National Professional Qualification
for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)
For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.
Learn the Key Concepts Underpinning Successful Senior Leadership
Awards 30 Master's Credits
Develop a Culture in Which Staff and Pupils Are Able to Thrive
Next Intake Autumn 2022
National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Senior Leadership
The NPQSL is a DfE-accredited qualification. The content and processes used within the programme are subject to robust external quality assurance so that schools and participants can have confidence that the areas studied have direct relevance to their current needs.
Benefits for Participants
- Facilitation and support from serving school leaders in outstanding schools
- Purpose-built virtual learning environment enabled for mobiles and tablets
- Delivery at local venues
- Support to pass the final assessment
- Content contextualised for your locality and updated to reflect national developments and legislation
- Assessment tasks that involve professional enquiry into relevant aspects of your school’s current practices
- Choose what to study. Our regular needs analyses support participants to focus their energies on those aspects of their leadership they most wish to develop.
- Flexible delivery arrangements according to needs and circumstances e.g. provision for staff who work part-time.
- The NPQH qualification is 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
Benefits for Schools
- A leader who is able to make a positive contribution to a wide range of whole school activities
- A leader equipped with essential knowledge and understanding of what we are learning about effective practice in both operational and strategic leadership and management at a whole school level
- A leader with the skills necessary to successfully implement sustainable changes intended to secure improved pupil outcomes
- A leader who recognises the importance of having a secure evidence-base to underpin their strategic decision-taking and is familiar with the science of learning
- A leader who shares common understandings and a shared professional language with other leaders in your school – the ‘golden thread’ of professional development
How is NPQSL delivered?
A Blended Learning Model
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, 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 leadership performance coaches.
Leadership Performance Coach
The leadership performance coach is a participant’s main point of contact for the duration of the NPQSL. Their role is to support a participant’s progress and development through the programme. They will respond to practice task activities completed for each online course and provide challenge and feedback on each of the formative assessment tasks. Each participant will receive small group and individual coaching sessions from their leadership performance coach to develop their thinking and support their progress.
The in-school sponsor is someone who the NPQSL participant can check in with across the duration of the programme and who can provide relevant professional guidance, support and challenge. The sponsor is not a formalised programme role but a go-to person to talk about their learning and development from the qualification and its application in practice. The sponsor may be a leader from another school/organisation.
NPQSL Delivery Structure
The NPQ frameworks are based on a robust method of design and development, building on the evidence base and expert guidance already established in the ECF and the ITT Core Content Framework. The NPQ frameworks reflect the Teachers’ Standards and Headteachers' Standards to ensure coherency with the requirements already used by the teaching profession.
Please see the NPQSL Framework below. If your computer or device does not support the Adobe plugin you can download the framework pdf here.
Who is this for?
The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (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.
Applicants must have completed 2 full years of teaching following achieving QTS/QTLS/Level 5 (or equivalent) qualification and, as a minimum, already in a middle leadership role.
What does it cost?
Candidates from international schools should visit our NPQSL International page for international prices.
Scholarships have not yet been confirmed for the next NPQ intake. Please complete our expression of interest form and we will contact you as soon as more information is available.
Applications are now closed for the Spring 2022 NPQ Intake. Please register your interest to hear about future NPQ intakes.
Leaders Apprenticeship with NPQSL
Stand out from the crowd and complete NPQSL whilst simultaneously working towards the Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Standard - a cross-sector management qualification which is the perfect accompaniment to the NPQSL.
The Leaders Apprenticeship with NPQSL is funded by the Apprenticeship Levy or government co-investment and comes with a whole raft of extra support, resources and content compared with completing a standalone NPQ.
Participants receive added support in the form of monthly meetings with a dedicated Apprenticeship Tutor. Our Apprenticeship Tutors are themselves experienced school leaders and headteachers and are able to offer invaluable assistance and advice for the duration of the programme.
One Programme, Two Qualifications
Graduates of the Leaders Apprenticeships are awarded two qualifications which are completed at the same time and within the same 18 month period as the standalone NPQSL. As well as benefitting from the full NPQSL content and delivery, participants receive extended leadership training, webinars and monthly meetings with an Apprenticeship Tutor to ensure they meet the requirements of the Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Standard. Compared to the standalone NPQSL, there are approximately 78 additional learning hours spread out over the 18 month duration of the programme.
National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership
Professional registration links: NPQSL
Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Standard
Professional registration links: Member of CMI (MCMI) Foundation Chartered Manager (fCMgr)
Applications are now closed for the Spring 2022 NPQ Intake. If you would like to join the Autumn 2022 NPQ Intake please register your interest.