Middle Leadership

National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

The application round is open! Please click here to request an application form or download it below. The application round will close on Friday 3rd May.

The NPQML is a qualification that provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a middle leader. This programme is carefully designed to develop the leadership potential of aspiring middle leaders from all schools and phases. The programme supports participants to identify personal areas for development, understand the typical responsibilities and challenges for middle leaders supporting them to develop techniques to lead others and drive school improvement effectively.

Facilitators role-model outstanding practice and use coaching techniques to support participants to further develop their leadership experience. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own areas of strength and areas for improvement and identify ways they can improve their leadership through various activities whilst on the course. 

Who is the programme for?

This programme is for teachers aspiring to take up middle leadership positions and newly appointed middle leaders. At middle leader level it is expected that participants will have responsibility for leading a team, key stage / subject. Suitable for curriculum leaders, heads of department and pastoral leaders. Please note applicants need to be resident in the UK, or have the right to study in the UK.

What is involved?


The NPQML qualification consists of:

1. Learning across the six content areas and seven leadership behaviours common to each NPQ level:

Content Areas

  • Strategy and Improvement
  • Teaching and Curriculum Excellence
  • Leading with Impact
  • Working in Partnership
  • Managing Resources and Risks
  • Increasing Capability

Leadership Behaviours:

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

2. Engagement in a range of learning activities including,

  • Work-based learning
  • Self-directed learning (online reading and research)
  • Support for learning (facilitators/line managers)
  • Coaching for improvement (mentors)
  • Learning with peers
  • Face-to-face learning
  • Structured reflection (critical review, evaluation and analysis)
  • Recorded reflections, blogs and identification of key learning (to focus on leadership development priorities and to demonstrate progress)

3. Successful completion of an assessed task

The programme is delivered by serving school leaders with extensive experience in school improvement and effective leadership and management.

Commitment & duration

The programme is delivered over three school terms and requires compulsory attendance at seven face-to-face training sessions including the programme induction. Assessment must be completed within 18 months of starting the programme.


The assessment involves successful delivery and leadership of a sustainable school improvement task that has a positive and measurable impact on student outcomes. Participants will complete a 4,500 word written assignment on:

Working with my team to:

a) improve pupil progress and attainment and

b) team capability

The asignment will be assessed by a team of experienced senior leaders from the Harris Federation Teaching School Alliance.

Project Summary: (4,500 words)


Face-to-face training sessions take place our different academies or alliance partner schools. Participants will have opportunities to tour the schools and academies and interact with staff and students.


The cost of this programme is £1,000.
The cost of the first assessment is included in the cost above, but please note that the cost of coaching and assessment resubmission if required is not included.

How to Apply

The application round is open! Please click here to apply.

Before you apply for the NPQML programme please ensure that you have gained consent from your headteacher or line manager.

Successful applicants

If your application is successful, we will email your headteacher or line manager to verify the following:

  • They agree that you meet the application criteria.

  • You are likely to benefit from completing the programme.

  • They agree to release you from school to attend all of the face-to-face training days.

  • They agree to support you to identify and lead an appropriate school improvement task at senior leadership level.

  • The school will pay for your place on the programme.

Once we have received verification for your headteacher, principal or line manager, we will proceed with your application by sending you details of your induction to start the programme.

Unsuccessful applicants

If your application is unsuccessful, we may call you to discuss the outcome. We will provide you with feedback on why your application has not been successful at this time, and in some cases you may be asked to submit more information or you will be invited to reapply.

For further queries, please contact info@harristeachingschool.com


Page Downloads Date  
NPQML Application Form 20th Feb 2019 Download
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