CPD Toolkit | Success in middle leadership

Success in middle leadership


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Are you optimising the talent of your middle leaders? Explore the characteristics and behaviours of strong middle leaders, by looking at how efficient leaders behave and use their time, and by undertaking effective self-evaluation. This course aims to develop middle leaders’ ability to improve the quality of teaching, support them to hold team members to account, and give them the tools to plan for and embed positive change.


This training course is suitable for middle leaders from early years to secondary education, and is ideally delivered by a member of the senior leadership team.

Course outline

Session 1 - Leadership, management and the leadership transition (90 minutes)


  • Reflect on current leadership behaviours
  • Explore the difference between leadership and management
  • Review these differences in terms of middle leadership roles
  • Consider some of the challenges of middle leadership
  • Explore the key characteristics of effective leadership

    Session 2 - Evaluating your area of responsibility (90 minutes) 


    • Focus on the school improvement cycle and evaluation
    • Develop an understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
    • Consider the evaluation activities and types of evidence used to underpin judgements
    • Respond to the requirements of the Ofsted framework

    Authors: This course was developed in partnership with George Abbot Teaching School, a teaching school with a focus on providing excellence in professional development and educational innovation for schools, their pupils, and workforce. 

    Session 3 - Developing teaching and learning (90 minutes)

    • Accurately assess the quality of learning in a lesson
    • Lead feedback discussions with a teacher clearly and precisely in order to improve practice
    • Prepare for and hold difficult conversations with colleagues about their performance

    Session 4 - Planning for improvement (90 minutes)

    • Research the Sutton Trust-Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit about what works in schools
    • Consider approaches to effective improvement planning
    • Explore models for delivering effective change projects


    Courses include:
    • Facilitator notes providing step-by-step guidance with discussion prompts, activity instructions and links to further reading
    • A facilitator log including a checklist to support session planning and evaluation, and to help you identify next steps 
    • A diagnostic audit to assess participants’ prior knowledge so that you can tailor the content and target areas for improvement
    • Presentation slides outlining key concepts and guidance
    • Videos to support activities and to explain complex ideas
    • A learning log enabling participants to reflect upon their learning against the course objectives
    • A feedback form enabling participants to evaluate the subject content and activities in the session
    • A certificate to certify participation in the training course

    How it works

    1. Download high-quality materials created in partnership with subject specialists, and quality assured for your peace of mind
    2. Adapt the resources to meet the needs of your school and staff
    3. Deliver engaging training with confidence, with the support of comprehensive facilitator guidance 
    4. Evaluate the impact of your training to identify areas where staff need further support