Contact innovator

Ewan McIntosh
It's impossible to be agile enough without quality leaders throughout the system

Leading from the Middle

location_on Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Leading from the Middle is a live, intensive programme that builds personal, team and organizational strength, quickly. The focus of each session will add value to the leadership development of those who aspire to middle leadership positions. And it’s ideal for further growth of senior leaders in principalship, directors of teaching and learning, advancement specialists, technology leaders.
Secondary School Principal, International School of Geneva, Campus des Nations
"My leadership style changed: more open, encompassing, supportive. I listened. I realised that with opportunities for middle leadership to lead, their confidence will grow and change will happen."

Secondary School Principal, International School of Geneva, Campus des Nations


HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Ewan McIntosh on February 26th, 2021
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
Updated on June 30th, 2022
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

It's impossible to be agile enough for the current climate without quality leaders throughout the system. Middle Leadership has been poorly used in most schools, for decades.
It’s sometimes seen as a thankless stepping stone to senior leadership, a necessary
administrative function to keep a small team organised, and conduit for senior
leadership’s missives. This programme transforms the role.

How does your innovation work in practice?

We created a technology platform and leadership curriculum based on relational leadership, taking middle leadership training from "how to run a meeting" to "how to identify needs, create concrete ideas, recruit teams to develop them, and measure your impact". Our first Cohort metrics show an increase of 5-12% in key skills.

The programme is built around three sprints. Each sprint begins with a five-day online intensive to explore the key themes, followed by four weeks of creating change on the ground in school:
BE THE LEADER: Find your cause; Create your vision; Research your context; Looking, Listening, Learning; “Just do it…” - Personal efficacy

USE YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILL: Make your ideas better through creative conflict; Objectives and key results; Recruit for an idea; Act agile; Build momentum, build the sprint.

TAKE LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITY: Act collaboratively; Generate trust; Build relationships; Negotiating and Hard conversations; Influencing the system

How has it been spreading?

We thought we'd attract 20 participants in our first iteration. We had 124 sign up before we had to close the doors. Cohort 2 launches in September. We've partnered with the Association for Advancement of International Education (AAIE), SCIS (in Scotland), with a prototype undertaken across 23 ESF Schools (HKG)
We've just started, but we've seen 124 projects develop across 23 settings, with a broad range of 'causes':
- Curriculum redesign
- Personalisation and self-paced learning
- Play and Hands-on learning
- Inquiry
- Positive Behaviour
- Wellness
- Organisational excellence
- Increasing Collaboration
- Improving student attitudes to writing
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Technology development
- Leadership development in students
- Finding meaning beyond the classroom

If I want to try it, what should I do?

We've partnered with many membership associations to offer up to 40% off the cost, and we're aiming for accreditation with national agencies of education to help underwrite costs for those who might not be able to afford it today.


Achievements & Awards

September 2021
Cohort 2 Launches
June 2021
The Middle Leader Manifesto
June 2021
Update on impact of Cohort 1
February 2021
Innovation page created on
February 2021
First Programme Launch

Spread of the innovation

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Leading from the Middle - the white paper
Why is Middle Leadership so important if Senior Leaders are to do their job to the fullest? Our white paper presents the research, and some first steps any school can take to empower more to lead from the middle.
Read more
Sign up for the next Cohort
We run two Cohorts a year, at the moment. Sign up is available all year round.
Read more