Dianne Smith has over 40 years experience as a strategic leader and change manager in the public service sector. She had an outstanding career as a school Head before joining the Training and Development Agency to implement key national reforms across the South East of England.
As Founder Head at the Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth she created an award winning, dynamic ICT rich learning environment which has been used as a blueprint for new schools. She is an outstanding leader (OFSTED) with an excellent track record of raising standards, coaching and mentoring aspiring new headteachers and those in schools facing challenging circumstances.
Dianne has advised and supported Government at national, regional and local level on workforce reform to tackle standards and raise achievement focusing on professional development, performance management and the change for children agenda particularly in the delivery of Extended Services in and around schools.
Dianne has worked as a senior advisor for a number of organisations including the National College and the Virtual Staff College as project manager for the Succession Planning and Leadership Development Programme, training and developing over 200 public service senior officers from Children’s Services, Health and the Voluntary sector for 19 Local Authorities in the SE. She has been the education consultant for a number of Free Schools and University Technical Colleges on curriculum design, leadership and staff development.
Currently Dianne provides Leadership Development training and coaching for children and adult services for the SE Sector-led Improvement programme working with senior and middle leaders in Local Authorities and schools. Commissioned by the SE Directors of Childrens’ Services course design has been in response to their identified specific needs and includes ‘Coaching to Improve Performance’ ‘Embedding Coaching in your Organisation ‘Managing Change in Times of Austerity’ and ’Stepping up to Leadership’ In three years 700 delegates including 60 senior leaders have attended these skills based experiential learning workshops with new workshops currently being commissioned.
As a member of King’s Group Academies based in the UK Dianne is the Director for Leadership Development. She is a Board member for the Educate Together Academy Trust and My Sister’s House, a charity which supports abused and vulnerable women.
Dianne was the first Headteacher to receive a civic award from the City of Portsmouth for her outstanding leadership of Admiral Nelson School and her wider contribution to education in the City
Dianne is an experienced presenter at national, regional and local conferences and events and an occasional university lecturer. She is also a competent writer having penned a number of successful new school bids and as a published author of an ‘A’ level biology text.
"Di is always very good value. In the work that she has done for the Virtual Staff College on succession planning in south east England she has been a whirlwind of ideas, enthusiasm and commitment. She has helped to galvanise people across a sprawling and diverse region and delivered some really excellent programmes."
Patrick Scott National Lead for Succession Planning, Virtual Staff College