Middle Leadership Programme

Tailored leadership development for a school’s whole middle leadership team
Middle leaders in schools in challenging contexts

This Middle Leadership Programme is a tailored approach to developing a school’s entire middle leadership team or a cohort of middle leaders from across an alliance or cluster. Using diagnostic tools to understand the critical areas of impact and improvement for your pupils, we work with you to identify development priorities for your leaders and to monitor and evaluate these across the year. The Middle Leadership Programme helps schools to retain and develop staff and improve pupil outcomes across the school by reducing in-school variation in leadership quality.

Our training sessions are differentiated to provide targeted interventions for the middle leadership team, from those that need to evidence rapid change, to high-performing teams requiring advanced development. 

Over the course of the year, your school or cluster will access:

  • A minimum of six in-depth training sessions, carefully selected from over 30 modules to meet your leadership needs
  • Three discussion and planning sessions for your SLT to tailor and feedback on the programme with our team
  • Access to tools to monitor your leaders’ development and impact, including a bespoke delivery plan for your leader and individual and group competency frameworks
  • 15 copies of our publication ‘What Makes a Great Middle Leader?’ and 10 copies of our publication for senior leadership, ‘What Makes a Great Middle Leadership Team?’
  • Option to gain National Professional Qualification in Middle Leadership (additional cost)
  • Optional one-to-one Viva discussion with an external assessor

Click here to enquire about the Middle Leadership Programme.


Ambition School Leadership has worked with a range of partners to bid to become a licensee for the reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs). An announcement on the outcome of this bid has been delayed due to the General Election, during which time all providers are unable to register new candidates for NPQs.

We continue to offer the Middle Leadership Programme without the NPQML. This offers a bespoke approach to developing your whole middle leadership team, responding directly to their specific leadership needs and supporting your school improvement strategy.

If we are successful in our bid we will share our new approach to partner-led NPQML delivery.

Our Middle Leadership Programme (with NPQML) is available for secondary and primary schools and can be delivered to a team of middle leaders from one school or a cluster of schools.

If the programme is being delivered across a cluster of schools, the majority of teachers should come from schools that meet our school eligibility criteria.

  • How does the bespoke partnership work?

    The Middle Leadership Programme can starts at any point in the school calendar and runs in an annual cycle for up to three years. Each cycle comprises three phases:

    Initial planning: we work with your senior leadership team (SLT) to assess your current middle leadership capability and map them against the school’s improvement plan. 

    We agree on the most appropriate programme modules to suit your school’s needs and set targets for leaders’ development and pupil attainment, selecting from more than 30 modules including training in performance coaching, effective meeting management and facilitation skills.

    Mid-cycle review: together with your SLT we assess the progress against programme goals for middle leaders and pupil attainment, making programme adjustments to suit the school’s needs. 

    Evaluation: we evaluate progress made in the first year, using diagnostic tools to identify priorities and inform plans for the next cycle.

  • What are the benefits?

    Transform whole departments, areas of responsibility and year and phase groups: our data and impact-driven programme is designed to have whole school impact and reduce within-school variation, improving attainment for your pupils.

    Retain and develop your best teachers: participants are empowered to lead with confidence and skill, with training that targets their specific needs.

    “The programme has inspired and developed both promising and established middle leaders to reflect on their practice. GCSE grades increased by 22% in one academy and 10% in the other.”

    Debbie Coslett, CEO, Book Learning Trust