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.

Expressions of Interest for September 2022

We will contact you with more information.

Middle Leadership


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.

Examples of the 2021/22 EIP experience


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.


Intended Impact

  • To build participants’ confidence to lead with impact beyond the classroom
  • To learn how to successfully lead a change strategy from inception, planning, implementation and review
  • To develop a professional network of peer to peer support and challenge beyond participants’ current school/MAT
  • To implement effective strategies into every day practice to have a positive impact on school improvement and outcomes for pupils.
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Dates, Times and Delivery Methods

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:



face-to-face days


live webinars





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.
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Programme Cost

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

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Who can apply?

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.