Teaching Leaders Primary

Our selective programme for high-potential middle leaders looking to increase their impact, with tailored primary and secondary pathways
Middle leaders in primary schools working in challenging contexts

Teaching Leaders is our selective leadership development programme for high-potential middle leaders working in schools in challenging contexts. Blending intensive coaching, face-to-face training and online learning, Teaching Leaders helps schools to retain and develop high-potential staff, improve pupil outcomes in the key areas of reading, writing and maths and close achievement gaps for disadvantaged children. 

Route 1: two year programme for middle leaders looking to increase their impact

Well suited to newer middle leaders looking to build their confidence and core leadership skills, Route 1 helps participants discover their own strengths and learn to use data to inform planning and strategy. 

In year one, participants will benefit from: 

  • 35 hrs of face-to-face development from experienced facilitators with school leadership backgrounds, including evening seminars and conference days
  • 1:1 coaching with experienced leaders from primary schools in challenging contexts 
  • an inspiring weekend induction conference, bringing the whole regional cohort together to network and build lasting relationships 
  • Working on an Impact Initiative , in which participants measure their impact on the progress  of disadvantaged pupils in their area of responsibility over the year 

Participants can apply to proceed into year two, joining more experienced middle leaders entering the programme via Route 2. 

Exact content of programme subject to confirmation of funding.

Route 1, year 2 / Route 2: for high-potential middle leaders

This year focuses on developing advanced leadership skills including coaching, facilitation, influencing skills and how to develop a high performing team. All these are focused on helping middle leaders effect change to improve pupil outcomes. 

This includes: 

  • 50+ hours of face-to-face development, including evening seminars and conference days  
  • 1:1 coaching sessions experienced leaders from primary schools in challenging contexts 
  • An inspiring and developmental five-day residential that brings together the national, cross-phase cohort  
  • Working on an Area Impact Strategy, in which participants measure their impact on the progress  of disadvantaged pupils across their area of responsibility over two years 


We work exclusively with schools in challenging contexts. Click here to read our school eligibility criteria.


In order to maximise whole-school impact, we encourage headteachers to nominate teams of, usually, three middle leaders with the motivation and potential to develop their leadership skills commencing in Year One of the programme. 

There are two prerequisites for all Teaching Leaders Primary participants:

Role: those with accountability for reading, writing and/or maths results e.g. phase leader, English or maths subject lead or whole-school leadership such as SEND/inclusion. Other middle leadership roles are considered if they have the potential to impact on outcomes in English and maths.

Performance: candidates are judged by their school to be highly effective teachers who strive to achieve the best outcomes and progress for their pupils.

Applications for our next cohort will open in January. In the meantime, click here to register your interest, or contact us.

  • What are the benefits of the programme?

    Transform your leadership team and improve pupil outcomes: 

    • Low-attaining pupils in primary schools with our middle leaders outperform others in all schools by 9% in maths, 6% in reading, and 7% in writing 
    • Participants learn how to analyse data and turn underperformance around and role model a culture of improvement and accountability 

    Retain and develop your best teachers: 

    • Teaching Leaders participants commit to stay at their schools for the full duration of the programme 

    Become part of a powerful network: 

    • Our rigorous assessment and selection process ensures that participants form a powerful peer group of like-minded, optimistic and collaborative leaders 
    • Your school and leaders will join Ambition School Leadership’s national network of more than 4,000 leaders and 1,500 schools, sharing ideas and best practice