National professional qualification

Senior leadership


Experienced classroom teachers, middle and senior leaders
Course duration
18 months
Average weekly study time

1 to 2 hours

Study type

Mix of self-study and group sessions

Assessment type

Reflection based on case study (up to 2,500 words)

Next start

October 2023

Course overview

This 18-month course will help staff gain confidence and develop skills in:

  • leadership knowledge and the specialist expertise needed to tackle school improvement priorities
  • supporting the development of a positive, predictable and safe environment for pupils
  • contributing to your school’s strategic direction and establishing an environment for pupil success
  • helping ensure staff feel supported and valued

Teachers will get to train alongside peers with similar responsibilities. The course content focuses on the key challenges teachers face in their role.

Teachers and education experts designed this course to fit around busy teaching timetables. There's no project work and minimal time out of school required.

Who this course is for

This course is for teachers and leaders who are, or want to be:

  • senior leaders with cross-school responsibilities

What you’ll learn

This course covers themes including:

  • school culture
  • effective teaching
  • supporting curriculum and assessment development
  • behaviour
  • additional and special educational needs
  • professional development
  • organisational management

You’ll also learn about:

  • implementation strategies
  • working in partnership with parents and carers
  • governance and accountability

How you and your school could benefit

Flexible training

This programme is designed to be flexible to fit with your busy working role. Training is delivered in bite-sized chunks, and you can learn at a time and pace that suits you.

Access the latest research

Benefit from the latest evidence-based learning and approaches to great teaching and leadership.

Enact positive change

You’ll be encouraged to apply and translate what you’ve learned to your own school context. Your training provider will give you models and examples that will help you translate theory into practical skills you can use in your setting.

Learning with people from different education settings

Take advantage of training alongside a diverse group of fellow educators with lots of different perspectives. You’ll learn from each other’s experiences and be able to bounce ideas off each other during group sessions and collaborative practical tasks.

Individualised training

You’ll be able to focus on specific areas of leadership where you want to improve your knowledge. This will help you make evidence-informed decisions and action positive change.

Learning backed by evidence

You’ll be introduced to evidence-informed practices. This will enable you to develop strategies to improve teaching and pupil performance at your school.

Course structure

The DfE-approved providers offering this NPQ have designed their course content around an evidence-based framework.

The course covers 10 topics, with a mix of self-study and group coaching sessions, as well as face-to-face sessions with other participants.

On average you will need to spend between 1 and 2 hours per week working towards completing this NPQ. Where possible, you should do this during dedicated career development time in school hours.


You can train with one of the following providers:

They work with delivery partners, such as teaching school hubs, to provide training.

How this NPQ is assessed

To get your NPQ accreditation you’ll need to:

  • complete the course
  • pass a written assessment (up to 2,500 words) at the end

Your course provider will be able to give you more details about how the assessment works.

Course funding

Full DfE funding, with no cost to the participant, is available to staff from:

  • state-funded schools in England
  • state-funded organisations that offer 16 to 19 places in England
Funding is currently available if you start your NPQ in the 2022 to 2023 academic year or the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

You can do more than one NPQ, but will only be eligible for funding for each NPQ once. If you withdraw or fail your course you cannot get funded again for the same NPQ.


Step 1

Speak to your line manager to get support for you doing this NPQ.

Step 2

Once you have your school’s approval, they’ll be able to help you choose a training provider.

Step 3

Register with us so we can confirm you’re eligible to take this course for free.

We’ll give your details to your chosen provider once you have registered. They’ll then send you an application form.