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Moving into Middle Leadership 2018

  • Classes Start
  • Classes End
  • Estimated duration Approx. 2 hours/week

Enrolment in this course is by invitation only

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About This Course


Middle leaders are those who lead change at department, key stage or specialism level. Successful middle leaders are both leaders and managers; they are visionaries who inspire and motivate others and - at the same time - the cogs in the systems who keep the school ticking on a day to day basis. The Moving into Middle Leadership course has been co-designed with experts from Teach First and Ambition School Leadership to help accelerate your progression into middle leadership positions both as a leader and as a manager. Supported by expert facilitators with experience of middle leadership roles in challenging primary and secondary schools, you will be immersed in the real-life world of middle leadership and supported to develop the knowledge and the skills necessary to become an effective middle leader in your school.

During the course, you will:

  • Learn key theories of middle leadership.
  • Consider the part played by vision in progressing to middle leadership.
  • Reflect upon which models of middle leadership you might apply in your specific context.
  • Learn how to see and measure the impact of different middle leadership inititaives by completing a lesson study exercise with peers in your phase.
  • Learn about how to meaningfully drive change at classroom, department and school level through the effective collection and use of data.

Course Staff

Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones

"I have worked in secondary education for 25 years. Always passionate about inclusion, my career has focused on working in challenging schools where I have taken on a number of roles including Head of Department, Deputy Head and Headteacher. I am also a leadership development coach and facilitator on a range of leadership development programmes in the north of England. I look forward to drawing on my experience and expertise to support your move into middle leadership".

Geraldine Herrick

Geraldine Herrick

"I have almost 30 years' experience working in the education sector. I was a Deputy Headteacher for six years in an Infant and Nursery school before becoming the Headteacher of an Infant and Nursery school in a challenging area. I have also been a Local Authority Primary Adviser with the remit for Leadership Development and Succession Planning, I carried out some developmental work at the University of Warwick and was a Professional Tutor for Teach First. I am currently an Independent Education Consultant and a Facilitator and Primary Development Coach for Ambition School Leadership. I am very much looking forward to supporting you through your course and helping you progress to middle leadership positions in your school."

Additional Contributors


Claire Wilding

Claire Wilding

Claire is a Teach First ambassador, secondary English teacher, associate head of English and an influential middle leader at the Manchester Creative and Media Academy. Having identified her middle leadership vision and developed her skills accordingly, early in her career Claire took on the role of Associated Head of English and, at the same time, joined the whole-school Teaching and Learning Team which leads whole-school approaches to pedagogy. More recently, she has taken on the role of Professional Mentor for Teach First participants in Maths and English. Over the years, she attended many CPD sessions around leadership and management which supported the completion of her Masters in Education and led to her successful placement on the Teaching Leaders programme. Claire is incredibly passionate about supporting others to develop their leadership and hopes that her contribution to this course will accelerate and deepen your development into middle leadership in your school.

Oliver Lougheed

Oliver Lougheed

Oliver is a Teach First ambassador, 'outstanding' teacher and successful middle leader at Oasis Academy in Oldham. As a middle leader at his school, Oliver is responsible for ensuring staff training is put into practice, ensuring new teachers are supported to make good progress and making sure that the school continues to achieve its School Improvement targets each year. In addition, Oliver works as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) for the Oasis Innovation Teaching School, supporting teachers in struggling schools. Oliver is committed to supporting others to be brilliant leaders and hopes that his contribution to this course will support you to successfully move into a middle leadership position in your school.

The Course: What?


The Moving into Middle Leadership course contains five modules and a collaborative Lesson Study activity.


The first phase of the course journey (weeks 1 - 4) goes as follows:


Module 0: Course Preparation (week 1)

This module will introduce you to the tools that we'll use and approach that we'll take during the course. It will also give you an opportunity to introduce yourself to the rest of the class, to meet others and to reflect on what you want to achieve from the course. This preparation will culminate in our first live session, during which you will meet your classmates and facilitator and prepare together for the start of the course.


Module 1: What is Middle Leadership? (week 2 - 4)

During this module we will think about some of the key theories of middle leadership and explore which different leadership styles you might need to develop in order to successfully lead change in you school context. Through online activities, two virtual office hours and a live class meet we will explore the skills and vision that you need to develop in order to lead change as a middle leader in your school.

Collaborative Project: The Lesson Study

In the collaborative project you will learn how to drive and lead change both for you and your department through the practice of Lesson Study. You will learn best practice in lesson study techniques and, working in trios with colleagues from your phase, will complete a lesson study in your classroom. During the lesson study period you can submit questions to your facilitator and at the end of the process you and your group will present back to others in your phase the third live class meet.


Module 2: The Day Job - Self Evaluation

In module 2 we will progress from theories of middle leadership to practices of middle leadership or "the day job". In this module we will explore the role of self evaluation in the middle leader's day job and gain some hands-on experience in the art of self evaluation. During this module you can access support from your facilitator via two dedicated office hours.


Module 3: The Day Job - School Evaluation

In this module we will explore how to lead change at departmental and school level. Specifically, we will explore the importance of leading and monitoring an evidence-based culture in your school. By drawing on real-life examples and engaging in data collection activities, you will start to develop some of the key skills required of effective middle leaders at departmental and school-level. During this module you can access support from your facilitator via two dedicated office hours.


Module 4: Reflections, Declarations and Next Steps

In this module we will reflect on what we have learned in the course and think about our personal visions for middle leadership in our schools. Through online activity and a dedicated live session we will develop a deeper understanding of our personal visions of middle leadership and the skills and actions required to achieve them.

The Course: How?


The Moving into Middle Leadership course is a blended learning course. This means that content is delivered both online (self-paced) and in person (live). Specifically, you will learn in three ways:

Through self-paced online content: Your course content and related embedding learning activities (e.g. reflection and discussion) will be delivered through the TeachFirstX Platform and associated app. To maximize your control over the 'when and where' of learning, you can decide when and where to engage with content and core activities within broad time-frames. A detailed learning schedule and suggested week-by-week timetable will be provided.


Live Sessions: You will explore self-paced content with experts and peers at four phase-specific live sessions, delivered through the Zoom video conference tool. At the live sessions we will develop higher level learning skills (reflection, critique, analysis) which will transform knowledge into more complex understanding. A detailed schedule of live class meets will be provided.


Virtual Office Hours (weekly): You will be able to raise questions and receive feedback from expert facilitators on a weekly basis through the online office hours. The office hour will not be live - instead, at specified points in time you will submit questions for your facilitators and they will record video responses which will be uploaded for your review at your convenience. A schedule for asking questions and reviewing responses will be provided.