Middle Leaders Development Program (MLDP)

Who’s it for?

The National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services is developing a new approach to the delivery of leadership development for middle leaders in schools. National College have been piloting the Middle Leadership Development Programme (MLDP) within 175 clusters of schools.



MLDP represents a new cluster-based model for middle leadership development and replaces the Leading from the Middle (LftM) programme. The new programme involves clusters of schools running their own middle leadership development programmes in-house with National College support and materials. The College trains two facilitators per cluster who will use their understanding of the middle leaders’ context and the programme materials to manage and organise delivery of the programme within schools.

Learning is focused on developing effective leadership of high quality teaching and learning in order to close the gaps in achievement and reduce the variation within schools. The learning journey for middle leaders is centred on addressing a leadership challenge to close an achievement gap within the school. Each cluster has the flexibility to adapt the programme to its own needs.

The aim is to enable experienced leaders to establish a collaborative learning culture within their schools, thus increasing leadership capacity and generate and sustain improved learning and teaching outcomes for all pupils. 

The MLDP offer entails: 

  • Training and assessment for two facilitators for the cluster (six face-to-face days).
  • One day of training for one learning colleague (a key support colleague within a school) per cluster.
  • Access for the facilitators to the On-line Facilitation & Tutoring Course (OFAT) – a facilitation course delivered online and designed to develop facilitation skills such as managing online learning communities.
  • Access to a range of high-quality up-to-date learning materials online in easily downloadable format.
  • Access to a helpdesk for technical support and to a learning specialist/ regional school associate for facilitation and learning support.
  • The quality assurance and dissemination of learning materials created locally by the clusters, so that other clusters can benefit from these.
  • Access for facilitators to top-up training and refreshed resources beyond the third year of running MLDP.
  • The opportunity for participants to obtain CAT (Credit Accumulation Transfer) points towards accreditation from a higher education institution.

The College’s regional team will coordinate the links with the Schools Associates. If you would like to seek further support in joining or forming a cluster locally, please contact – your regional National College contact in the first instance:


I was enrolled on this course from January 2013 


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