Applications open all year round.

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) aims to give the senior leader the confidence and knowledge to develop the skills, confidence and knowledge to lead whole-school issues.

NPQSL (Level 2) forms part of the Leadership Curriculum which is licensed by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. The Leadership Curriculum is structured around five levels that reflect the different stages in a leaders professional development.

The programme provides national recognition of leadership development and professional achievement as a senior leader.

Who can apply?

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.

NPQSL is aimed at individuals with responsibility for leading a team, including key stage/subject/curriculum leaders, heads of department and pastoral leaders.

The programme structure

NPQSL has a flexible, modular structure that combines core modules with the freedom to specialise or develop their own professional areas of interest through the choice of elective modules whilst giving the senior leader the opportunity to develop leadership skills through engaging with a blended learning approach.

To achieve the qualification, two essential modules and two elective modules will need to be completed. Each module requires up to 50 hours of study time. This typically consists of workplace learning (about 20 hours) and practice activities, face-to-face activity, including peer and facilitated learning and reading, reflection and online learning. A summary at the start of each module outlines the scope, depth, level and content of the module.


6 –18 months: participants can flex their study around home and work commitments, completing the qualification at their convenience.

Start dates

The course has a rolling start date. Please contact us for details.


The cost of the programme is £1,400 for schools with more than 250 pupils on roll. Eligible applicants can apply* for a part scholarship of £158. Full scholarships are available to primary schools with 100 pupils or fewer and secondary schools with 500 pupils or fewer. Half scholarships are available to schools with 101 - 250 pupils on roll. Please note that costs and scholarships are subject to change so please check with us for current costs and details.

*conditions apply