Middle Leaders Fast-Track Programme

Programme Information

Ten middle leader modules: five twilight webinars, plus five self-study online modules

High quality middle leadership training for current and aspiring middle leaders. Each course module draws upon SSATs extensive experience and expertise in leading professional development. Participants will take part in five interactive webinars and five online modules, having access to a wealth of educational resources to support their learning and practice.

Middle leadership is often referred to as the engine room of school improvement. This programme develops middle leaders, equipping them with the attributes, skills and knowledge to lead sustainable impact.

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

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


Webinar 1: Vision, values and the moral purpose

Date: Wednesday 22 June 2022

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

Webinar 2: Developing your leadership approach

Date: Wednesday 6 July 2022

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

Webinar 3: Leading and managing innovation and change

Date: Wednesday 14 September 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

Webinar 4: Quality assurance

Date: Wednesday 28 September 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

Webinar 5: Building a high performing team

Date: Wednesday 12 October 2022

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

Aims for 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

Self-study online modules

The self-study online modules (6-10) can be accessed and completed flexibly to suit participant needs. Each module addresses a different aspect of middle leadership and includes a variety of resources and activities to support the development of attributes, skills and knowledge.

Module 6: Prioritising and managing tensions

This module explores some of common challenges faced by middle leaders and provides practical tools and strategies.

Content includes:

  • Keeping the main thing, the main thing
  • Prioritising and time management
  • Balancing management and leadership roles
  • Middle leaders role as both ‘buffer’ and ‘bridge’
  • Communicating effectively

Module 7: Using data to support progress and achievement

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

Content includes:

  • What data do we collect and why?
  • How middle leaders use data
  • Advantages of data analysis and pitfalls

Module 8: Principled curriculum design

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

Content includes:

  • What we mean by curriculum
  • Principles of effective curriculum design – including SSATs Four Pillars
  • Ofsted’s focus on curriculum within the current framework
  • Applying the principles to the current roles

Module 9: Effective teaching and learning

This module explores teaching and learning theory and practice.

Content includes:

  • The impact of high-quality teaching on pupils’ life chances, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Effective pedagogical approaches and engaging with research evidence
  • Habit change

Module 10: Professional learning and developing the team

This module looks at how we plan for professional development.

Content includes:

  • Identifying your own and others professional development needs
  • Professional development activities and evaluating impact
  • Progression pathways
  • Coaching

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

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Book now

Start date:

Wednesday 22 June 2022
3:30pm - 5:30pm


Five webinars, plus five self-study online modules


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.