The Leaders Apprenticeship with NPQSL has been designed for aspiring or recently appointed senior leaders looking to improve their leadership capability. The programme delivers the Department for Education’s leadership qualification NPQSL with the comprehensive wraparound support of an apprenticeship. Candidates accepted on to the programme benefit from:


Full National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership

 Completion of Level 5 Departmental Manager standard

 Dedicated apprenticeship tutor and a separate personal NPQ tutor

 Up to 60 masters credits

 Apprenticeship Levy funding


    Am I eligible?

    Our dual award is for those who are or are aspiring to become, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities such as an experienced middle leader, a deputy headteacher, a SEN coordinator, an assistant headteacher, or other senior staff members.

    Candidates must be able to evidence level 2 English and Maths prior to undertaking end-point assessment.

    Where do I find further information about NPQSL?

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

    The Outstanding Leaders Partnership is the leading provider of NPQSL 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 a school
      • Increased capability and capacity to take on a leadership role
      • Evidence-based sustainable school improvement activity improving pupil progress and attainment, and the effectiveness of teaching
      • 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

    Delivery includes:

    • Face-to-face activity delivered locally through our national network of partner schools
    • Facilitated online courses working alongside peers nationally
    • One-to-one support from a dedicated personal tutor including monthly check-ins online & in-person
    • Content individually tailored to the prior skills and knowledge of each candidate
    • A variety of accompanying enrichment activities including podcasts, live webinars, reading, structured reflection, and project planning.

    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?

    Leaders apprenticeship applications for Spring 2021 are now closed. 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. 

    Leaders Apprenticeship with NPQML / NPQSL

    Covid-19: Leaders Apprenticeship with NPQML / NPQSL