National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) is an established qualification that provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a senior leader.

It is aimed at individuals who not only have responsibility for leading a team, but are also involved in leading across teams on a range of issues that affect the whole school or organisation. Course delegates are senior leaders, including experienced middle leaders, deputy heads, SENCOs and ASTs, and other senior staff looking for further professional development but not yet within 18 months of headship.

You do not have to have completed any prior leadership development programmes to embark upon this qualification. The NPQSL qualification will support you in becoming a highly effective senior leader, with the skills, confidence and knowledge to contribute to the strategic development of your school or organisation as part of the senior leadership team.

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 7½ face-to-face training days including induction and focused school improvement days.

Final assessment

In order to gain the NPQSL 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 7½ 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 over 210 on roll, the cost of NPQSL is £1,200. For schools with less than 210 on roll, as identified by Edubase at the time of application, the cost is £1,050. These figures include the cost of the final assessment.

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