Middle Leader

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Help your school thrive: become a leader with an NPQML from our accredited middle leadership course.

  • Gain an NPQ in Middle Leadership.
  • Flexible, evidence-based training.
  • Solve your school’s specific challenges.
  • Train while you teach.
  • One-to-one expert support.
  • Join a passionate network striving for educational equality.
Duration
July 2020 to September 2021
Limited places left. Feb 2021 start applications open soon
Applications close June 10 2020

Unlock your talent as a middle leader and fulfil your school's potential.

Benefits

Gain a National Professional Qualification

Boost your career with a highly respected NPQ in Middle Leadership. We’re one of the few organisations accredited to provide these nationally. 

Key facts

  • 90% of teachers say leadership development opportunities encourage them to stay in a school.
  • Around 850,000 young people are not benefiting from good or outstanding leadership, according to Ofsted.
  • Effective leadership makes schools ten times more likely to improve at their next Ofsted inspection.

Solve your school’s specific challenges

Each stage of the NPQ-accredited programme is tailored to your school's needs and designed to address your daily challenges. It’ll give you the skills to ideate and implement plans that’ll have real impact on teachers and pupils.

You'll be providing practical solutions - not just ticking theoretical boxes. 

One-to-one expert support

We provide one-to-one support and training from accomplished educators, on hand to offer guidance when you need it. They’re experienced school leaders who’ve been where you are - so they know how to help you get the most out of the training.

You'll also get: 

  • Virtual learning groups that connect you with others on the programme, so an understanding friend is always at your fingertips. 
  • In-person learning outside school with current school leaders and education experts.
  • Workshops with other teachers on the programme.  
  • Networking opportunities at our training days, where you can build valuable, ongoing connections in your region.

Expert, flexible school leadership training

Most of the NPQML course can be taken online - meaning you can fit it around your schedule at a pace that suits you.

You’ll also attend our face-to-face events, where you’ll review your work, prepare for the next stages and connect with leaders in your region.

Join a passionate network of leaders striving for educational equality

Share experiences with other school leaders, learn how they’ve faced similar challenges and build a professional network that’ll support you throughout your career.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

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Impact

Leadership matters

That’s a fact. We want to make sure schools that teach the most disadvantaged pupils get the best leadership training and support to succeed. That’s good for poorer young people, who get brilliant leaders; good for teachers who want to progress; and good for schools who get to develop and keep talented staff.

We’ve researched the issue extensively: take a look at our report.

We found there are plenty of teachers and leaders eager to step up given the opportunity. Our aim is to provide leadership courses that give them the ongoing career development they want.

Key report findings: addressing the school leadership challenge

Our report found under-developed leadership was widespread, impacting disadvantaged pupils the most:
  • Around 850,000 young people are not benefiting from good or outstanding leadership, according to Ofsted.
  • 14% of schools in the UK's poorest communities are given the worst Ofsted scores for leadership - compared to 5% in wealthier areas.
  • Sixty-three percent of senior leaders say their school does not provide enough leadership opportunities.
  • Eighteen percent of senior leaders have had no leadership training at all.
But great leadership training at all levels can change that:
  • Sixty-four percent of middle leaders in all schools say they’d be interested in taking on a more senior role. 
  • Schools are ten times more likely to improve at their next Ofsted inspection with effective leadership.
  • Ninety-three percent of teachers say training tailored to their school’s needs is the most effective.
  • Ninety percent of teachers say leadership development opportunities encourage them to stay at a school.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

Become a confident school leader

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Programme

Is the middle leader programme right for you?

If you’re an aspiring or newly appointed middle leader who is responsible for a team (such as a subject leader, key stage leader or head of department), this programme is for you. 

Please note that to apply for this programme, you must have completed your NQT year or be due to complete it by July 2020.

Why should headteachers consider it for their school?

Career development opportunities (and ongoing support) encourage teachers to thrive right where they are. That’s why our leadership programmes are so valuable – they keep great teachers in their schools for the long term, while increasing their positive impact.

Not only does a middle leader add skills to your team: this person will create and implement a plan that directly addresses issues affecting your pupils. They’ll also become part of a wider network of teachers and schools, all attempting to give young people from the poorest backgrounds the best shot at success.    

