National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership

The National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) is aimed at those who are, or are aspiring to become, a middle leader with responsibility for leading a team e.g. a key stage leader, a curriculum area leader, a pastoral services leader, a subject leader, a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), or a head of department. This includes those who are, or are aspiring to be, a middle leader with cross-school responsibilities e.g. a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE).

Programme structure

Our programme is delivered though a blended learning approach, through a a combination of face-to-face days, online learning, school experience, and self-directed study. As a competency-based programme there is a focus throughout on the development of skills and understanding alongside leadership behaviours. Whilst on the programme, day-to-day leadership development in your current school will allow you to:

  • lead on a strategically challenging project
  • engage in challenge and support from your coach and/or headteacher
  • integrate new learning into your leadership practice
  • develop leadership behaviours identified through the 360 diagnostic
  • negotiate and tackle specific whole team/school improvement priorities

Those not currently working in a school will undertake these activities in the school(s) that they have identified, and who have committed to support them.

The course duration is 12 months, including the nine day placement in a contrasting school, with an expectation that participants go for a final assessment within 12-18 months from induction.

Leadership diagnostic review

All participants are required to complete a 360 leadership review based around key leadership behaviours. This enables participants to use feedback from peers, those they report to and those that report to them, to celebrate strengths and identify areas for development. Ideally, this review is completed prior to induction. At induction, coaches and participants consider how best to develop identified areas. We encourage the review to be redone at the end of the programme.

Face-to-face days

Facilitators, themselves excellent and inspiring leaders, quickly get to know you and your learning needs – following you through from induction to final assessment. Participants attend 6½ face-to-face training days including induction and focused school improvement days.

Final assessment

In order to gain the NPQML qualification, participants are required to complete an assessment task in their own school.

Masters credits

Our leadership courses have been designed by, and are co-delivered with, the University of Nottingham. Participants on our programmes can gain exemption from up to two masters modules of the University of Nottingham’s MA in Educational Leadership and Management.

Duration: 12 to 18 months, including 6½ face-to-face training days.

Delivered by: George Spencer Teaching School Alliance in partnership with the University of Nottingham

Booking: direct to George Spencer Teaching School Alliance. TVTSA members receive a discounted rate. Deadline 27 September 2019

Cost: For schools with 210 or more on roll, the cost is £900. For schools with less than 210 on roll, as identified by Edubase at the time of application, the cost is £750. All charges include final assessment fees.

Category 5/6 schools are eligible for fully funded places, George Spencer will apply for this funding for those delegates

If you are a member of one of our partner or teaching school alliance schools, or making multiple bookings on behalf of a MAT or other cluster of schools, you may be eligible for up to a 10% discount.


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Trent Valley Teaching School Alliance