PG Dip/Masters in Inclusive Educational Leadership

Specialist Qualification in Head of Year

Entirely online • Training with world-leading practitioners • Accredited by a leading UK university • Global network of outstanding educators • Credit awarded based on your current practice • Includes online training courses for teachers in your school • Highly positive and lasting impacts on your career, school and students • Cost-efficient, with the option of monthly fee fulfilment



















Course commences May 2021

Application Deadline 27th April 2021

(Prices for UK passport holders only)

£2,400 (plus VAT) – Fee for Pastoral Leadership Scholarship PG Diploma course

£5,990 (plus VAT) –  Fee for Masters in Inclusive Educational Leadership (PG Diploma course included in this price)

In offering this program at a reduced cost, our aim is to enable educational
leaders from across the globe, regardless of financial ability, to access this
program and to connect with and learn from an inclusive, diverse cohort.

Head of Year

Helping you to help your students, your school and your career

Who Is This Course for?

Current and aspiring Heads of Year.

The Importance of This Course for Your Role and School

The course offers practical yet rooted in research solutions to issues facing Heads of Year in the ever-changing area of pastoral care as well as safe place for pastoral leaders to work through dilemmas and difficult pastoral situations. 

Benefits for Your Role & School/Setting

  • In-depth study of what pastoral middle leadership is in respect to proactive and reactive pastoral care.
  • Leading yourself and your team proactively.
  • Having powerful dialogues with different communities within the school community: SLT, academic middle leaders, parents and pupils.
  • Common pastoral problems: evaluating your impact.


Read More About the Course Leader

As a researcher, a pastoral leader and a mother, Maria O’Neill is committed to bridging a gap ”between research and practice, showing how you could enhance your pastoral practices by taking a reflective and research-based approach towards wellbeing.” (O’Neill; 2021, p.12) *

University of Buckingham

Why should you apply?

Does this sound like you?

You are an effective leader, with a high level of emotional intelligence. You go the extra mile and advocate for students whom others may consider difficult. You are fascinated by the psychological aspects of children and their needs, which may stem from past traumas or a challenging home life. You have a proven track record in improving the life chances for the most vulnerable in your setting, and you want to ensure that your colleagues are equipped with the skills to support these students. You understand that effective social and emotional leadership is most evident in the classroom and therefore much of your focus lies in supporting teachers as well as students.

As a Head of Year, you are committed to supporting your colleagues to develop a whole school approach.

If this describes you, you will be in a strong position to be awarded a place on this unique programme.

The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:
  Essential Desirable
A Bachelors or undergraduate degree X
Demonstratable success with vulnerable and challenging students X
Has worked in an inclusion role for at least one year X
Is able to reflect on their own practice X
Can work effectively with other staff X
Effective work with challenging and hard-to-reach parents X
Has reached a senior leadership position X
Has completed additional special needs training X
Has led at least one whole-school initiative X
Has a teaching qualification X
Has experience of challenging colleagues appropriately X

Overview of the PG Dip Programme

The course is structured around four modules:

