At a glance


Course duration
Course duration
18 months

Face-to-face events
Virtual Face-to-Face Events

Online learning
Online learning
38 hours

6 hours

Total learning hours
Total Learning Hours
116 hours



National Professional Qualification (NPQ) for Executive Leadership

The National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) is accredited by the UK Department for Education (DfE). The qualification is delivered by Best Practice Network, a provider of UK accredited qualifications for education professionals worldwide.

NPQEL is suitable for colleagues aspiring to, or already in, leadership roles across more than one school. For example, Principals, Heads of Primary / Secondary, Executive Headteachers, Directors of Education, Finance and HR Directors, COOs.



    What are the benefits?

    The fully blended learning approach with HEI backed content (meaning that participants can put their NPQEL work towards postgraduate 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.

    Benefits for participants

    • National and international networking
    • Increased awareness and understanding of self and of the behaviours needed to lead across multiple organisations
    • Time to reflect on leadership practice and ability to check learning and development needs
    • Increased capability and capacity to take on a multi-school organisation - having the skills, knowledge and understanding to do the job more effectively

    Benefits for Schools

    • Increased national partnership opportunities and insight into the systems, sectors and sources of effective leadership practice
    • Increased commitment to building relationships with a range of stakeholders within the organisation and the wider community
    • A professionally aware and informed leader who can make evidence-based strategic 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

    "I speak very highly about the programme because of its practicality and the fact that I’m working with principals around the world. For me it’s really refreshing to know that someone else is in a similar position to me and that we can easily share ideas"

    Bev Ross, NPQEL, Deputy Principal, International School, Guandong Province, China


    Why did you sign up for the NPQEL?

    What has been a highlight of the NPQEL programme for you?

    Has the programme made a difference to you personally as a leader in terms of behaviour?


    Who is it for?

    NPQEL is suitable for colleagues aspiring to, or already in, leadership roles across more than one school.

    How is NPQEL delivered?

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

    NPQEL candidates can choose to complete the programme via our online delivery model. This delivery model replaces the Face-to-Face events with facilitated webinars as well as extra tutor support and study packs.



    NPQEL participants will attend 5 Face-to-Face events (including 1 x 2 day event) if they choose to complete the programme via the blended delivery model. These events give participants the opportunity to learn from exceptional facilitators while fostering valuable connections with peers in the teaching community.

    Our international delivery network allows us to bring in-person events to select countries, facilitated by local school leaders (please contact us for international locations).

    Online Learning

    Candidates access online learning and support via our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas. Through Canvas, candidates are able to engage with their peers, access multimedia content and submit work for assessment.


    Delivery Outline


    NPQSL Framework


    Applicants must have full support from their school/organisation. A head teacher, member of the SLT, line manager or Chair of Governors (or similar authoritative role) must confirm their support and that all information submitted is true and correct. This is a Department for Education mandatory requirement.

    To apply for NPQEL, applicants must have the following:

    • Teacher Reference Number (TRN) - see TRN Support Guide 
    • 2 years teaching experience
    • Leadership aspiration/experience
    • 3 years experience as a headteacher

    If you are unsure if you meet the above requirements or have other relevant experience then please contact our team who will be able to support your application.

    NPQEL International costs £5950 plus VAT where applicable. VAT is chargeable on courses funded by private individuals.

    Please refer to our NPQ programme funding guidance document for more information.


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