Middle Leadership Mastery

A toolkit for subject and pastoral leaders

By: Adam Robbins


Or purchase digital products from our partners:


Products specifications
Attribute nameAttribute value
Size222mm x 182mm
PublishedMay 2021

Written by Adam Robbins, Middle Leadership Mastery: A toolkit for subject and pastoral leaders aims to enhance middle leaders' expertise so that they can make informed decisions and communicate them effectively to both staff and students.

Never has there been a more crucial time to improve middle leadership.

For many years school inspections have focused on data-driven outcomes and the role of senior leaders in driving school improvement; recently, however, the focus has shifted to curriculum and middle leadership. This has left middle leaders under increased pressure to be able to justify their actions and decisions.

Furthermore, to make the best decisions possible, middle leaders need to have a nuanced understanding of the consequences of their actions. In this pragmatic book, Adam aims to boost their role-specific expertise to help them achieve that goal – and offers them a preferable alternative to learning from their mistakes.

Instead of relying on generic leadership theories, Middle Leadership Mastery gathers perspectives from psychology and cognitive science to share evidence-informed guidance on a wide range of topics – from supporting staff and students in crisis and managing wellbeing, to quality-assuring teaching and curriculum design. It also sets out a holistic view of the role of middle leaders – covering people management, teacher development, teaching and learning, decision making and pastoral issues.

In doing so, the book offers new insights into the tasks and responsibilities that middle leaders take on in their day-to-day work and shares a series of practical tools, approaches and strategies that will support them in effectively implementing their own plans and ideas.

Adam draws on his sixteen years' experience of teaching in a deprived area to illustrate his points with stories and anecdotes from the front line, demonstrating how middle leaders can better understand their context and deliver the best outcomes from a variety of starting points.

Suitable for both established and aspiring middle leaders in primary and secondary schools.

Picture for author Adam Robbins

Adam Robbins

Adam Robbins is a science teacher and lead practitioner in charge of whole school CPD. He supports middle leaders in all subjects to develop their teams. Adam is also the managing editor at CogSciSci, a grassroots organisation aimed at bringing the findings of cognitive science to the classroom, and is often invited to speak at international events on issues of teaching, learning and pastoral matters.

Click here to read Adam Robbins' blog.


  1. Within a well-structured text, Adam Robbins promotes his breadth of experience linked to a focus on enhancing the skills and awareness of current middle managers who are seeking to boost both their own and their department’s performance and maintain personal motivation within the role. Readers will benefit from the author’s ideas on routines for successful lessons, creating a quality assurance process, leading staff development and leading others. At this difficult period, with the increased need for support for learners and staff and the emphasis on catch-up programmes, the sections on managing change and improving well-being are extremely useful. The excellent recap and reflect sections also offer a workable framework for short-burst staff development sessions for promoting and managing change to ensure all staff are rowing in the same direction. Overall, Middle Leadership Mastery provides a valuable, engaging and stimulating contribution to enhancing the skills of middle leadership staff and supporting them in the challenging arena of middle management. It will enable middle leaders to build an effective toolkit to reduce the burden on themselves and help them avoid personal burn-out.

Write your own review