Learning, Action, Impact, Support & Assessment

See course information
Element of course Head of Year Leading people and organization Upskilling staff Module 4: Change for students
AIMS This module is all about
leading staff and
organizational change.
You will take simple but
thoughtful steps to help
you identify what will have
the greatest impact within
your setting for the most
vulnerable and
challenging students. You
will demonstrate key
leadership competencies
and be able to evidence
the impact of your actions
on your setting.
Your staff will have
access to comprehensive
professional development
for working with the most
challenging students. The
five online courses
are Attachment in the
Classroom; Behavior as
Advanced Listening Skills
and, Resilience for
learning and How to
Support Students in a
Crisis.This module translates
your Supportive role –
which is often about what
happens outside of the
classroom – to getting
knee deep in the art of
You will work with a
minimum of five students
and through coaching and
working with other staff, will
create and implement an
action plan that will evidence
a positive impact for the
young people you are
working with. Alongside this
you will ensure that
colleagues in your setting
are aware of their duties for
working with vulnerable
students and you will
evidence how you have
effectively supported them. 
In this module, you will have
the opportunity to embrace
your own specific area of
interest and develop an
innovative practice for your
school and share it with other
settings. The idea is that you
become not only an expert
leader in your own school but
you are able to support other
schools as well. This could be
through small group or
individual coaching or larger
workshops or lectures. The
key will be to follow up and
find out what your training led
to in change and impact. 
Skills and
Write an
• Identified need
• Action plan
• Implement
• Working with
• Tracking impact
Work with a minimum of
5 staff to support their
learning through the IE
SEMH online-learning
Track evidence of their
learning, what they implemented and the
impact this had on key
students and the whole
Work with a minimum of 5
vulnerable and/or
challenging students and
support their transformation:
• Identify needs
• Action plan
• Working with staff
• Liaising with key
• Tracking impact
Develop innovation practice to
meet needs of SEMH in your
• Identify a need
• Action plan
• Implementation
• Review of impact
Support minimum of 2 other
settings in training in your
innovation either through
workshop or 1:1
Support Coaching sessions, webinars and resources, Online course content, IT help, a mentor, group sessions with other students,
guidance from the university, additional training from other organizations that are contributing to this course.
Assessment Each Module will be assed with one 4000-5000 word essay.
You will be expected to have read and be able to cite research in organizational leadership, staff development and so on.
This academic deep dive will furnish you with new ways of viewing your work.
Folio of
Throughout the course, you will record into a folder evidence of what you have learned, what you did and what the impact
was. This folder will be worth 40% of your overall grade.
You will be provided with guidance and support directly by the University of Buckingham in how to complete this research
project. See the link to the Masters Dissertation section.

Benefits of the Scholarship for the Whole School

For School Based Staff

Safeguarding Review and Training
  • Improved interpersonal competence and empathy leading to enhanced collaboration and collective responsibility to deliver improved outcomes for children and young people
  • Development of self-awareness and team building. Team members increasingly mindful of their own, and each other’s, strengths and weaknesses
  • Better understanding of SEMH and associated skills knowledge and experience, across the staff, governing body/trustees and wider school community
  • Free SEMH Training course is accessible for staff led by scholar
  • Shared purpose and common language across the school and governing body, extending to stakeholders; parents; carers; visiting professionals

For School Leadership

  • A leader with advanced skills, knowledge and understanding of leadership, Inclusion and wellbeing.
  • Enhanced focus on pedagogy leading to better educational outcomes
  • Improved SEMH provision and ‘in house’ expert led CPD
  • Increased capacity to meet the needs of complex children and young people
  • Continuous improvement as experience grows and evidence of ‘what works’ is shared
  • Calls for SLT intervention following incidents reduced
  • Calls for the exclusion of vulnerable children reduced
  • Levels of internal staff stress and absenteeism reduced

For The Scholar Will

  • Development of advanced strategic thinking and planning skills
  • Improved knowledge of statutory guidance and application of key strategies
  • Access to leading experts in the field
  • Opportunity to develop problem-solving skills and the confidence and courage to be creative and innovative.
  • Highly regarded, accredited qualification, relevant to current role as well as preparation for future career enhancement

As the course progresses scholars can expect:

  • Calls on their expertise and support for their initiatives and ambitions
  • Staff to bring solutions rather than problems
  • Behaviour to be seen as communication
  • Greater acknowledgement of the impact of attachment and trauma on the wellbeing of children and adults
  • A collective will to understand and mitigate the impact of negative behaviour and attitudes on the health of the organisation

In short, scholars will develop new thinking strategies. The course will give space to reflect on practice and it will provide opportunities for discussion and debate with expert practitioners, as well as peer professionals. Above all this is a practical course supported by research and academic rigour. It is a marriage of theory and practice.


