Executive Leader Apprentice (with NPQEL) Level 7

The Executive Leader Apprentice with NPQEL Level 7 has been designed for aspiring or recently appointed executive leaders looking to improve their leadership capability. The programme delivers the Department for Education's leadership qualification NPQEL with the comprehensive wraparound support of an apprenticeship. Candidates accepted on to the programme benefit from:

 Full National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership

Completion of Level 7 Senior Leader apprenticeship standard

Dedicated apprenticeship tutor and a separate personal NPQ tutor

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

 Apprenticeship Levy funding

Am I eligible?

Our dual award is suitable for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, an executive headteacher with responsibility for leading several schools and have a minimum of three years as a headteacher or head of school.

Where do I find further information about NPQEL?

Our Senior Leader dual award includes the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL). For more information about NPQEL click here.

Best Practice Network is the leading provider of NPQEL nationally and the quality of our provision is rated ‘Exceptional’ by the DfE’s external quality assurance agent.

You can view our performance against the national metrics here.

Candidates completing the dual award benefit from:

    • Increased awareness and understanding of self and of the behaviours needed to lead across multiple organisations
    • Opportunity to reflect on relevant research and pedagogy and leadership practice
    • Access to high-quality feedback and ongoing interaction with qualified performance coaches
    • The ability to make informed decisions and approach new challenges in an effective and efficient manner
    • The ability to review and evaluate practice in order to bring about change and get the best for young people and staff within the organisation
    • One-to-one support from a dedicated personal tutor including monthly check-ins online & in-person
  • Time set-aside from your working day to engage in learning
  • Entitlement to an NUS student discount card

How is NPQEL delivered?

NPQEL makes use of a blended delivery model consisting of face-to-face events, online study, webinars and coaching.

NPQEL participants will attend 6 face-to-face events (including 1 x 2 day conference) via the blended delivery model. Our nationwide delivery partnership network  allows us to bring face-to-face training to a regional conference centre ,  facilitated by experienced  school leaders and facilitators.

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 performance coaches.  and submit work for assessment.


Online-only Delivery Model

NPQEL participants can choose to complete the programme via our virtual online delivery model. This delivery model includes virtual live events to replace face-to-face events.

NPQEL Delivery Structure

How do I access the funding?

You can access funding for the apprenticeship component of this dual award from your school’s apprenticeship levy. Schools will be able to access the funding through their apprenticeship service (AS) account.

If your school needs help setting up your AS account, just let us know and we’ll guide you through it.

The level of funding depends on each candidate’s learning needs, with a maximum allocation of £7,000 to cover the cost of the apprenticeship.   Note, there is an additional fee of £95 to cover the cost of the NPQSL certification.  This cannot be funded from the apprenticeship levy.  

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The levy is paid by large employers with a wage bill of over £3 million. These employers pay 0.5% of their total annual pay bill into the levy. Most state-maintained schools and multi-academy trusts pay into the levy.

The levy is designed to create long term sustainable funding for apprenticeships and to give employers more control to provide their staff with a range of training opportunities.

Apprenticeship funded training is designed for both new and existing staff members.

If your school is not a levy payer or has exhausted its levy funds, the government will pay 95% of tuition fees with your school paying the remaining 5%. Please contact us if you would like more information. 

How do I apply?

 If you'd like to express an interest in joining our Autumn 2021 intake, please click the 'Express Interest' button in the right-hand column and complete the short form. We will contact you when the full application portal is open.

Leaders Apprenticeship with NPQML / NPQSL

Covid-19: Leaders Apprenticeship with NPQML / NPQSL