In this article we focus on leadership talent retention as a component of local solutions to leadership succession and talent management in an English context and then draw conclusions relevant to those seeking to ensure a supply of high-quality school leaders in a variety of international settings. Utilising focus groups and a questionnaire survey, the article explores the perceptions of 70 heads, 191 middle leaders and 168 classroom teachers drawn from 70 contextually different primary and secondary schools in the Midlands and north west of England. Respondents were asked to report on current approaches to retaining leadership talent in their schools and how they perceived that their local authority could become more helpfully involved in leadership talent retention. The article also includes an extended interview with a senior officer in charge of leadership development and retention from a large local authority located in the Midlands of England. It is suggested that national and local desires to grow leadership talent pools and retain high-quality leaders for now and for the future should take into account the inclusion and flow of individuals capable of progressing to key leadership positions that are difficult to replace and that a strategic approach to talent pool creation linked with a strategic view of the development, improvement and performance of the school could represent an ideal way forward.