National Professional Qualifications - Senior Leaders

National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders - NPQSL
The NPQSL is accredited by the Department for Education (DfE).  The qualification is delivered by Ambition Institute via the Ambition NPQ Alliance, a provider of UK accredited qualifications for education professionals worldwide.
The NPQSL provides a recognition of leadership development and professional achievement for senior leaders.
Who is this for?
The 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 roles varies, many senior leaders contribute to all aspects of the school through the leadership team as well as having a specific whole school responsibility on 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 learner receives an excellent education.
What are the benefits?
The extensive expertise and diversity of the Ambition NPQ Alliance allows us to develop rich, phase-specific, programme content which is delivered and facilitated by local experts in our local school
  • Expert designed curriculum, content and resources which align to the required leadership behaviours and competencies, provided by Ambition Institute.
  • Minimum 18 hours of face-to-face facilitated training delivered over at least two terms (but not more than 18 months).
  • Two 360 degree reviews (at the beginning and end of the programme).
  • Option of a Viva network of peers and relevant experts.
  • Assessment support and full assessment of your final submission.
  • Trained and quality assured facilitators.
The NPQSL gives candidates all of the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful senior leadership:
  • 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.
NPQSL Framework

The Department for Education consulted extensively with the sector to design the reformed suite of NPQs. This has included invaluable input from teachers, school and trust leaders, academics and experts.

The frameworks set out two types of content. Within each area, key evidence statements (“Learn that…”) have been drawn from current high-quality evidence from the UK and overseas. This evidence includes high-quality reviews and syntheses, including meta-analyses and rigorous individual studies. In addition, the NPQ frameworks provide practical guidance on the skills that teachers and school/trust leaders should be supported to develop. Practice statements (“Learn how to…”) draw on both the best available educational research and on additional guidance from the Expert Advisory Group and other sector representatives.

The Education Endowment Foundation has independently reviewed the frameworks to ensure they draw on the best available evidence and that this evidence has been interpreted with fidelity. The NPQ frameworks will be kept under review as the evidence base evolves. As in any profession, the evidence base is not static and research insights develop and progress.

Candidates learn that ...

  1. High quality teaching has a long term positive effect on learner' life chances, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  2. Teacher expectations can affect pupils outcomes; setting goals that challenge and stretch learners is essential.
  3. Setting clear expectations can help communicate shared values that improve classroom and school cultures.
  4. Teachers have the ability to affect and improve the wellbeing, motivation and behaviour of their learners.
  5. Teachers are key role models, who can influence the attitude, values and behaviours of their learners.
  6. Teachers can influence learners' resilience and beliefs about their ability to succeed, by ensuring all learners have the opportunity to experience meaningful success.
  7. A culture of mutual trust and respect between colleagues fosters effective relationships and supportive professional environments.
  8. Building alignment of staff around the intended school culture can create coherence in a school.
They will also learn how to ....
Contribute to establishing and sustaining the school’s strategic direction, including by:
  1. Ensuring the strategic direction sets ambitious standards for all learners.
  2. Understanding and promoting the strategic direction, communicating about it regularly, and encouraging every member of the school community to support it.
  3. Ensuring all aspects of the school’s approach to continuous improvement are aligned to each other and around this strategic direction.
  4. Paying particular attention to securing alignment between curriculum, assessment and teaching, and of these to the school's ambitious goals for its learners.
Contribute to establishing and sustaining an effective culture across the school, including by:
  1. Articulating, modelling and rehearsing practices that contribute to the intended school culture and supporting every member of the school community, particularly middle leaders, to do the same.
  2. Prioritising the use of intentional and consistent language that promotes challenge, aspiration and high expectations for learners; and professional development and high professional standards for all colleagues.
  3. Implementing and monitoring the effects of school policies (particularly in your area of responsibility) to create an environment for learners and colleagues where everyone feels welcome, safe, and able to learn from mistakes.
Programme Outline
The qualification covers 6 content areas which set out what a leader should know or should be able to do and 7 leadership behaviours which set out how the best leader operates.
Date Session Content
08/12/2020 1 What is leadership?  What is your vision?
12/01/2021 2 How can I implement change successfully?
09/02/2021 3 What is the purpose of data?  How can data be used effectively?
16/03/2021 4 How can I improve classroom practice?  How can I improve teaching and learning?
20/04/2021 5 How can I develop a strong culture for curriculum design, development and implementation?
15/06/2021 6 How can I develop a clear vision for inclusion and pastoral support?
15/06/2021 7 How can I develop and lead high-performing teams?
13/07/2021 8 How can I identify and lead staff development?
28/09/2021 9 How can I lead school improvement?
The candidate will lead a school improvement project lasting at least two terms, which will focus on reducing variation in pupil progress and attainment and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching.  You must submit a written account of the project for assessment.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic sessions will take place virtually in the short-term.  The sessions will begin at 2.30pm and finish at 6.00pm.
All state-maintained schools, academies and independent schools in the UK - £950.00
Cohort size
Each cohort has a minimum of 18 candidates and will not exceed 24 candidates.
How to apply

NPQ applications are currently closed.  If you would like to express an interest in joining our Autumn 2021 intake, please click on 'Expressed Interest' link and complete the short form.  

You will be asked to upload the following as part of your registration:

A signed declaration from your headteacher in which they agree to support you through the programme and confirm that the school will finance the cost of the course.  It will save you time if you have this available before you start your registration.

Our programmes meet the standards set out in the DfE's NPQ Quality Framework

We follow Ambition Institute's policies in the following areas, which can be accessed by clicking on the relevant link:

NEAT Academy Trust is an exempt charity and company limited by guarantee registered in England with company number 10561094. The company's registered office is 1 Hedley Court, Orion Business Park, North Shields, NE29 7ST