National Professional Qualification
for Executive Leadership

The National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) provides an opportunity for headteachers taking the next step to executive leadership with responsibility for more than one school. Overseeing multiple schools with different cultures, priorities and challenges requires a different set of leadership skills than those required of a headteacher. Accessing peer support, specialised knowledge and experience from other sectors, as well as the support and challenge of executive coaching, can make the transition much easier.


Who is this for?

NPQEL is suitable for colleagues aspiring to, or already in, leadership roles across more than one school. This includes headteachers, executive headteachers, chief operating officers and directors of school improvement.

You can view our programme metrics here.

What are the benefits?

The fully blended learning approach with HEI backed content (meaning that participants can put their NPQEL work towards post-graduate qualifications with a university), combined with executive coaching and enrichment activity from within and outside the education sector, make this an exciting and valuable opportunity for executive leaders.

How is it delivered?

Candidates will form Peer Leadership Challenge Groups and undertake a joint improvement project which will then lead on to a course of study that will incorporate the key skills around strategic planning, organisation change and business development required of executive leaders. Focus will be on developing leadership behaviours of commitment, collaboration, personal drive, resilience, awareness, integrity and respect.

The three modules, each facilitated within a 4-week period, are:

  • Strategy and Improvement
  • Teaching and Curriculum Excellence
  • Managing Resources and Risks

There is a flexible combination of blended learning, face-to-face support (replicated online for distance learners), peer group support, a dedicated personal tutor and leadership coaching. The learning materials have been designed and developed by leading experts, both within the education sector and the wider business sector, and form a challenging portfolio of effective executive practice.

What does it cost?

NPQEL costs £4,950 to complete.

Full DfE scholarship funding is available for leaders from schools in opportunity areas subject to certain criteria.

Costs for international candidates and schools can be found here

Best Practice Network is accredited to deliver NPQs by the Department for Education.