Schools and Organisations

Mid-career teachers represent more than half of those leaving our schools every year, and women aged 30-39 are consistently the largest demographic to go.  In fact, in 2021, more than a thousand more women aged 30-39 left in comparison to teachers aged 25-29 (that ECT bracket that receives so much media attention) of both genders. 

Does motherhood have something to do with it?  Absolutely.  Are the solutions quick and easy? … some of them, but the big shifts in working conditions that will improve the retention rate amongst mother-teachers will boost wellbeing, quality of teaching and learning, and retention across all demographics. 

Even better: the practical solutions we share in our Life Friendly Leadership programme will also improve gender equality at leadership level, reduce the gender pay gap, and make your school an attractive place to work, thereby reducing the stress and cost of recruitment. 

Jump into the fortnightly sessions on our 10 week Life Friendly Leadership programme to transform your school culture this year.

Life Friendly Leadership Programme

Week 1-2: Life Friendly Leadership

The Life Friendly Leadership programme begins with a hypothesis – one based on research into teacher effectiveness, retention, wellbeing, the motherhood penalty and the gender inequalities in our school. 

Using real life case studies from our research into female teachers aged 30-39, and a collection of concrete strategies, we challenge you to apply the hypothesis to retain staff and – ultimately, improve student outcomes in your school. 

Each week, we’ll provide reading recommendations, podcast episodes and further opportunities to support you to take concrete actions to make transformational change.


  • Life Friendly Leadership programme – £75.00
  • Life Friendly Leadership programme + one-off virtual consultation with Emma Sheppard, MTPT Founder – £175.00
  • Life Friendly Leadership programme + annual Schools Membership – £675.00

Did you know...?

  • Up to 54,000 women are forced to leave their jobs every year because of pregnancy and maternity discrimination 
  • The presence of an experienced teachers improves academic and pastoral outcomes, and makes less experienced teachers more effective

Week 3-4: Expectancy, Parental Leave and the Return to Work

This workshop is available here as a standalone session.

We continue into the second fortnight by going right back to the beginning.  Unfortunately, the motherhood penalty starts before colleagues are even expecting and pregnancy and maternity discrimination is rife in our schools. 

In this workshop, we’ll provide you with an overview of the three key periods of Pregnancy, Parental Leave and the Return to Work, zooming into each area to provide key details and experiences from our research into mother-teachers aged 30-39 who have left the profession.

The workshop includes all the legal information you need to ensure that you are avoiding discriminatory behaviour, and empowering your colleagues as they plan for a family, and when they fall under the protected characteristics of pregnancy and maternity and in the initial return to work period.

Important information is also available in this workshop regarding the inclusion of fathers, and LGBTQ+ parents.

Week 5-6: Teachers and Fertility Treatment

In weeks 5 and 6 we invite you to our panel event with Fertility Issues in Teaching.  We hear from teachers with experience of undergoing fertility treatment as teachers as well as expert input from Caroline Biddle. 

Panellists candidly share their experiences, the way their schools supported them and what to avoid as a school leader or line manager!

Week 7-8: Professional Development and Maternity Leave

There’s a fine line between asking an employee to work during parental leave, and ensuring they have access to the legal right to training and development whilst pregnant and on maternity leave. 

This fortnight we support you to navigate the tricky waters between legals and illegals, discrimination and empowerment, entitlements and best practice as a school leader.

Did you know...?

  • In teaching up to 27% of teachers who take periods of maternity leave do not return, or leave within the first two years of returning 
  • The return to work period is when women are most vulnerable to discriminatory practices

Week 9-10: Supporting Returners

This workshop is available here as a standalone session.

We finish the programme with a focus on a key attrition period: the immediate return to work period and the two years that follow it.

This fortnight’s workshop guides you through effective return to work policies and practices, incorporating legal details to help you avoid direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex. 

You’ll come away with a clear plan of action to support colleagues returning to work after maternity, adoption or shared parental leave, as well as changes that will positively impact working conditions across school.

Going Further…

During or following the completion of our Life Friendly Leadership programme, you have the option of a one-off or ongoing consultancy arrangement with Emma Sheppard, Founder of The MTPT Project, as part of our Schools Membership package. 

A one-off consultation gives you a 1:1 opportunity to ask context-specific questions in response to the programme. 

Schools Membership includes: 

  • Up to 5 1:1 consultation sessions across the year 
  • Email communication for troubleshooting and questions 
  • Policy templates 
  • Introductions to network partners 
  • The use of The MTPT Project logo on your recruitment materials

Tailored Webinars and Workshops

Each of the Life Friendly Leadership sessions can be delivered as standalone webinars, ranging from 30 minute input-only events to interactive workshops.  Sessions can be designed from scratch for your school or organisation INSET, conference or Twilight. 

Recent and upcoming workshops have included: 

  • NEU Leadership Conference (2023) – Life Friendly Leadership workshop 
  • Diverse Educators, Diverse Leaders Programme (2023) – Expectancy, Maternity and the Return to Work workshop
  • HMC EDI Network (2023) – Life Friendly Leadership workshop 
  • ResearchEd National Conference (2023) – Canaries in the Coal Mine: what can mothers teach us about the retention crisis?
  • Diverse Educators, Bristol (2023) – Canaries in the Coal Mine: what can mothers teach us about the retention crisis?
  • Berkshire TSH and Thames Gateway TSH (2023-2024) – Creating Cultures: Retaining and Supporting Quality Teachers – 5 month leadership programme
  • One Cornwall TSH (2024) – Life Friendly Leadership, two half-day conferences
  • Alban Academies Trust CPD Conference (2024) – Is understanding the motherhood penalty the key to teacher retention? / Managing your wellbeing as a parent-teacher  

Our Conference Team are available to deliver workshops of your choice, or newly designed workshops for your event, in person, around England.  To begin discussions about your event, get in touch via our website or email [email protected] directly.