News 12 May 2023

Conservatoires UK Leadership Programme

Following a successful pilot programme the CUK Leadership Programme will continue next academic year.
Two students are sitting on the floor with books, whilst looking at each other
LAMDA – Photo credit: Alex Brenner

During 2021/22, a bespoke leadership development programme designed and made available to an initial cohort of Conservatoires UK members. The programme focused on colleagues new to senior management and was delivered in a blended format over a 6 month period. It was facilitated by experienced external leadership consultant Dr Tom Kennie, with assistance for the action learning component of the programme from CUK Chair Professor Linda Merrick

“One of the absolute outcomes for me from this programme was the opportunity to self-reflect and evaluate my personal transition. To do so with peers from other organisations was invaluable”. – Participant, 2021-22

“It was very valuable, and I think that we all helped each other to consider new approaches towards our particular set of challenges” – Participant, 2021-22

“I have been introduced to lots of new ideas and different ways of thinking about leadership roles” – Participant, 2021-22

Following the success of the programme, Conservatoires UK is pleased to announce that it will be opened up to a further cohort of participants in 2023/24. This reflects recognition that other existing leadership programmes are not always able to provide the specialist training and skills required in a Conservatoire setting and are often too expensive or time intensive to be practical in this context.

Additionally, there is a strong belief that in order develop, diversify and sustain conservatoire leadership into the future, it is important that the CUK membership is proactive in the way it provides targeted training and support for its aspiring leaders.




Note: The programme facilitator Dr Tom Kennie has experience of working with over 150 higher education institutions on leadership and management development activities in the UK and increasingly globally. He was the founding programme director of the UK Top Management Programme (TMP), a leadership development programme for members of senior leadership teams in universities and has also been programme director of the IAU ‘Leading Globally Engaged Universities’ programme.  He is also the co-author of a new book ‘Leadership Transitions in Universities’ – Arriving, Surviving and Thriving at the Top’ by Kennie T. and Middlehurst R. 2021. Routledge. Further details can be found at