National Professional Qualification
for Middle Leadership
Our National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) programme is flexible and modular to enable candidates to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence required to lead high-performing teams and improve classroom practice. The qualification is accredited by the Department for Education (DfE).
Who is this for?
NPQML is suitable for middle leaders with responsibility for a team including Key Stage leaders, subject leaders, and curriculum leaders, and also heads of department or pastoral leaders.
How to apply
Please complete the online registration form in the right hand bar to apply for a place.
You will be asked to upload the following as part of your registration:
- A signed declaration from your headteacher in which they agree to support you through the programme and confirm that the school will finance the cost of the course.
It will save time if you have this before you start your online registration.
You can view our programme metrics here.
What are the benefits?
- Facilitation and support from serving school leaders in outstanding schools
- Purpose built virtual learning environment enabled for mobiles and tablets
- Delivery at local venues
- Guaranteed support to pass final assessment
- Content contextualised for your locality and updated to reflect national developments and legislation
- Regular progress updates for mentors and headteachers
The qualification covers 6 content areas which set out what a leader should know or should be able to do, and 7 leadership behaviours which set out how the best leaders operate. The content areas have been embedded within 3 online courses, with the leadership behaviours explored during the face-to-face events.
Each day is facilitated by experienced serving school leaders.
|Event 1: Strategy &
|• The qualification framework and assessment criteria
• Outcomes of the 360° diagnostic
• School improvement project planning
• Analysing school data and identifying strategies for improvement
• Effective leadership of change strategies
|Event 2: Teaching
& Curriculum Excellence
|• Reflections on Teaching & Curriculum Excellence
• Applying learning to PISA data 2015
• Considering Prof Robert Coe’s questions about school improvement with impact
• A US Navy model of leadership
• Strategies for managing your own well-being
|Event 3: Managing
Resources & Risk
|• Assessing individual performance and capability
• Establishing relationships and structures and/or processes to mitigate against barriers
• Analysing the financial and staffing implications of plans
• Evaluating the impact and cost-effectiveness of professional development in terms of pupil outcomes
Online Course Content
|Strategy & Improvement||Teaching & Curriculum Excellence||Managing Resources & Risk|
|Module 1||Context for change & strategic development||Context for change - teaching & learning reality||Financial efficiency & effectiveness|
|Module 2||Creating the vision & strategic improvement environment||Creating the learning culture for effective teaching and learning and curriculum opportunity||Accountability & governance
School-led partnership and impact
|Module 3||Establishing credible relationships & effective collaboration||Growing talent and quality momentum||Staffing recruitment, retention and performance|
|Module 4||Transforming the culture for improvement & impact||Transforming lives and opportunities for improvement and impact||Transforming schools through school-led
partnership and impact
Guideline Study Hours Breakdown
|360 leadership diagnostic||2|
|Peer challenge groups||N/A|
Leading an improvement project (4,500 words)
Candidates must lead an improvement project within their team, lasting at least two-terms, to a) improve pupil progress and attainment b) the capability of their team. A written account of the project covering the design, implementation and evaluation must then be submitted for assessment.
Project scripts and supporting evidence are assessed in accordance with a mark scheme provided by the DfE and are subject to national moderation.
In order to achieve NPQML candidates must:
- complete 3 online courses and associated core tasks
- engage with practice-based events
- pass final assessment within 18 months of starting the qualification
How is it delivered?
Candidates will usually complete the qualification within 12-18 months and benefit from our following learning models:
Our blended learning model
- three face-to-face training events
- three guided online courses working alongside peers
- regular online conferences to support and complement learning
- access to two 360° leadership skills diagnostics
- support from a nominated in-school mentor
- facilitation from serving school leaders in outstanding schools
- local and flexible access to high quality leadership training
- dedicated online tutor to support school improvement project planning
- mobile enabled virtual learning environment enabling flexible access to course resources and support community
- option to accrue 40 credits to contribute towards an MA in Educational Leadership with Chester University
The Online Elements of NPQML:
Our distance learning model:
What does it cost?
|School Type||Fee payable|
|All state-maintained schools and academies in the UK||