Senior Leader Apprenticeship (with NPQSL) Level 5

NPQSL Apprenticeship

    Extend your leadership training and gain an extra qualification with the Senior Leader Apprenticeship with NPQSL.

    Includes extra 1:1 coaching, additional content and support - all funded through the Apprenticeship Levy or Co-Investment.

    The Senior Leader Apprenticeship with NPQSL (Level 5) has been designed for aspiring or recently appointed senior leaders looking to improve their leadership capability. Participants complete the Operations or Departmental Manager apprenticeship standard which includes a DfE-accredited NPQSL.

    Completion of Level 5 Operations or Departmental Manager apprenticeship standard

    Aligns with recognition by: Chartered Management Institute – Full Member, The Institute of Leadership and Management – Full member

    Full National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

    An experienced tutor guides you through both the apprenticeship and the National Professional Qualification (NPQ)

    Aligned to Masters credits and can act as a springboard on to Liverpool Hope University’s MA in Leading in Education or the MBA in Educational Leadership

    Apprenticeship Levy funding or co-investment from the ESFA

    Candidates completing the dual award benefit from:

      • Increased awareness and understanding of self and of the behaviours needed to lead across a school
      • Increased capability and capacity to take on a leadership role
      • Evidence-based sustainable school improvement activity improving pupil progress and attainment, and the effectiveness of teaching
      • The ability to make informed decisions and approach new challenges in an effective and efficient manner
      • The ability to review and evaluate practice in order to bring about change and get the best for young people and staff within the organisation
      • One-to-one support from a dedicated apprenticeship tutor including monthly reviews and support sessions online or face-to-face
    • Workplace learning with support from your in-school mentor
    • Entitlement to an NUS student discount card

    How is the programme delivered?

    An apprenticeship focuses on the holistic development of the appropriate skills, knowledge and behaviours, designed in partnership with cross-sector industries, to ensure bespoke coverage of all the relevant requirements of leading and managing at a senior/executive level at your setting or across multiple organisations.

    Engaging with an apprenticeship is both a challenging and rewarding commitment which will fully prepare you for the demands and rewards of senior leadership. The image below outlines the components of the programme with the NPQ elements in blue and the apprenticeship elements in pink.


    Learning Hours

    To view the total learning hours of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship with NPQSL compared to the standalone NPQSL, please view the image below:

    How is NPQSL delivered?

    As outlined above, NPQSL makes use of a blended delivery model consisting of face-to-face events, online study, webinars and coaching.

    NPQSL participants will attend 4 face-to-face events via the blended delivery model. Our nationwide delivery partnership network allows us to bring face-to-face training to a school near you and facilitated by local school leaders.

    Participants access online learning and support via our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas. Through Canvas, participants are able to engage with learning communities of peers, access multimedia content, research and expert school-led practice aligned to the curriculum content for the qualification and receive high-quality feedback from experienced performance coaches.  and submit work for assessment.


    Leaders Apprenticeship Webinar

    On 8th December, 2021, our NPQ and Apprenticeships teams delivered a webinar consisting of a 30 minute presentation about the Leaders Apprenticeships followed by a Q&A session. 

    The presentation covered all aspects of a Leaders Apprenticeship including a look at the programme delivery structure, the role of the Apprenticeship Tutor and how to go about accessing Apprenticeship Levy funding. Please find a recording of the webinar below. The slides used during the presentation can be downloaded here

    Am I eligible?

    The Senior Leader Apprenticeship with NPQSL is for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.

    Although the role varies, many senior leaders contribute to all aspects of the school through the leadership team as well as having a specific whole school responsibility of their own. This means the role is often both operational and strategic and relies on working with and through colleagues (in particular, through middle leaders) to ensure every pupil gets an excellent education.


    Candidates must be able to evidence level 2 English and Maths prior to undertaking end-point assessment.

    Applicants must be in a middle leader role as a minimum and have completed 2 full years of teaching.

    All applicants must have either QTS, QTLS, a Level 5 (or higher) qualification (any subject), or an international equivalent (see below). You must be able to evidence this with a copy of your certificate.

    For those with QTS, you can download a copy of your certificate here

    For those with QTLS, you can download a copy of your certificate here If for any reason you are unable to provide a copy of your certificate, you will need to ask a representative from the school where you are teaching to contact Capita Teachers' Pensions. Your employer should know how to do this via the Capita employer portal

    If do not have QTS or QTLS, you will need evidence completion of a Level 5 qualification (any subject). For International applicants, you will need to apply for a UK ENIC Statement of Comparability to demonstrate your Level 5 qualification is comparable to UK qualifications.

    Where do I find further information about NPQSL?

    Our Senior Leader dual award includes the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL). For more information about NPQSL click here.

    Best Practice Network is one of the leading providers of NPQSL nationally and the quality of our provision is rated ‘Exceptional’ by the DfE’s external quality assurance agent.

    You can view our performance against the national metrics here.

    How do I access the funding?

    The Senior Leader Apprenticeship with NPQSL can be funded through your school’s apprenticeship levy. Schools will be able to access the funding through their apprenticeship service (AS) account.

    If your school needs help setting up your AS account, just let us know and we’ll guide you through it.

    The Leaders Apprenticeship with NPQSL costs £7,000 from Apprenticeship Levy funds or co-investment for non-levy payers where the government pays 95% (the NPQSL standalone cost is £1140).

    The level of funding depends on each candidate’s learning needs, with a maximum allocation of £7,000 to cover the cost of the apprenticeship. 

    What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

    The levy is paid by large employers with a wage bill of over £3 million. These employers pay 0.5% of their total annual pay bill into the levy. Most state-maintained schools and multi-academy trusts pay into the levy.

    The levy is designed to create long term sustainable funding for apprenticeships and to give employers more control to provide their staff with a range of training opportunities.

    Apprenticeship funded training is designed for both new and existing staff members.

    If your school is not a levy payer or has exhausted its levy funds, the government will pay 95% of tuition fees with your school paying the remaining 5%. Please contact us if you would like more information. 

    How do I apply?

    We are now accepting applications for our Senior Leaders Programme with NPQSL Autumn 2024 Intake. Click below to apply.

    Apply Now