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Middle Leader Certification

For those who desire to create an impact


We define Middle Leaders as teachers & coordinators in schools (Preschool-Grade 12) who have a specific area of responsibility that involves leading & collaborating with teams. Middle Leaders are the change agents of a school; they work with teachers to ensure great learning happens. Effective professional learning builds on the competencies of Middle Leaders to support their roles & responsibilities within the context of their schools. These programmes are sustained & multidimensional to meet the array of needs of a Middle Leader.

NEWS: Register now for all 2023-24 courses. See the calendar below.

The objectives are to:

  • Provide differentiated approaches to meet the needs of middle leaders within our international school community to positively impact student learning & teacher practice.
  • Create a culture of learning which promotes peer collaboration & connection, to elevate pedagogies that positively impact student learning & teacher practice.
  • Establish a platform for continuous professional learning, avoiding the typical “one size fits all” approach.
  • Highlight ongoing research that expands Middle Leaders’ understanding of effective leadership practices & team effectiveness
  • Elevate mentoring possibilities to empower Middle Leaders to make sustained & transformative changes within their schools.

Scheduled Online Courses

What role do middle leaders play in ensuring teachers are engaged in current, best practice around assessment? We know that assessment is most useful when teachers know how to use it to improve learning and achievement. This course draws on the latest research and literature about assessment and explores it through a middle leadership lens.

This course covers several key areas that will deepen understanding of best practices that lie at the heart of assessment, including assessment for learning and feedback. Participants will explore how to influence and support their team with the use of assessment to inform teaching and learning. The course will look specifically at how feedback can be used to optimise learning and progress.

The course will also unpack how leaders can make sure that assessment is accessible for all students and consider the role of leaders in supporting wellbeing in relation to assessment.

At the end of the course, participants will leave fully equipped with practical knowledge and powerful strategies to lead assessment for learning with real confidence.

Key questions

· What is assessment and why does it matter?

· Where do assessment for learning and feedback fit in and what does best practice look like?

· What do leaders need to do to make sure assessment is for all learners and how can we support wellbeing in relation to assessment?

· How can a middle leader influence their team to implement best practice?

We know that building and leading an effective team is an important step in enabling individual and collective success. This course explores how middle leaders can create cohesive and collaborative teams that are focused on student learning.

The course draws on the extensive body of literature and research in order identify what is most useful, practical and productive in leading teams. Teachers and administrators are by definition expected to be leaders. The key is to 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.

Participants leave the course with a clear understanding of how to build a high functioning team in order to transform learning.

· 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?

Coaching is an important leadership approach for teacher leaders because it focuses on getting the best out of people by unlocking and unleashing their potential. In an educational context, coaching is about developing people so that they are empowered to solve problems and navigate their way through challenge and change. It supports well-being and gives people the skills and confidence to have better conversations and figure things out.

At an organisational level, coaching is pivotal to continuous and sustainable development. This course will equip middle leaders to develop the beliefs, knowledge, skills and understanding to adopt a coaching approach in their everyday practice.

During the course, participants will explore key coaching theory and have practical opportunities to translate this into practice. They will explore how effective coaches listen well and ask powerful questions. Across the two days, they will build a toolkit of strategies and approaches apply in their own context. They will leave the course with the confidence and skills to become a ‘coaching leader’.

Key questions

· What is coaching and how can we develop a coaching mindset?

· What is the role of listening in coaching and why does it matter?

· How can asking better questions enable better conversations?

· What tools and techniques do we need in our coaching toolkit?

Check the calendar on this page to see if this course is available. You can also visit the main events page here:

If this course is scheduled to run, you will find it listed on our events page via the link below. If it is not currently listed and you would like to be kept informed about future courses, please visit the REGISTER INTEREST link.

At the centre of middle 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.

For it to have real impact, it needs to be far more than just a piece of paper. This course unpacks the role that middle leaders play in driving the curricular vision of the school. Participants consider the key principles of effective curriculum design and implementation.

They will consider how students learn, exploring the latest research in cognitive science and how this can support curriculum design and development. Participants will leave with a range of practical strategies and tools to ensure that the curriculum supports highly effective learning in their context.

· How do vision and values drive curriculum design and development?

