National Professional Qualification in Middle Leadership 

A successful programme for middle leaders who currently lead a small team within their school. This includes key stage leaders, heads of department, subject and pastoral leaders. We welcome applicants from across Devon and the South West.

“DTSP holds a very strong quality rating (94% compared to 78% nationally). 100% of participants would recommend this programme” Tribal QA report 2019

“Engaging, personable trainers that have enabled my leadership confidence to grow” Participant 2019

Throughout the programme Middle Leaders will address and progress in 7 core leadership behaviours: Commitment, Collaboration, Personal Drive, Resilience, Awareness, Integrity and Respect. They will achieve this through an improvement project that they will lead, to improve pupil progress and attainment and team capability.

The programme will begin in the Autumn term and will last 4 terms by which time they will have submitted for assessment a 4,500 word assignment which covers the initiation, implementation and evaluation of the project.

Key Features:

  •  Led by experienced school leaders who understand school improvement processes and the key part leadership plays
  • Inspirational trainers who know how to develop the key personal and professional skills
  • Excellent face to face leadership training days aligned to a core theme of leading and managing a team through change
  • Three, two-week online courses, and self-supported study by joining a professional online learning community
  •  Two coaching sessions provided within the ML’s school to explore their personal leadership and develop confidence
  • A programme that seeks to develop the internal motivations and character of Middle Leaders
  •  Development of personal coaching skills through a coaching Triad

Cost:  £1100 (£1050 for partnership schools) including assessment. Schools in West Somerset and Torridge (Category 5 and 6 of the Department of Education’s “Achieving Excellence Programme”) will be able to claim the full cost of the programme as a bursary. We have bursaries of £250 available to schools with 30% FSM or participants who are from a non-white British heritage. We also offer a £150 discount for schools with less than 150 pupils on roll. For further questions or to book contact Sam Lawton at or call us on 01392 454359.

Application deadline Monday 23rd September 2019


Programme Details

Course Outline

Key Content Questions


Pre-Course Preparation

·       What is my leadership like? What do I want it to be?


Module 1

Planning to Lead

·       What are effective leadership behaviours?

·       What are the key processes of leading successful change?

·       How can I succeed in leading my improvement project?

1 F2F and 1 online course during the Autumn term 2019 in Exeter

Personal Coaching 1

·       1:1 coaching provided within ML’s school by one of the course facilitators to develop personal leadership skills

January 2020

ML’s School

Module 2

Leading your Team

·       How can I positively impact on the quality of teaching and learning?

·       What are the key dynamics and levers of effective change?

·       How do I implement my improvement project?

1 F2F and 1 online course during the Spring term 2020 in Exeter

Module 3

Leadership Challenges

·       How do I increase the capability and quality of my team?

·       Challenging conversations – how do I improve the performance of my team?

1 F2F  and 1 online course during the Summer term 2020 in Exeter

Personal Coaching 2

·       1:1 coaching in ML’s school to help prepare for final assessment and reflect on leadership changes

June/July 2020

ML’s school

Pre-Assessment Twilight

·       Support for Final Assessment Submission

Autumn 2020


Programme facilitators

Heather Hanrott

Heather has been involved in primary education for over 35 years and taught in both inner city and rural schools. Her interest in leadership and management started when she became a middle leader in a London school. In her roles as deputy head and later acting head she was further able to develop her understanding and practice. As a headteacher of two Devon schools, she enjoyed success in developing the staff teams and guiding them to grow in confidence in their own leadership.

As well as supporting senior leaders in a number of Devon schools through the school partnership programmes, Heather has been involved in the professional development of middle leaders through the NPQML training. In this role, Heather has enjoyed meeting many primary and secondary teachers over the past six years while facilitating on courses which assisted them to develop their own leadership style with confidence.

Melanie Smallwood

Melanie is passionate about developing people.  She is a Headteacher and a key leader in the development of networks through her trust and learning community, helping subject leaders to work together in order to have a powerful impact across a group of schools.  She believes that collaboration is a key driver for school improvement and for personal development. Her skills in supporting, coaching and mentoring teachers and leaders have also grown from her commitment to Initial Teacher Training with DPSCITT for over ten years. 

Steve Hitchcock has been a Headteacher for the last ten years, taking on two schools in very different and challenging circumstances. His role in leadership came about after working in two 'Outstanding' schools and winning a 'Teacher of the Year Award'. School culture and ethos is very important to Steve. He is passionate about developing staff to enable them to become effective reflective practitioners, particularly using coaching techniques. Working with leaders, Steve is keen to give them the theory and tools to enable them to become effective and confident.


Name Date  
NPQML Handbook 09th Jan 2020