NPQ in Senior Leadership

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Take your school to new heights with our accredited senior leadership course.

  • Grow your expertise as a senior school leader. 
  • Create a culture where all pupils can succeed .
  • Build a supportive environment for colleagues and school leaders. 
  • Free one-to-one support and coaching .
  • Join a passionate network striving for educational equality.

Discover your strength as a senior leader and boost your school.

Benefits

Grow your expertise as a senior school leader

Broaden your leadership knowledge and gain the specialist expertise needed to tackle your school improvement priorities.

Create a culture where all pupils can succeed

Learn how to support the development of a positive, predictable and safe environment for pupils. Contribute to your school’s strategic direction, setting ambitious standards across the school and establishing an environment for pupil success.

Build a supportive environment for colleagues and school leaders

Create a thriving environment in which all staff feel supported and valued.

Free one-to-one support and coaching

If you work in a school serving disadvantaged communities, you can apply for our free one-to-one support which runs alongside the NPQ in Senior Leadership (NPQSL). This free support comes in the form of an experienced former school leader who will coach and guide you throughout the programme. You can apply for this additional support in your application.

Join a passionate network striving for educational equality

Share experiences with other school leaders, learn how they’ve faced similar challenges and build a professional network that will support you throughout your career.

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

Department for Education logo with text - 'Accredited NPQ provider'
Teachers talking
The online materials are really engaging and very carefully selected. I really like that it allows you time to digest things at your own pace.
Andy Houlihan,
NPQSL programme member

Programme

Is the NPQSL programme for me?

This is for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.

How does the NPQSL work?

This 21-month programme (18 months’ delivery and up to three months for assessment) consists of a series of courses based on the DfE’s NPQ frameworks. Each course cycle features:

  • evidence-based online content to refresh and build knowledge, as well as exemplify what this looks like for your role and level of leadership
  • a formative assessment task to support your learning
  • a face-to-face seminar with a group of peers, facilitated by a serving school leader or Teach First Development Lead – you’ll analyse and reflect on the task and hear further examples of good practice
  • the opportunity to record reflections and consolidate learning

This cycle repeats throughout the programme, with implementation a consideration in every course. Towards the end of the programme, you’ll also take a course focused specifically on effective implementation. This provides an opportunity to complete a significant but manageable change project as part of your role. There will be ongoing support through a seminar group and discussion forum.

What will I learn?

You’ll develop expertise in the knowledge, skills and concepts for areas of cross- and whole-school responsibility related to your role. These include school culture, behaviour and professional development. Our content is informed by the best and most recent evidence and developed with input from serving school leaders and subject matter experts.

Our programmes have a practical focus. You’ll be supported to make small but important changes to your and others’ practise throughout the programme. This is concluded by the implementation of a more significant but manageable change project as part of your role.

Find out more about the DfE’s NPQ content framework:

Download framework

What are the training commitments?

The programme is designed to fit around your other school commitments. Over the course of the whole programme (spread over five terms), you’ll undertake approximately 77 hours of learning. This includes a combination of seminars, learning modules, conferences and a practical implementation cycle.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment takes place within three months of you completing your NPQSL. Detailed dates will be shared with you before the start of the programme.

The assessment process for all NPQs has been refreshed to reduce the workload burden on teachers while still providing an opportunity to apply their knowledge. To pass the programme, you’ll need to engage with at least 90% of the course and pass one summative assessment. 

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

Inside the NPQSL programme

Teacher and pupil looking at chart on table
The online materials are really engaging and very carefully selected. I really like that it allows you time to digest things at your own pace.
Andy Houlihan,
NPQSL programme member

Cost

Scholarship funding to support participants to access the reformed suite of NPQs is planned from September 2021 and details will be confirmed in due course.

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

Children making papier mache globe as teacher looks on
A university undergraduate at a Teach First event.
The online materials are really engaging and very carefully selected. I really like that it allows you time to digest things at your own pace.
Andy Houlihan,
NPQSL programme member

Apply

NPQs are open to all teachers and leaders in schools in England and Wales.

How we’re working with Delivery Partners

If your school is affiliated to one of our Delivery Partners, you’ll be able to do your Teach First NPQ with them. If your school is not affiliated to one of our Delivery Partners, you can apply to and complete your NPQ directly with us.

What are the programme start dates?

There are currently two start dates for our NPQs:

  • September 2021.
  • February 2022.

How to apply

If you're interested in our NPQSL programme for yourself, your school or MAT, register below:

Register your interest

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

A Teach First trainee explaining something.
The online materials are really engaging and very carefully selected. I really like that it allows you time to digest things at your own pace.
Andy Houlihan,
NPQSL programme member

Our leadership programmes

Great leaders drive successful schools. Our world-class training gives those eager to step up and build a fairer education system, the tools and networks to do it.  

A teacher smiling at one of their pupils.

Explore our bank of resources, shared by our community of teachers and schools

Join the Senior Leader programme

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