Find out more about our online Social, Emotional and Mental Health
Pedagogy courses for classroom staff

These courses support school leaders and classroom staff to understand and practise the art of inclusive classrooms, and to compliment the exceptional supportive work schools already do outside of the classroom through counselling, additional lessons and specialists.
Our aim is to equip teachers to include all children in the classroom and to enable them (child and teacher) to thrive.

How does the Inclusion Expert Scholarship and financing work?

Item Cost When this is due
Application Form £50 Submission of application form (non-refundable) deadline by tbc.
Postgraduate Diploma £8,200 minus £5,800 Scholarship = £2,400 Having been awarded a scholarship, you will need to settle the remaining £2,400 + VAT by 3rd May 2021.

Please contact the office for payment options.

Masters Program £12,000 reduced to £7,188 Having been accepted on to the program, you will need to pay:

-the fee of £2,400 +VAT towards PG Dip course (Year 1) by 3rd May 2021.

-the fee of £3,590 + VAT towards Master’s Degree (Year 2) by Mar 2022.

Please contact the office for payment options.

We advise you to liaise with your school setting to find out if contribution by the school is available.

Whole School SEMH Pedagogy Training £1,000 reduced to £0
3 Online Coaching Sessions £300 reduced to £0

Inclusion Expert Scholarship Application Process

  1. Evidence of competencies – fill out the table below.
  2. Written statement – 500 words of why you want to do this course, why you should be a recipient of a place on this prestigious course and what you hope to do with this qualification in the future.
  3. Signature and agreement of a senior member of staff from your school setting.
  4. One character reference of approx. 100 words from someone who has known you for at least 3 years and can attest to your ability to complete a course and have emotional intelligence and awareness enough to kindly and compassionately support staff and students.
  5. The Inclusion Expert team will be in touch to process the £50 non-refundable administration fee for processing the application.
  6. If English is not your first language, then please do speak with the Inclusion Expert team to confirm your capability of writing high level academic essays in English.

We aim to respond to all applications within 2 weeks. Applicants who have not been accepted will be written to with feedback.



    Has a Bachelor's Degree YesNo
    Has been successful with vulnerable and challenging students YesNo
    Has been a pastoral leader for at least one year YesNo
    Is able to reflect on their own practice YesNo
    Can work effectively with other staff YesNo
    Senior Leader YesNo
    Has completed additional pastoral training YesNo
    Has led whole school initiative YesNo
    Has a teaching qualification YesNo

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Will there be additional costs through the year? Will I have to buy books or other materials?

    There will be costs of books and any materials you will need such as computer and so on. You will need to access the internet to attend the online webinars.
    Aside from the usual course equipment, there are no additional costs.

    Will I be able to take time out for school holidays?

    Yes, this course is designed to fit in with your existing hectic life!  We understand better the demands on teachers at home and at work, which is why we’ve designed this to work with you. Yes, there are additional pieces of work, but we will be here to support you with coaching to ensure this is a success for you, your pupils and school.

    Who will assess the four essays and what feedback will I receive for them?

    The University of Buckingham will assess the essays. They will provide feedback and allow you to resubmit if there are any problems. Our aim is to support you so you know what is expected of you and how to best go about doing the written work.

    How do you take payments?

    See above. Please discuss this with our Finance Department. Contact us on

    What do I receive at the end of the programme?

    You will receive a PG Dip in Inclusive Educational Leadership from the University of Buckingham and you can also add to your CV/BIO that you were an Inclusion Expert Scholar

    How much does it cost?

    Total £7,188 plus £50 application fee

    How do I sign up?

    Fill in the application form. If you have any further questions or are not sure about anything then please do be in touch with the office using

    Contact Us

    If you would like to discuss your application with us, then please send an email to: Please ensure you state where you heard about the course, and which city/town your school is in so we know which regional lead to put you in touch with.