Middle Leadership

Excellence in Practice

A practical exploration into the complex role of Middle Leadership, focusing on the development of leadership skills, competencies and domain specific expertise needed to be successful in role.

Enrolling now for September 2021

New Leadership Development Experience for 2021-22


There has never been a better yet more challenging time to be a middle leader. Described as the engine room of any school, this is a privileged position which has a direct impact on the development of excellent teachers and support staff and the delivery of outstanding outcomes and opportunities for children and young people. With privilege comes great responsibility. Being a highly effective leader, manager, teacher,       curriculum specialist, coach, mentor and inspirational motivator requires a toolkit of strategies, abundant self awareness, a habit of self reflection and a command of key skills and competencies to ensure the personal and professional success and wellbeing of you and your team.

The role of a middle leader is varied. This opportunity is designed to help Middle Leaders consider and navigate the role in more detail to develop both personal confidence and professional competence. There will be a focus on vision, influencing others (upwardly, outwardly and downwardly), effective resource management and an exploration of what constitutes effective practice. This is a unique experience to learn and reflect alongside peers from a range of contexts and settings and work with expert leaders who have delivered excellence in the broad areas of middle and school leadership. Participants will also have the opportunity to undertake an enquiry visit to another setting and gain the support and guidance from skilled facilitators who are experienced school and MAT leaders.

Who is this experience for?

Teachers and non-teachers who fulfil a middle leadership role across the each school phase and are responsible and accountable for outcomes in a curriculum/area and performance of a team.

What You Will Learn About

The ‘Middle Leadership – Excellence in Practice’ experience has been designed, in conjunction with school leaders to be both practical and pragmatic with high quality facilitation and opportunities for participants to network with and gain peer support and challenge. The experience will engage new or aspirant Middle Leaders in an exploration of key leadership areas, including:

The Leadership Mindset

Creating the Conditions for Excellence

Leading Strategy for Improvement and Impact

Change management, Communication and Decision Making

Leading Highly Effective Teams

Maximising Performance, Developing Talent and Courageous Conversations

Leading Curriculum, Learning and Teaching

Creating Your Narrative

Leading Pupil Behaviour and Investment

Meeting Needs and Delivering Excellence

Leading Innovation and Change in a VUCA world

Embracing Partnerships, Collaboration and Innovation

Assessment and Accreditation

This is an innovative, practical leadership experience for busy serving school leaders, teachers and therefore, participants will focus on their own leadership priority (linked to the school/development plan) throughout the experience and are not required to complete a lengthy written submission or external assessment. However, to add professional challenge and validity, throughout the learning experience, participants will work towards a VIVA presentation.

The VIVA is designed to provide an opportunity for participants to outline how they have used the experience and their learning from it to develop their leadership mind-set and how they have strategically applied this to impact positively on young people. Participation will be jointly endorsed by Learners First and the participants’ school/Trust and, if in agreement, the learning and impact work will be shared and celebrated across the partnership.

Dates, Times & Delivery METHOD

Facilitated sessions will encourage and support participants  to consider a range of pertinent areas, drawing on local and national best practice and making sense of the wealth of evidence based research. The experience will also include a self assessment of your competencies and areas to develop; inter-sessional research and activities to put your learning in to practice; peer support and opportunities for reflection on your learning throughout the experience.

Delivered over the academic year through a blended approach including live webinars, face to face days, self reflection, reading and schools visits.

Full attendance and engagement with all sessions throughout the experience including the school visit and participation in the final VIVA.

The experience will be shaped around the following schedule:



Tuesday, 28 September 2021: 3.00pm-4.30pm

Face to Face Days

Face to Face

Tuesday  05 October 2021: 9.00am-3.30pm

Thursday 25 November  2021: 9.00am-3.30pm

Friday 18 March 2022:  9.00am-3.30pm



Wednesday, 03 November 2021: 2.00pm-4.00pm

Tuesday, 25 January 2022: 3.30pm-5.30pm

Wednesday, 04 May 2022: 3.45pm-5.45pm

Wednesday, 22June 2022: 3.00pm-5.00pm

Learning Reflection


Thursday, 09 December 2021: 3.00pm-4.00pm

Wednesday, 09 February 2022: 3.30pm-4.30pm

Monday, 23 May 2022: 3.30pm-4.30pm

Thursday, 07 July 2022: 3.30pm-4.30pm

Elective School Visit

Central to the ‘Middle Leadership – Excellence in Practice’ experience is the opportunity to visit another school, similar or different in context to your own setting. This will be arranged in conjunction with Learners First and will enable participants to consider their leadership learning and school priorities in action. There is an expectation that participants have this release time agreed with their Headteacher. There will be agreed protocols for attendance and follow up. The period for visits will be Autumn 2 and Spring 1. 

Programme Cost

£475 per delegate. This is fully funded for participants from schools subscribing to Learners First in 2021/22.


The ‘Middle Leadership – Excellence in Practice’ experience is designed for those currently operating at or close to a Middle Leadership position. Roles may include Heads of Department, Subject, Key Stage Leaders or Whole School Co-ordinators, Faculty, Phase Leaders, Pastoral Leaders. 

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