An Ofsted perspective on the key role of middle leaders

Nov. 20, 2013
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Mike Cladingbowl

Ofsted inspector

National Director for Schools at Ofsted, Mike Cladingbowl, outlines what Ofsted looks for in an outstanding middle leader and suggests how schools might develop their middle leaders.

No-one forgets a great teacher. It’s a truism that happens to be true. And understanding this is crucial to understanding all education systems because, fundamentally, it’s the quality of teachers that matters most in education.

"People, not structures, are the most significant drivers of improvement and change in our schools."

Writing in his 2011/12 Annual Report, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, argued that: “If England is to compete with the very best, then strong leadership is absolutely critical… When I look at any inspection report, my eyes are always drawn to comments on leadership because leaders are the key people in changing and improving the culture and performance of the organisation. Leaders provide the role models for the rest of the institution.

This is manifestly true, not just of headship, but of all levels of leadership in a school. And when we talk about leadership – what we mostly mean is the leadership of teaching, which everyone agrees has the biggest single impact on standards...

Read the entire blog here.


This article originally appeared on the website of the Ambition School Leadership. In March 2019 the Institute for Teaching merged with Ambition School Leadership to form Ambition Institute.

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