Adrian Blake

Senior Leadership Tutor for The National College of Education

Adrian Blake



Adrian has worked in education for over 25 years. As one of the first ASTs in the UK he led the AST Network for the London borough of Sutton, where he was also a regular contributor to the Roehampton PGCE Programme, and ran the largest ever project for London Gifted and Talented.

Adrian also spent 15 years serving on three different school leadership teams in state and independent education, and he was Headteacher of The Arts Educational Schools (ArtsEd) between 2012-2021. In that time ArtsEd doubled the number of students on roll, and by 2019 it was in the Top 1% for value-added at GCSE and had attained ALPS 1 status in the sixth form. The School also received numerous accolades including The ISA Excellence Award in 2015, The Stage’s School of the Year’ 2016, The Training Industry Award from Industry Minds in 2018 for promoting mental health and well-being for staff and students, and Best Contemporary Arts Provider in the Education and Training Awards in 2019.

Adrian is passionate about sharing best practice and uses his expertise as an experienced School Leader and Consultant to lead bespoke training and development for SLTs and for whole-school teams on a wide range of educational issues. As a certified Executive Coach, Adrian works with a range of clients including Headteachers, CEOs, HR Executives, Officers in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, and even the occasional Coach!

Adrian also has experience working as an Associate for PiXL and PiXL6, works as a Consultant for the SSAT, and The ISA where he also leads ISA’s Training Programmes on Coaching for Success, and Difficult Conversations. Adrian also served on The ISA National Executive Council from 2015-2021, sits on the Boards of The StARTed Foundation, and Arts International, he is also the Education Partner for Dramanon, and is a Patron for a number of performing arts organisations.

Overview of Specialist Areas:

Adrian specialises in Coaching for Success, KINDER Leadership*, change management, staff recruitment and retention, teaching and learning, developing a culture of aspiration, curricular and extra-curricular performing arts education, and Inclusive Learning (AST) (including educating the Most-Able and working with SEBD students).

*KINDER is anacronym for a leadership approach focusing on person-centred leadership

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