The Virtual School shows subject leaders and department heads the implications of their decision-making and helps hone leadership skills in a safe environment. It has been developed by the National College for School Leadership and the BBC. Around 140 teachers from London and Manchester started the programme this week.
Paul Hammond, NCSL project manager, said: "In any school you have to deal with angry parents, fights, wasps and fire alarms. It is these issues, as well as decisions about textbooks and staff, that determine how well you will do as a middle manager."