administration (AHUA). She was also a member of the HEFCE External Advisory Group on Prevent and the Joint BIS/HEFCE Prevent Reference Group, advising the Funding Council on the implementation of counter-terrorism legislation in Universities. As a Leadership Foundation associate, Christine runs governance and leadership development programmes for University staff and governors. During her career Christine has authored a number of publications, on topics ranging from performance measurement in library and information services, to staff development, change management, policy and governance. Christine's most recent work is the LFHE/CUC Illustrative Practice Note on recruiting a vice-chancellor.


Sally CraySally 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 the Leadership Foundation and has been involved in Leadership Matters from the outset.


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        1. Alternative providers and student debt in the US: could it happen in the UK?
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        22. Governance issues at Tesco
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        24. Governance at the Co-op
        25. HE funding - IFS report
        26. Removal of student number control
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        28. Governance at the BBC
        29. Reforms to how higher education in England is regulated
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        33. Increasing diversity
        34. Kids Company
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      1. 27. Governing bodies and culture
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      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.
    • More…

  • 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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