What Should Middle Leaders Know About Their Subject?

Research shows that good middle leaders can contribute immensely to the success of a school as their subject knowledge provides an important part of their professional identity and their colleagues’.

Not only in the event of an inspection but to positively influence teaching and learning practices within the school, and ensure better learning outcomes for their pupils what is it that middle leaders should know and be able to answer without hesitation? Read on to find out.

As a subject leaders it is important that you know the answers to the following questions in the following areas:


  • Why is your curriculum created this way?
  • How does it fit in with your school’s vision?
  • How do you cater for children’s different needs?
  • How do you ensure that the learning continues from the year before?
  • Is the sequencing of lessons supporting all children’s progress?
  • What is your evidence base for your decisions about curriculum, assessment, workload and data?


  • What schemes/medium-term plans are in place?
  • How do you develop, monitor, evaluate and improve provision in your area of responsibility?
  • How effective is teaching? How do you know?
  • How do you identify and address gaps in pupils’ knowledge and you help them reach the expected standard?
  • How do you identify gaps in pupils’ learning and starting points?
  • How do you make sure that teachers have sufficient subject knowledge?
  • What are your current action plans for your area of responsibility?
  • What do staff and pupils think of your subject?


  • Does the curriculum lead to good results in all key stages?
  • How do your results compare with national averages?
  • How do you know that learning over time shows appropriate levels of challenge?

How many of the above are you aware of?

Having a list like this, helps having a clear guide of what is going well and what needs improving. If something isn’t quite going the way you want it put it on your action plan and aim to develop and enhance it.

Do you think more should be added to this list? If so, leave a comment below.

Don’t forget to like and share this post if you found it helpful.

Till next time…

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