Licenced by National College for School Leadership

NPQSL is a new national qualification that provides recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a senior leader.

This qualification has a flexible, modular structure that combines core modules with the freedom to specialise or develop your own professional areas of interest through the choice of elective modules. NPQSL is assessed and awarded by the National College, with assessment focusing on tasks linked to school improvement activities undertaken in the workplace.

Who is this for?

NPQSL is aimed at Senior leaders with cross-school responsibilities, including experienced middle leaders, deputy heads, special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) and advanced skills teachers, and other senior staff looking for further professional development but not aspiring to headship at this stage in their career.

What are the benefits?

  • Benefit from facilitation and mentoring from outstanding leaders across all phase including LLEs and NLEs and accredited Ofsted Inspectors
  • Face to face sessions will take place across the North West, at venues centred around applicant locations
  • Opt to accrue Credits and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points to contribute towards a Master’s degree through the University of Chester

How is it delivered?

The Leading Schools Alliance offers a flexible combination of blended learning and support opportunities that includes face to face sessions, online learning, leadership learning groups, personal tutor and peer support.

  • Follow a flexible modular structure with the freedom to specialise or develop your own professional areas of interest
  • You will be supported through the programme by a tutor. Your tutor will provide a mixture of learning facilitation, coaching and pastoral support. Contact with the tutor will be face to face, by telephone and online
  • Each of the four core days will be supported by a pre- and post-event web conference
  • To achieve the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership you will need to successfully complete two essential and two elective modules. 
  • Participants will complete and action a research project in their own school which must have a demonstrable impact.

Essential modules: 

Succeeding in senior leadership - This module will consider the significance of leadership across the school and explore motivations and behaviours that leaders bring to their role, including values and beliefs. Participants will look at how they apply their leadership in the workplace to address school improvement priorities.

Closing the gap - This module will teach participants how to close gaps in achievement and attainment that can occur across specific groups of pupils, particularly addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils, including those entitled to free school meals. The module considers how leaders can identify gaps, diagnose causes and address within-school variation (eg differences in performance by teachers with similar groups of pupils). Evidence drawn from research will be used to demonstrate which pupils perform least well nationally and why.

Elective modules: 

Improving the quality of teaching - In this module participants will review the international research evidence about leading and improving teaching. The module will look at how to improve teaching and learning across the school through the development and implementation of school-wide policies, models of teaching and approaches to evaluating pupil progress.

Effective whole school management - This module focuses on the senior leader’s role in the effective management of the school, with an emphasis on curriculum, managing performance, behaviour, finances, health, safety and welfare. Through module content and activities, senior leaders will be supported in strengthening their management in relation to these aspects.

School self-evaluation -Through this module participants will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to undertake whole-school self evaluation and understand its links to strategic planning and managing performance. Participants will understand how to use evidence collected from self evaluation to make accurate judgements about a school’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Leading professional development - This module focuses on how leaders develop successful partnerships with pupils, parents, governors, other schools and the wider school community and how to capitalise on these partnerships to improve outcomes for pupils.

Effective partnership working - This module focuses on how leaders develop successful partnerships with pupils, parents, governors, other schools and the wider school community and how to capitalise on these partnerships to improve outcomes for pupils.

Research and development in teaching - This module will enable senior leaders to understand how to promote and lead research and development within and between schools. It will explore critical issues in 21st century teaching and learning and how research and development can help to address these.

Leading in a diverse system - This module focuses on the significance of context and the unique features of particular contexts such as free schools and academies. The modules will consider how differences in context affect the nature, direction and type of leadership. Leaders will have the opportunity to explore how the context they work in has a direct impact on their team and on classroom practice. The importance of engaging with both the internal and external school communities in order to share expertise and secure system wide improvement is covered.

Leading change for improvement - This module will teach participants the essential knowledge linked to leading change in practice. Building on Michael Fullan’s research work and using one of his analytical tools, participants will develop their own knowledge to help them lead change in their school as a

Candidates can opt to complete the NPQSL programme in 6-18 months. Our typical delivery model covers a 12 month period.  Apply now for September 2015, deadlines for future NPQSL applications and their respective programme start dates will be published in due course.  A distance learning model is available for candidates dependent on their location and circumstances. There is also the opportunity to study individual elective units at a cost of £450 per unit, please contact us to learn more.

What does it cost?


*includes an additional fee for assessment


How do I apply/find out more?


Registration for the next round of NPQML programmes  is now open, and closes on Friday 5th February 2016.

To register for NPQSL with the Leading Schools Alliance, please use the link below or for more information please contact our Teaching School office on (0151) 645 5049 or email

Click to register for NPQSL

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