Expert Middle Leaders

Join our inspiring Expert Middle Leaders programme to drive school-wide improvement.

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The Expert Middle Leaders programme (formerly Teaching Leaders) will give you the skills you need to lead on curriculum, assessment and pedagogy (methods of teaching) in primary, middle or secondary schools.

Over two years, you’ll benefit from:

  • Intensive residential training over 7 days to learn from others, and gain expertise and knowledge to put into practice in your school. You’ll do 4 days in the 2020 summer holidays (during W/C 24 August 2020) and 3 days in 2021
  • An additional 7 days of face-to-face training outside school hours, plus 12 hours of virtual sessions with facilitators experienced in school leadership to enhance your skills
  • A transformative 9 hours of virtual coaching to achieve your goals
  • Academic tutoring with an experienced tutor for 5 hours to get to grips with key topics
  • Peer learning group sessions, totalling 10 hours, to learn from like-minded peers
  • Access to a network of thousands of leaders for personal and professional support
  • Access to the latest teaching research and evidence and a range of assessment and curriculum planning tools to work more effectively
  • Spending one hour of independent learning per week to reflect on your professional development

Apply for Expert Middle Leaders

Applications are now open for our Expert Middle Leaders programme. You can apply using our application portal.

Apply now
"It’s a real privilege to be able to network and share good practice with other driven, like-minded colleagues."
Laura, KS2 Maths Co-ordinator

Why apply? Back to top

Further career development
Go from strength to strength as an expert middle leader. In a 2018 survey of the predecessor Teaching Leaders programme participants, 63% of respondents had been promoted since completing the course.

Learn how to embed positive and lasting change
You’ll be exposed to the latest in behavioural insights so you can effectively and strategically drive school-wide improvement.

Design an expert curriculum
You’ll develop your subject expertise and learn how to design and implement a curriculum that is valued by pupils, is memorable and enables deep learning using the latest cognitive science of learning research.

Learn from the best
The programme is designed by experts, includes the latest knowledge and skills needed to meet the new Ofsted framework and embraces findings from 10 years’ experience of delivering impact-driven middle leadership programmes.

Get evidence-informed training
It’s fully funded, so you’ll get all the benefits mentioned here at no cost. It’s win-win for you, your school and your pupils.

Build a peer network
Becoming a leader of a school in a disadvantaged area can be challenging, isolating and hard work. You’ll join 10,000 committed, like-minded and optimistic school leaders from over 2,400 schools, forming a powerful peer group to help you tackle these challenges face on.

The Expert Middle Leaders programme is fully-funded, so there’s no cost to schools or participants. It is funded by the Department for Education’s Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF).

Expert Middle Leaders includes the option for you to choose between a National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) or National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) during your first year. 

If you want to do the NPQSL you will need to complete a viva at the end of the first year to assess suitability. You will then start the NPQ in year two with a mix of face-to-face learning, online tasks and independent study. Completion of the NPQ will be expected during year two with submission on completion of the programme.

Study required to achieve one of the NPQs is included in the programme model. Details regarding the projects and curriculum can be found here.

There is an additional cost of £150 per participant to complete either the NPQML or NPQSL. 

You will join a cohort of 500 middle leaders keen to develop their expertise. 

Find our performance against nationally set NPQ metrics here

Next steps Back to top

Applications are now open; please apply using our application portal.

Apply now


To apply for this programme, you must be a primary, middle or secondary school middle leader with responsibility across teaching, learning, designing the curriculum and line management.

This programme is fully-funded for primary and secondary schools based in Achieving Excellence Areas 5 or 6, and/or those with an Ofsted rating of Requires Improvement or Inadequate.