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The 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. It is aimed at 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.


Our programme is delivered through a blended learning approach; a combination of on-line learning, remote twilight seminars, self–study and personal reading. 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 (a requirement of the course)
  • engage in challenge and support from your coach and/or head teacher
  • integrate new learning into your leadership practice
  • develop those 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 with an expectation that participants go for final assessment within 12-18 months from induction.


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.


During induction, you will:

  • meet your facilitators
  • have the opportunity to discuss your 360-degree diagnostic report with your coach
  • gain an overview of the programme to include an understanding of our ‘blended learning’ approach
  • reflect on your desired leadership development outcomes
  • gain an understanding of the final assessment process
  • gain an understanding of how our on-line platform, Leadership Moodle, can support your learning
  • explore the range of high-quality and current resources and activities available on Leadership Moodle
  • start to form strong professional relationships with colleagues that you will develop  during and beyond the course



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 5 remote seminars including the induction and an assessment workshop.

Participants carrying out similar themes for their school improvement final assessment projects will be grouped and supported by their facilitators, to ensure you are well prepared for the final assessment.

Content covers six learning areas:

  • Strategy and Improvement
  • Teaching and Curriculum Excellence
  • Leading with Impact
  • Working in Partnership
  • Managing Resources and Risks
  • Increasing Capability.

All focus on improving the effectiveness of leadership practice as well as developing behaviours around commitment, collaboration, personal drive, resilience, awareness, integrity and respect.



Coaching is an integral part of our leadership programmes. At application, your school is required to identify an appropriately experienced and senior leader/headteacher to act as your coach. As part of your training, we will develop your coaching skills and provide opportunities for peer coaching to take place.

Coaching will give you the opportunity to draw together, and integrate your new learning, reflect on progress, build on strengths and identify any further development required. At application stage, your coach is required to provide a brief supporting statement of their commitment. Coaches may become a reviewer for your 360-degree diagnostic. Throughout the programme coaches will facilitate the integration of new learning into school-based practice and ensure that participants’ improvement projects will enable them to meet the criteria required to pass final assessment. They may also be required to verify the evidence provided by participants for their final assessment.


In order to gain the NPQSL qualification, participants are required to complete an assessment task in their own school. Participants must complete the following task:


  • Lead an improvement project in their school lasting at least 2 terms to reduce variation in pupil progress and attainment and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching.
  • Submit a written report that does not exceed 5000 words (excluding supporting documents/materials), demonstrating how you meet the criteria which includes design, implementation and evaluation of the project.

Details of this process will be given to you during your induction. Final assessment is competency based and is carried out by an external assessor.






Session/ study/ task

Wednesday 13th January 2021


2.00pm – 3.30pm via Microsoft Teams

Induction Session

14th January – 4th February



Online reading and tasks

5th February – 2nd March



In school tasks and reflection

Wednesday 3rd March


2.00pm – 3.30pm via Microsoft Teams

Remote seminar to discuss learning

2nd March – 22nd March


Online reading and tasks

23rd March – 20th April



In school tasks and reflection

Wednesday 21st April


2.00pm – 3.30pm via Microsoft Teams

Remote seminar to discuss learning

22nd April – 11th May



Online reading and tasks

12th May – 25th May



In school tasks and reflection

Wednesday 26th May


2.00pm – 3.30pm via Microsoft Teams

Remote seminar to discuss learning

28th May – 23rd June



Online reading and tasks

24th June – 13th July



In school tasks and reflection

Wednesday 14th July


2.00pm – 3.30pm via Microsoft Teams

Assessment workshop

The course duration is 12 months with an expectation that participants go for final assessment within 12-18 months from induction.

Course cost £849.00 per participant.COST

Please be aware that the DfE has currently paused the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF) set aside to support teachers and leaders in challenging areas to access the reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs). This funding was available to cover the full participant costs of the course for teachers working in a category 5 or 6 area. Please look out for updates regarding this funding but please make sure that your school is otherwise able to cover the full cost.

Please complete and return the booking form to patricia.cowlin@priory.e-sussex.sch.uk  to confirm your place/places. The deadline for application is 14th December 2020.


Page Downloads Date  
Application Form NPQSL January 2021 20th Nov 2020 Download
NPQSL Course Information January 2021 20th Nov 2020 Download
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