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National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

The revised and updated National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership will help you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to be a highly effective senior leader in a school.

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership will help you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to be a highly effective senior leader in a school.

The course is for those who are, or are aspiring to become, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities for example:

  • an experienced middle leader
  • a deputy headteacher
  • an assistant headteacher
  • other senior staff

The course takes between 12 and 18 months.

What will I study?

There are six modules:

Leading Teaching and Curriculum Excellence

  • High quality teaching
  • Evidence based learning
  • Ensuring consistency
  • Establishing ethos
  • Holding others to account
  • Curriculum design and appropriateness


Strategy and improvement

  • Whole School ‘Closing the Gap’
  • Management strategies
  • School self-evaluation
  • Recognising impact
  • Change models
  • Whole school planning
  • Quality assurance cycles


Increasing Capability

  • Leading and developing staff
  • Creating an effective workforce
  • Continuous Professional Development
  • Performance management
  • Tackling underperformance


Leading with Impact

  • Monitoring and triangulation of evidence
  • Effective senior leadership
  • Recognising leadership styles and understanding impact


Managing Resources

  • Managing resources
  • Budgets
  • Effective communication
  • Leading meetings
  • Power of policies and their relevance


Working in Partnership

  • Moral purpose and its impact
  • Forming and evaluating partnerships
  • Leading in a Church context
  • System senior leadership


The course consists of:

  • 24 hours of face-to-face learning
  • Regular sessions with your own coach
  • Three hours of self-study prior to each face to face session
  • Online learning
  • Work on an in-school development project for an additional minimum two hours a week

Our course includes a 360° diagnostic test. The diagnostic tool is based around the seven leadership behaviours on which you will be focusing during the programme:

Commitment; Collaboration; Personal Drive; Resilience; Awareness; Integrity; Respect

It is designed to enable you to collect the views of your colleagues (peers, team members, line managers, governors) so you are able to analyse your specific needs and leadership competency areas to target, using the programme and your leadership in school to develop and extend areas of knowledge, understanding and competence.

You will have the opportunity to complete the diagnostic at the start and again at the end of the programme and so judge and reflect on the progress you have made. 

You must lead an improvement project across your school, lasting at least 2 terms, to reduce variation in pupil progress and attainment and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching. You must submit a written account of the project for assessment.

The project will be assessed by an independent agency.

Our face to face sessions are generally delivered in school settings, location dependent on the delivery partner. Sessions are facilitated by experienced teachers and Head teachers, with a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge.

These face to face sessions are supported by online learning. With our online system you will be able to access all course materials and final assessment information and track your progress.

We have facilitators across the Midlands – check our course calendar and delivery partners pages for more details. All our partners are serving or former school leaders, with a great track record of delivering quality training. 

The course costs £850, including externally verified final assessment and 360° diagnostic.


To register your interest in one of our courses please complete the form