Deborah spent time developing her own leadership skills at NCTL and the IOD.
One of the courses that she laments is no longer available was the Leadership Programme for serving heads. This course brought participants together from both private and state sectors and required them to focus on a strategic initiative that would positively impact on their school. The sharing of best practice during a four day residential and then the return the following year to explain the outcome of the initiative was something that benefited many schools and empowered leaders to fulfil their potential. (see LPSH certificate).
Deborah has worked on the National Professional Qualification for Headship
(NPQH) design several times and decided that even though she had been an experienced Headteacher for many years and had completed the Leadership Programme for serving heads, it would be beneficial to also study the NPQH.
Deborah has been a long standing fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is now an honorary fellow.
Deborah’s charitable work has reached notable acclaim and several years ago she was awarded the London Day award for making an outstanding contribution to life in the capital. She is currently a Trustee of Child Bereavement UK, whose patrons include Prince William and the Duchess of Cainbridge.
Deborah received a Millennium Award which allowed her to work in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, along with other teachers. Upon her return Deborah was granted lifetime Membership of the Millennium Fellowship.
“The award marks the personal commitment and achievement of a select group of talented individuals in strengthening and enriching their communities. The Millennium Awards Fellowship exists to recognise, celebrate and record the energy and imagination and achievement s of al Millennium Fellows…with the support of its members, the Fellowship is a national platform to promote the power of the individual to make a difference and to bring about positive social change.”
Dame Floella Benjamin
In December 2012, Deborah was awarded the Order of the British Empire, for her services to education, with specific reference to her ground-breaking contribution to cross-sector engagement. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, as Grand master, signed the certificate and then the following summer Deborah had the privilege of being awarded her OBE medal by Queen Elizabeth II, at a small gathering in Windsor Castle.
“I felt so privileged to receive my OBE, especially when I met other recipients of the awards.. Some members of the Olympic team were being awarded MBEs and then I met several key military personnel and a CEO of a very well-known global charity and those receiving awards were all delightful company. I suppose that one aspect of being a leader is that we are always trying to develop others and spend little time reflecting on our own qualities. I have met the Queen several times before but it has always been to do with a project that I am engaged in and in those circumstances the conversation has a clear focus; when you suddenly realise that the topic of conversation is yourself, it is quite different. One of the first things that her majesty said to me was “I have really been looking forward to this moment” and I thought what a wonderful way to make me feel at my ease. She was charming and we laughed about me being too young to retire and how I was involved in so many other roles and she drew some comparisons! It was a special day in so many ways and I am glad that my husband, sister and daughter could share it with me. It is a memory that I will cherish for ever.”
At the end of her tenure as Headteacher of Babington House, Deborah received an award from ISA for her inspirational leadership. The award acknowledged the way in which Deborah had developed the school into an establishment recognised for its excellence in all areas of school life.
For over a decade Deborah Leek-Bailey OBE worked with the National College of Teaching and Leadership, representing the independent sector. In 2011-2012, her role was formalised and she became an “Independent School Advocate”. She was praised by then CEO, Steve Munby for identifying local need, networking with other leaders, developing and promoting good practice and helping to create a sustainable future culture of high quality school leadership”. (Certificate for national college for Independent Advocate.