Middle Leaders Fast-Track Programme

Programme Information

The SSAT Middle Leaders virtual programme draws upon SSAT’s extensive experience and expertise in providing high quality middle leadership training. Virtual delivery will enable participants to join a national cohort and learn with colleagues from across the country, without the need to travel. Modules will be delivered as twilight sessions, avoiding the need for cover and saving cost. Supporting resources, reading and activities will be accessed via a dedicated online platform. Participants will also engage in school-based action research to root their learning in practice. Their projects will be shared at a final celebration event.

Benefits of Middle Leadership Training

Middle leaders have one of the most important and challenging roles in school. Among other things they juggle teaching and leading commitments, build teams, support whole school priorities, develop staff, manage resources and quality assure. To do this they need to develop a broad range of knowledge, understanding and behaviours. The direct and significant impact of middle leaders on teaching and learning makes them key to school improvement.


  • Improved confidence, competence and performance of middle leaders
  • More effective leadership and management across the school/MAT/group
  • Stronger and more successful teams
  • Better retention of key staff
  • Talent development and succession planning

SSAT Leadership Brochure

Find out more about the suite of leadership programmes offered by SSAT.

Download brochure

Host information

Dr Dan Belcher, Senior Education Lead, SSAT

Dr Dan Belcher, SSAT

Dan leads on SSAT’s leadership programmes and has a wealth of experience in designing and delivering professional development for all career stages. Before joining SSAT in 2009 he was a senior leader and teacher of French and German. Dan enjoys working with individuals and teams to realise their goals and grow leadership capacity.

Module Information

Module 1: Vision, values and the moral purpose

Date: Tuesday 9 November 2021

This first module begins by reflection on the importance of vision, values and moral purpose.

Aims for the session:

  • To consider what a ‘vision’ is and its importance for school leadership
  • To reflect on the relationship between vision and values
  • To reflect upon our own values and moral purpose
  • To shape the vision for our team or area of responsibility

Module 2: Developing your leadership approach

Date: Tuesday 23 November 2021

This module looks at developing leadership approaches to improve effectiveness. It includes the importance of self-awareness and emotional intelligence, as well as exploring leadership characteristics and styles.

Aims for the session:

  • To become more self-aware as leaders, reflecting on leadership characteristics and behaviours
  • To consider the importance of emotional intelligence and understand the impact of behaviour on team performance
  • To explore the impact of different leadership styles and a situational leadership approaches
  • To understand how leadership contributes to organisational culture

Module 3: Prioritising and managing tensions

Date: Tuesday 7 December 2021

This module explores some of challenges faced by middle leaders and how these might be addressed.

Aims for the session:

  • To discuss the challenges faced by middle leaders and reflect upon research evidence
  • To develop strategies for prioritising and time management
  • To consider the balance of leadership and management within middle leadership roles
  • To reflect on the middle leaders role as both ‘buffer’ and ‘bridge’ between their teams and senior leadership

Module 4: Leading and managing innovation and change

Date: Tuesday 11 January 2022

This module explores the complex issues involved in leading and managing change. It includes practical tools for change management as well as how to handle the emotional aspect of change.

Aims for the session:

  • To reflect on the theory and practice of leading change in order to lead more effectively
  • To explore practical change management tools
  • To understand the emotional impact of change
  • To reflect on the role of innovation – “doing things differently in order to do them better”
  • To consider strategies for implementation planning

Module 5: Using data to support progress and achievement

Date: Tuesday 25 January 2022

This module looks at what data we collect and why and gives participants the opportunity to review their current practice. (An additional recorded session provides a grounding in some key statistical concepts around the use of data and how these are relevant to understanding school accountability measures).

Aims for the session:

  • To consider what data we collect and why
  • To think about both the advantages of data analysis and its pitfalls
  • To discuss how middle leaders use data

Module 6: Principled curriculum design

Date: Tuesday 8 February 2022

This module focuses principled curriculum design, drawing upon SSAT’s Four Pillars – Intent, Content, Delivery and Experience.

Aims for the session:

  • To consider what we mean by curriculum
  • To reflect on the principles of effective curriculum design – including SSATs Four Pillars
  • To discuss Ofsted’s focus on curriculum within the current framework
  • To apply the principles to the current roles

Module 7: Effective teaching and learning

Date: Tuesday 1 March 2022

This module explores theory and practice for effective teaching and learning.

Aims for the session:

  • To reflect on how high-quality teaching has a long-term positive effect on pupils’ life chances, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • To critically consider research into pedagogical approaches shown to have impact, drawing implications for practise whilst aware of any personal bias
  • To reflect on and plan how to implement and support the development of teacher practice overtime growing an excellent, evidence-informed teaching team.

Module 8: Quality assurance

Date: Tuesday 15 March 2022

This module considers the role of middle leaders in quality assuring provision and addressing needs.

Aims for the session:

  • To consider middle leaders’ roles and responsibilities in quality assurance
  • To reflect on a variety of quality assurance processes, including performance management
  • To support middle leaders in holding themselves and others to account
  • To consider approaches to managing difficult conversations

Module 9: Building a high performing team

Date: Tuesday 29 March 2022

This module looks at the key ingredients to building a high-performance team.

Aims of the session:

  • To explore characteristics of high performing teams and dysfunctional teams
  • To reflect on how failures can become powerful learning opportunities
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of teams you lead and considered how you can improve performance
  • Be equipped to support a culture that builds strong teams and shares good practice

Module 10: Professional learning and developing your team

Date: Tuesday 26 April 2022

This module explores how we plan for professional development.

Aims for the session:

  • To identify your own and others professional development needs
  • To consider various professional development activities and their cost-effectiveness
  • To identify appropriate support and professional development for members of your team
  • To evaluate the impact of professional development on teacher development and pupil outcomes
  • To consider a progression pathway for yourself and your team

Module 11: Celebration event (guest) and sharing practice

Date: Tuesday 18 May 2022

This module is a celebration event in which we will share practice and reflect on our personal and professional development through the programme

Aims for the session:

  • To celebrate completion of the Middle Leader programme
  • To share case studies of practice and impact projects
  • To reflect on our personal and professional learning
  • To consider next steps

Save more with SSAT Membership

With SSAT Membership you would save £300 off this course, and all other SSAT courses are available at a discounted rate. Whether that be on leadership, or assessment, the choice is yours. Sign up for membership today and access all member benefits immediately.

Find out more about SSAT Membership

Register your interest

Book now

Start date:

Tuesday 9 November 2021
15.30 - 17.30


Ten modules delivered online over two terms


SSAT member cost: £1350
Non-member cost: £1650

All prices exclusive of VAT

Ideal for

Aspiring middle leaders in all phases

More info

Contact us on 020 7802 0955 or by email.