How it works

At the heart of the programme are project management skills and intensive support.

It’s delivered in four stages:

  1. Pinpoint issues that are holding pupils back and work out the causes.
  2. Develop your ability to address those issues and create a plan that will effectively tackle them at your leadership level.
  3. Onboard colleagues and integrate your plan into every aspect of school life.
  4. Reflect on your plan and make improvements an intrinsic part of your school’s culture.

You’ll learn in two ways:  

  • Online and at school. All the high-quality resources that come with the NPQML programme are available online. You’ll access knowledge and tools to help you reflect on and track your leadership development, tackling the issues impacting your school. Each stage requires around ten hours of online learning through modules. You can take these as and when you choose.
  • Training days. Get together with leadership experts and fellow participants to review your work, prepare for the next stages and share experiences. There are three training days: two Saturdays (one in July, the other in September) and one weekday (in December), where there are no day-to-day school distractions - so you can really focus on your development.

Support at every turn

We go out of our way to provide great support. We know that with it you’ll get the most out of the programme and, in turn, so will your pupils. You’ll get:

  • One-to-one support with an expert ready to share their deep knowledge of middle leadership and project development skills. 
  • Virtual learning groups that connect you with others on the programme online, so an understanding friend is always at your fingertips. 
  • In-person learning outside school with current school leaders and education experts. There will also be workshops with other teachers on the programme.  
  • Networking opportunities at our training days, where you can build valuable, ongoing connections in your region.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

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Cost

Cost: £800

We offer our high-quality programmes at a significantly subsidised rate to make them accessible to leaders in schools tackling the biggest challenges.

NPQ scholarship funding

At the discretion of the DfE, you could be eligible for DfE scholarship funding to cover the total cost of your NPQ programme if you work in a school in either:

  • a category 5 or 6 area
  • an Opportunity Area (OA) 
  • or in a Multi Academy Trust or Diocese that meets the DfE criteria

Looking for a different leadership programme?

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Apply

Is your school eligible?

To take part in our NPQL programme you need to be working at a school that is either a Teach First partner, or eligible to be one. That means your school must be in England and teach a high number of pupils from low-income backgrounds. This is because we want all our funding to be directed at those who need it most. 

We calculate which schools are eligible using the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Achieving Excellence Areas (AEA): a measure which identifies parts of the country where children persistently underperform. 

Based on these scoring systems, eligible schools must fall under one of these categories:

  • An IDACI of 40 or greater (this means 40% of pupils are living in low-income homes).
  • An IDACI of 35 to 40 and an AEA score of 4 to 6.
  • An IDACI of 30 to 35 and an AEA of 5 or 6.
  • An IDACI of 25 to 30 and an AEA score of 6.

If your school serves a disadvantaged community but does not quite meet these eligibility criteria, please contact us.

Before applying

To make applying as easy as possible, take a look at our short application guidance document.

Please note that to apply for this programme, you must have completed your NQT year or be due to complete it by July 2020.

You should also talk to your headteacher and make sure they’re happy for you to join and to fund your place. You should tell them that:

  • everyone on the programme is expected to come to up to three face-to-face training days - two Saturdays (one in July, the other in September) and one weekday (in December)
  • your school will need to cover any travel expenses for those training days; however, we will provide some support with travel and accommodation costs related to event attendance, for those who need to travel beyond a reasonable distance - this is outlined in our travel policy
  • your school is responsible for arranging teaching cover for the one training day that takes place during the working week
  • each stage of the programme requires dedicated time spent on online learning
  • your school is responsible for funding the cost of the programme.

Then you're ready to apply - applications close 10 June 2020.

If you've still got questions about any aspect of the programme or the application process, email us at TFSLP@teachfirst.org.uk - we're happy to help.

Looking for a different leadership programme?

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If you have that drive to ensure you’re always improving, always thinking about your leadership qualities and skills, go for this programme.
Katie Matthews,
English teacher and Middle Leader programme member

All young people deserve good career guidance for success beyond school. Our programme gives middle and senior leaders the careers expertise to deliver it.

Careers Leader

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