· What are the key principles that underpin effective curriculum design?

· How do students learn and how can this influence curriculum design and implementation?

· What is the role of the leader in curricular design and development?

If this course is scheduled to run, you will find it listed on our events calendar via the link below. If it is not currently listed and you would like to be kept informed about future courses, please visit the REGISTER INTEREST link.

Being able to manage and embrace conflict effectively is an essential part of middle leadership if teams and individuals are to maintain a shared sense of purpose and direction. As a middle leader, one of the greatest challenges in managing and embracing conflict is managing yourself and making sure that communication is clear and effective.

During this course, participants learn to identify conflict and what their roles and responsibilities are within such a situation. They develop strategies to manage emotions, manage change and learn how to separate the personal from the professional. On a practical level, participants learn how to have difficult conversations and practise different techniques in a safe and supportive environment.

By the end of the course, participants will have a practical toolkit of strategies and protocols to manage and embrace conflict successfully in a range of contexts.

· Why does conflict occur and what is the role of the leader?

· How can leaders manage and embrace conflict within their team?

· How can successful leadership of change help leaders to navigate through conflict effectively?

· What strategies and approaches can leaders use to manage difficult conversations?

If this course is scheduled to run, you will find it listed on our events calendar via the link below. If it is not currently listed and you would like to be kept informed about future courses, please visit the REGISTER INTEREST link.

We know that investing teacher quality improves learning, builds capacity and increases retention. These are only a few of the benefits.

This is an interactive course that gives middle leaders the knowledge and practical tools to lead teacher teams. Across the course, you will explore what effective teaching and learning looks like based on the latest research and literature. You will also learn how to use evaluation as a catalyst for high quality professional development at an individual and group level.

Throughout the sessions, we will look at different models, strategies and approaches for improving teacher quality with your own team. By the end of the course, participants leave fully equipped to lead Teacher Quality Improvement in their own setting.

Key questions

· What does research and literature indicate about what great teaching looks like?

· How can middle leaders evaluate the quality of teaching and learning in their teams?

· What are the most effective strategies and approaches for improving the quality of teaching and learning for individuals and teams?

· How can teacher leaders support the growth of the adults in their team and enable sustainable improvement and professional development?

If this course is scheduled to run, you will find it listed on our events calendar via the link below. If it is not currently listed and you would like to be kept informed about future courses, please visit the REGISTER INTEREST link.

In an organisation, leaders make the weather and create the culture. This shapes how the organisation works and feels. The Culture of Leadership is an exciting course that gets to the heart of this by focusing on international teacher leadership at the middle level, exploring the relationship between culture, context and leadership.During the course, participants explore critical aspects of the middle leader role and how their beliefs and values influence their practice. In addition, they will have the opportunity to build their leadership knowledge, understanding and skills order to strengthen their effectiveness and impact. By the end of the course, participants will have a strong understanding of why leadership matters and how they can shape the culture in their team. They will leave with a clear plan to assist them with the successful application of their learning. Key questions: · What does research claim about effective teacher leadership? · To what extent is leadership context driven? How does culture impact leadership? · How can a teacher leader develop the ability to lead effectively in different contexts? · What are beliefs and values about leadership and how does this impact leadership practices?
If this course is scheduled to run, you will find it listed on our events calendar via the link below. If it is not currently listed and you would like to be kept informed about future courses, please visit the REGISTER INTEREST link.

For the past two years, we have been witnessing a global awakening to a call for a more intentional focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ). In the wake of the outcries for racial justice which reverberated around the world, many institutions indicated an intent to become places where those within their care can thrive with all aspects of their identity celebrated.

However, international education continues to face significant challenges in creating lasting systemic change. Middle Leaders are often at the forefront of observing and experiencing the myriad inequities that exist, such as the lack of affirmation of certain student identities within the school culture and curriculum, staffing barriers relative to educator backgrounds, and more. How might we equip ourselves and our institutions to break through these challenges?

Join this course to explore these themes and co-create actions that lead to breakthroughs which will enable yourself, your institutions, and the international education community to flourish.

Key questions

· What systemic inequities do our fears protect and how can we interrupt them?

· How do we support those within our care to experience breakthroughs in order to flourish?

