Senior Leadership

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 NPQSL is a dynamic development programme for experienced middle leaders potentially one year away from senior leadership and newly appointed senior leaders with whole school responsibilities. This programme is designed to support participants to improve existing knowledge, skills and experience and develop capacity to work efficiently across an organisation.

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 designed for leaders with cross-school responsibilities including experienced middle leaders, deputy headteachers, special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs), advanced skills teachers (ASTs) and other senior staff looking for further professional development. Please note applicants need to be resident in the UK, or have the right to study in the UK.

What is involved?

The NPQSL 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 and Duration

The programme is made up of eight face-to-face training sessions and a full day induction. Face to face sessions are delivered across three terms (approximately three sessions a term) and include final assessment support.


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 5,000 word written assignment on:

Working across the school to

a) reduce variation in pupil progress and attainment
b) improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching 


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 £1250.

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 submit your application.

Before you apply for the NPQSL 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


Page Downloads Date  
NPQSL Application Form 20th Feb 2019 Download
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