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
90 hours


What are the benefits?

The NPQSL is a DfE accredited qualification.

The qualification is delivered by the Best Practice Network, the leading provider of UK accredited qualifications for education professionals worldwide.

We were recently rated ‘Exceptional’ by the DfE’s quality assurance agent and voted ‘Company of the Year’ at the BETT Awards.

We are the market leader, and to date have supported over 1500 candidates from 75+ countries to access and complete an NPQ.


Why choose Best Practice Network?

In recent years, Best Practice Network has grown into a nationwide network of 165 schools, multi-school organisations, dioceses and university partners. The extensive expertise and diversity of our partner network allows us to develop rich, phase-specific, programme content which is delivered and facilitated by local experts in local schools.

  • Facilitation and support from serving school leaders in outstanding schools
  • Purpose-built virtual learning environment enabled for mobiles and tablets
  • Guaranteed support to pass the final assessment
  • Content contextualised for your locality and updated to reflect national developments and legislation
  • Regular progress updates for mentors and headteachers

National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Senior Leadership

NPQSL gives candidates all of the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful senior leadership with candidates learning how to:

  • Contribute to establishing and sustaining the school’s strategic direction
  • Contribute to establishing and sustaining an effective culture across the school
  • Establish and sustain effective planning and preparation across the school
  • Ensure teaching across the school stimulates pupil thinking and understanding
  • View the NPQSL programme tab for the full programme content


"It has been a great course to be part of in giving me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and being able to apply my learning in school. The face-to-face days were a great chance to share and discuss with others and my LPC was brilliant; always supportive and providing guidance and advice."

NPQSL Graduate | Autumn 2021


Who is it for?

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) is for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.

The role of a senior leader within a school is complex. Although the role varies, many senior leaders contribute to all aspects of the school through the leadership team as well as having a specific whole school responsibility of their own. This means the role is often both operational and strategic and relies on working with and through colleagues (in particular, through middle leaders) to ensure every pupil gets an excellent education.

How is NPQSL delivered?

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



NPQSL participants will attend 4 virtual face-to-face events 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

Participants access online learning and support via our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas. Through Canvas, participants are able to engage with their learning communities of peers and access multimedia content, research and expert school-led practice aligned to the curriculum content for the qualification. They can also receive high-quality feedback from experienced performance coaches and submit work for assessment.


NPQSL Delivery Structure


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 NPQSL, applicants must have the following:

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

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.

NPQSL International costs £1705 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.

How to apply

We are now accepting applications for the NPQSL. Click below to apply.

Apply Now


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