National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)
For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.
✓ Full scholarships available. Apply by December 20
At a glance
Total Learning Hours
"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?
NPQSL is suitable for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.
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 face-to-face events via the blended delivery model.
Our nationwide delivery partnership network allows us to bring face-to-face training to a school near you, facilitated by local school leaders.
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
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 - 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.
The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) costs £1,135 plus VAT if applicable.
- VAT will not be applied to DfE funded candidates or state-funded schools
- Candidates from international schools should visit our NPQSL international page for international prices
Scholarships have been confirmed for the Autumn NPQ intake as part of the government's long-term education recovery plan.
From Autumn 2022, organisations eligible to access scholarships include:
- State-funded schools
- State-funded 16 to 19 organisations
- Independent special schools
- Virtual schools (local authority run organisations that support the education of children in care)
- Hospital schools not already included in other categories of eligible organisations
- Young offender institutions
Local authority employed supply teachers will also be able to access scholarships.
The department has updated the Targeted Support Fund offer for the 2023 to 2024 academic year to further incentivise state-funded schools and state-funded 16-19 educational settings in England to participate in NPQs.
For each teacher or leader they employ who takes an NPQ in the 2023 to 2024 academic year:
- State-funded primary schools with one to 150 pupils will receive a grant payment of £800
- State-funded primary schools with more than 150 pupils will receive a grant payment of £200
- State-funded secondary schools and state-funded 16 to 19 educational settings with one to 600 pupils will receive a grant payment of £200
Targeted support funding is not available for participants taking the Early Headship Coaching Offer (EHCO) unless they're also taking another NPQ course.
If you work in a school, you can search the Get Information About Schools (GIAS) database to check how many pupils are recorded for your school.
If you work in a 16 to 19 education setting, you can check the list of 16 to 19 organisations eligible for targeted support funding in the academic year 2023 to 2024.
The leadership performance coach is a participant’s main point of contact for the duration of the NPQSL. Their role is to support a participant’s progress and development through the programme. They will respond to practice task activities completed for each online course and provide challenges and feedback on each of the formative assessment tasks.
Each participant will receive small group and individual coaching sessions from their leadership performance coach to develop their thinking and support their progress.
The in-school sponsor is someone who the NPQSL participant can check in with across the duration of the programme and who can provide relevant professional guidance, support and challenges.
The sponsor is not a formalised programme role but a go-to person to talk about their learning and development from the qualification and its application in practice. The sponsor may be a leader from another school/organisation.
The NPQ frameworks are based on a robust method of design and development, building on the evidence base and expert guidance already established in the ECF and the ITT Core Content Framework. The NPQ frameworks reflect the Teachers’ Standards and Headteachers' Standards to ensure coherency with the requirements already used by the teaching profession.
Please see the NPQSL Framework below. If your computer or device does not support the Adobe plugin you can download the framework pdf here.
Fancy an extra challenge? Join the School Leader Programme with NPQSL to extend your leadership training and complete the Departmental Manager Standard as well as the NPQSL!
How to apply
We are now accepting applications for the Spring 2024 NPQSL Cohort. Click below to apply.
Related Courses and Content
Senior Leaders Apprenticeship (with NPQSL) Level 5
Designed for aspiring or recently appointed senior leaders looking to improve their leadership capability.
Scholarships and Funding
Explore the full range of funding options for National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) and Apprenticeships with NPQs in this brochure.