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Woodrush High School

Woodrush Teaching School Alliance

Discover your Potential

National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership

NEW: Virtual Inductions for NPQML and NPQSL:

ML Induction date: 10/07/2020 (10.00-11.30 am)

SL Induction date:  10/07/2020 (1.00-2.30pm)

The revised and updated National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership will help you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to be a highly effective senior leader in a school.

Who is NPQSL for?
NPQSL is aimed at experienced team leaders with wider responsibilities traditionally associated with senior leadership roles.

It is suitable for:

  • deputy or assistant heads
  • experienced senior leaders who wish to further their knowledge and skills
  • experienced middle leaders who are ambitious for and seeking promotion to a senior leadership role
  • specialist Leaders of Education (SLE)
  • senior leaders in a federation with responsibility areas across several schools
  • someone who has responsibility for supporting other schools
  • senior leaders working in schools and academies who are not qualified teachers (for example bursars, HR officers).

What is the NPQSL programme?
The qualification is part of the National College for Teaching and Leadership leadership curriculum, which offers more flexible development opportunities to support leaders at every stage of their career. To deliver the NPQSL locally, Woodrush TSA works in partnership with Leadership Live, a license holder for delivery of the national leadership curriculum. 

NPQSL sits at level two of the leadership curriculum. It is designed to support participants in becoming highly effective senior leaders with the skills, confidence and knowledge to contribute to the strategic development of the school or organisation as part of the senior leadership team.

What will I study?

There are six modules:

Teaching and Curriculum Excellence

  • Use a range of techniques to gather evidence on teaching quality and the impact of interventions across a school
  • Reduce variation within the school and against comparative schools by improving pupil progress, attainment and behaviour
  • Develop and maintain a rich, high-quality school curriculum

Strategy and improvement

  • Analyse performance data to identify the causes of variation within a school and against comparative schools (for example, in relation to national benchmarks, historical performance or between different groups)
  • Ensure data collected is necessary, proportionate and manageable for staff
  • Work with the governing board effectively to identify and agree approaches to school priorities
  • Design and implement sustainable change across a school

Increasing Capability

  • Identify excellent professional development practice
  • Identify talent within an organisation and put in place arrangements or tools to develop and retain it
  • Design professional development strategies, which engage all staff (including new/recently qualified teachers) and anticipate future professional development needs

Leading with Impact

  • Lead, motivate and influence others, including beyond the line management chain, to deliver whole- school objectives
  • Develop a communications plan that promotes or defends the school’s performance, policies or decisions effectively

Managing Resources and Risk

  • Deploy resources across a school effectively and efficiently to deliver school priorities (for example, in relation to the use of Pupil Premium funding)
  • Monitor the use of resources across a school, identifying opportunities and pressures (for example, in relation to teacher workload)
  • Systematically identify, manage and mitigate risks to the school, its pupils and staff

Working in Partnership

  • Identify a range of local and national partners that can support school improvement
  • Put in place systems, processes or structures which facilitate knowledge transfer and shared best practice within and beyond the school
  • Identify the most effective partnerships for improving pupil progress

The course consists of:

  • 24 hours of face-to-face learning
  • Regular sessions with your own coach
  • Three hours of self-study prior to each face to face session
  • Online learning
  • Work on an in-school development project for an additional minimum two hours a week

Our course includes a 360° diagnostic test. The diagnostic tool is based around the seven leadership behaviours on which you will be focusing during the programme:

Commitment; Collaboration; Personal Drive; Resilience; Awareness; Integrity; Respect

It is designed to enable you to collect the views of your colleagues (peers, team members, line managers, governors) so you are able to analyse your specific needs and leadership competency areas to target, using the programme and your leadership in school to develop and extend areas of knowledge, understanding and competence.

You will have the opportunity to complete the diagnostic at the start and again at the end of the programme and so judge and reflect on the progress 

As a national qualification, NPQSL may be used to contribute towards Master’s Level Study at a number of universities across the country.

How is the programme delivered?

Our face to face sessions are delivered in our school setting. Sessions are facilitated by experienced teachers and Head teachers, with a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge.

These face to face sessions are supported by online learning. With our online system you will be able to access all course materials and final assessment information and track your progress.

How is the programme assessed?
You must lead an improvement project across your school, lasting at least 2 terms, to reduce 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. The project will be assessed by an independent agency.

How long does it take?
The qualification can take between 12 and 18 months to complete. The majority of senior leaders are likely to spend 12 months completing the programme..

When will the programme be held?
The next NPQSL cohort is due to start in the spring term. 

Are places limited?
There is no limit on the number of candidates who can participate in the programme but participants must have full support from the headteacher of their school.

How much does NPQSL cost?
The NPQSL programme is available at a cost of £850. 
DfE funding may be available in some areas, please contact us for more information.

To register an interest in the NPQSL please email  for more details.