In education literature there is a distinct lack of scholarly work on issues of leadership other than on functional leadership at lower levels or high-level individual leadership activity which dominates existing studies. This empirical research is based on the result of a merger of education providers within the North East of England. A crucial aspiration of the newly merged organisation was to provide an overarching innovative leadership structure to facilitate integrated leadership. The specific focus of this article is participants of a bespoke postgraduate learning intervention. The authors apply sense-making theory to identify how student-leaders undertaking a leadership development intervention developed to become a community of education leaders. The reflective accounts of the student-leaders indicated a combined approach of distributed, shared and collaborative leadership. Whilst the study was conducted in the UK, the concepts and ideas are likely to have international application.