Middle Leader

"Middle leaders have a profound impact on moving an educational institution forward."

(Robyn Chapel, Director of Teaching and Learning at The American School in London)

Curated by ECIS in partnership with the American School in London, we’ve joined forces to bring you a whole programme of learning to transform your journey within the international school environment.
Through our courses and certificate, middle leaders develop their skills and deepen their knowledge to become effective catalysts of school wide change.
To earn the certificate, participants must complete four courses from the choice of six below, with The Culture of Leadership as the core mandatory course. All courses are run face-to-face over two days.

To find out more about our Middle Leaders Certificate contact learning@ecis.org.

The Culture of Leadership

(CORE MODULE to earn the Middle Leader Certificate)

This two-day course focuses on the unique and crucial aspect of the effective operation of an international school–leadership at the middle level.
During the course, participants explore critical aspects of the middle leader role, enhancing understandings, developing knowledge, and building and practising skills aimed at strengthening their effectiveness as middle leaders.Participants leave the course with clear plans to assist them in the practical and effective application of their learning.
The course will address the following questions:
  • What does research claim about effective school leadership?
  • To what extent is leadership context driven?
  • How can I develop my ability to lead effectively in different contexts?
  • What are my beliefs and values about leadership and how does this impact my leadership practices?
  • How can middle leaders support teams in clarifying goals and strategies?
  • What practices can middle leaders use to support the implementation of agreed goals?

Building and Leading Teams

In this two-day course, these questions are explored:
  • What are some characteristics of a highly functioning team?
  • How can I facilitate the creation of a team focused on student learning?
  • How can protocols, structures and norms facilitate thinking and a focus on student learning?
  • What types of conversations are critical and when are they likely to occur?
  • What processes and behaviours can be prepared in advance to enable difficult situations and conversations to be well managed?

“Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.”
Tom Peters

From the extensive body of literature and research, and from the wide array of experiences in leadership, how do we tease out what is most useful, practical and productive in leading teams?
Teachers and administrators are by definition expected to be leaders. How do we use that authority thoughtfully, sensitively and productively? Should we find ourselves in the role of a leader without perceived authority a - more informal position - it is a different dynamic.
Regardless of the role, a teacher-leader helps to shape the culture of a school, improves student learning, and influences practice among peers.

Curricular Design and Leadership

In this two-day course, these questions are explored:
  • Why is a guaranteed and viable curriculum fundamental and how as a leader, can you ensure its central role with your team?
  • What role do middle leaders play in supporting the curricular vision of the school and ensuring curricular alignment?
  • What strategies and tools can middle leaders practice to facilitate curriculum development and review?
At the centre of teacher leadership is a commitment and desire to improve student learning. We know there are several factors that impact student learning and at the top of the list of school-related factors is a guaranteed and viable curriculum. What role do teacher leaders play in supporting the curricular vision of the school? In this micro-course, we explore these questions together through structure protocols and discussions to generate new thinking, consolidate new ideas, and promote connections to prior knowledge.
Participants come away with direct experiences to understand the importance of a guaranteed and viable curriculum, the language of curricular design, the alignment of a course/grade level curriculum with department/team philosophy and the school’s mission and vision, and strategies to help make standards meaningful to their team.

Assessment and Leadership

Where: American School of The Hague
When: 20 – 21 January 2018

What role do teacher leaders play in ensuring teachers are engaged in current, best practice around assessment?

In this course we will cover key areas to deepen the understanding and best practices that should be at the heart of student learning. Explore how you can influence and support the use of internal assessment data to inform teaching and learning. Walk away equipped with practical knowledge, powerful strategies, and with protocols and tools for assessment leadership.

In this two-day course, these questions are explored:
  • What are current, research-based best practices that should be at the heart of student learning and embedded into the assessment procedures?
  • How can leaders influence less experienced teachers to implement a variety of formative and summative forms of assessment?
  • How can a leader support the use of internal assessment data to inform teaching and learning?
  • What impact/influence should external assessment measures (i.e. PISA) have on the development of teaching learning and assessment?

Embracing and Managing Conflict

This two-day course focuses on the vital work leaders must do to manage and embrace conflict in their professional lives.
During the course, participants learn to identify when they are in a conflict, their role and responsibility, learn strategies and protocols to draw on for further conversations / dialogue / discussion, to prepare for, engage in and manage conflicts, and explore ways to recognise and avoid conflicts.
The course will address the following questions:
  • What are the different types of conflict?
  • Why are conversations important in conflict?
  • What are strategies or protocols that we can draw on to guide us through conflicts?
  • How can you be proactive in conflict management?
Through scenarios, reflection, conversation mapping, and structured discussions individuals will gain tools and strategies in order to manage and embrace conflict.

Leading Professional Learning

In this two-day course, these questions are explored:
  • What does research indicate about the best practices for the most effective teacher professional development?
  • How can a leader implement ongoing reflection, goal setting and action, with a view to personal and group professional development?
  • How can teacher leaders model excellent ongoing professional learning and practice?
  • How can teacher leaders support the growth of the adults in the building?

Forthcoming courses



Assessment & Leadership
American School of The Hague
20-21 January 2018


Managing and Embracing Conflict
American School in London
10-11 February 2018


Assessment & Leadership
International School of London – Qatar
16-17 February 2018
Click here to register


Leading Professional Learning
American School of Barcelona
2-3 March 2018
Click here to register

The Culture of Leadership
Berlin Brandenburg International School
16-17 March 2018
Click here to register

Building & Leading Teams
Berlin Brandenburg International School
20-21 April 2018
Click here to register