· How might we break through the systemic barriers to our own growth as middle leaders?

· What can we do as middle leaders to collectively inspire tangible change towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice within the international school ecosystem?

If this course is scheduled to run, you will find it listed on our events calendar via the link below. If it is not currently listed and you would like to be kept informed about future courses, please visit the REGISTER INTEREST link.


Non-ECIS members £350
ECIS Level 1 Membership £315
ECIS Level 2 Membership £300
ECIS Level 2 Membership £280


Tailor-made to your school’s strategic needs. Each course is eight hours in total.

Make an impact, build capacity, & increase retention by signing up your Middle Leader team to our top-rated Middle Leadership Certificate. If you want to hit the ground running, check out our fantastic new special offer for schools.



Further discounts available based on ECIS Membership status.

Learn more about each course below. For further details, please contact


Cindy Vega

Cindy Vega’s career as an educator spans 40+ years in the United States, Spain, & the Czech Republic. She taught in an international elementary & middle school in Spain where she served as the Director of the school before leaving to complete her EdD in Curriculum & Instructional Leadership at Vanderbilt University

Nancy Lhoest-Squicciarini

Nancy Lhoest-Squicciarini is the Lead Facilitator & Trainer for ECIS.  She has over 30 years of experience as an international educator and is a member of the International Association of Facilitators. Nancy is one of the network leaders for @WomenEdLux and is the Chair of the ECIS “Women in Education” Special Interest Group. In 2022, ISC Research recognized Nancy as an #Edruptor, a highly-rated influencer within international education.

Helen Morgan

Helen Morgan is Head of International Consultancy for ECIS and also provides training, coaching & educational expertise in a range of different contexts. Her portfolio is underpinned by over 20 years of experience as a teacher, local authority consultant & Headteacher. As a local authority consultant, Helen led on the implementation of the National Strategies for English & Literacy across the curriculum.

Nunana Nyomi

Nunana Nyomi is passionate about developing communities where everyone can thrive as their full selves & helping students find career pathways which allow them to fulfil their potential. Nunana currently serves as University Advisor & DEIJ Coordinator at Leysin American School (LAS) in Switzerland.

Jimena Zalba

Jimena Zalba is an experienced & accomplished educational leader with over 19 years serving international schools in the Czech Republic, Romania & Cambodia as a PYP coordinator, Associate Elementary Principal & Elementary Principal. Jimena has, in close collaboration with other educators, led the design & implementation of innovative school improvements with a high impact on student learning.

19 Apr @ 14:00 – 20 Apr @ 14:30

Middle Leaders in Munich: 19 & 20 April

09 Aug @ 08:30 – 10 Aug @ 15:30

Middle Leaders in Amman: 09 & 10 August


Bespoke Training: In-person & online

At ECIS, our bespoke consultancy and training offer is growing as schools embrace the concepts of continuous and sustainable improvement. We work in genuine partnership with our schools to make a difference together, building confidence and capacity at all levels.

Our approach to consultancy and training is personalised, professional, practical and impactful. We build it around the needs of the school or organisation, and its unique context. Key to our approach is listening so that we understand exactly what the school needs.

As a result of growing demand, Helen Morgan has joined us as Head of International Consultancy. Helen has extensive experience of working with international schools and organisations as an independent educational consultant. If you would like to find out more or have an initial discussion, simply email Helen at

A commitment to continuous learning

Middle leader cafe

The objective is to highlight how ECIS promotes continuous Middle Leader professional development by creating a platform that is:

  • Based on the needs of Middle Leaders
  • Encourages collaboration with international colleagues to develop a network of Middle Leaders
  • Relevant to the roles and responsibilities of Middle Leaders
  • Applicable to impact teacher practice and student learning
  • Sustained overtime recognising that significant shifts in practice take considerable time and work

Check our events page for the next Middle Leader Café, we’d love to see you there!



Professional learning partnerships make middle leader development financially accessible, with regular scheduling of training, maximising institutional planning for impact. The Association of German International Schools (AGIS) represents and supports the educational and public interest of member schools and their communities by promoting and improving international education. We are proud to partner with AGIS with Middle Leader Courses hosted in Germany.