Claire Frosdick

 “Middle leaders have more day-to-day impact on standards than headteachers. Middle leaders are, simply, closer to the action. Teachers’ and pupils’ experience of leadership comes most frequently from their middle leaders” 

Russell Hobby, General Secretary National Association of Head Teachers

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The National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) is a new qualification that provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a middle leader.
NPQML is aimed at individuals with responsibility for leading a team, including key stage/subject/curriculum leaders, heads of department and pastoral leaders.
The qualification is designed to support you in becoming a highly effective middle leader, with the skills, confidence and knowledge to drive successful team performance and improved classroom practice.
To achieve the NPQML qualification you’ll need to successfully complete two essential modules and one further elective module, which you are free to choose from a wide range of options. Programme content: Essential modules:  Leading the gap and Managing systems and processes. (titles subject to change).  Sample Elective Modules:  Effective leadership of SEN provision, Leading an effective team, Leading and developing staff, Succeeding in middle leadership, Leading change for improvement, Leading in a diverse system. Commitment: Each module requires up to 50 hours of blended learning.  This typically consists of workplace learning, face-to-face activity, including peer and facilitated learning, reading, reflection and online learning.


We are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for both aspiring and serving middle leaders to gain a National Professional Qualification led by Ambition Institute.

We deliver the NPQML through the Alliance’s trained and accredited facilitators, tailoring content to meet local challenges  and each leaders’ development needs.  This school-led leadership development will align with school improvement plans and leaders’ strengths and areas for growth.

This qualification will provide a clear pathway of expert career progression.  So, if you’re looking to develop your leadership skills  register your interest to start your journey.

The main focus of this programme is to ensure that all participants increase their confidence, capability and impact as a middle leader.  Participants will be assessed through a written assignment to ensure that they have reached the qualification requirements.

The programme will comprise 6 half-day sessions and will cover all assessment requirements:

        • Strategy and improvement
        • Teaching and curriculum excellence
        • Leading with impact
        • Working in partnership
        • Managing resources
        • Risks and increasing capability

Workshops will include a mixture of theoretical input, case studies and interactive discussion.  Participants will also be directed to a bank of online resources that will supplement and enhance learning, thus preparing them for the written assignment.  It is also an invaluable opportunity to meet and collaborate with other middle leaders.


This programme is suitable for:

  • Teachers who are aspiring to middle leadership and who meet the following eligibility criteria:
    – Likely to be in a middle leadership role in the next 12-18 months
    – Have completed at least one year of full-time teaching
  • Those currently in middle leadership roles who fit within the criteria below*
    – In secondary schools, middle leaders who have roles such as head of   department, head of year or a whole school lead role (eg SEN) or second in charge of a department or pastoral area
    – In primary schools, middle leaders will have roles such as phase leaders, key stage leaders or a whole school lead role (eg literacy)

*if the middle leader is aspiring to senior leadership, or currently serves on the senior leadership team, this person may be more suited to the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders

For both aspiring and serving middle leaders to receive their qualification, they will need to be able to complete the project element of this qualification successfully.  This is to lead an improvement project in their team, lasting at least two terms, aimed at improving pupil progress and attainment and the capability of their team.  It is essential that the school understands this element of the programme, and the support that will be required of them, when they are placing participants on the programme.

For further information regarding upcoming cohorts please contact us using the details below.