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.
  • DfE funding available to all state school teachers and leaders.
Apply for our February 2022 cohort

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.

Need more information?

Frequently Asked Questions

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’ practice throughout the programme. This will conclude with the implementation module and practical implementation cycle of the programme. 

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. 

Need more information?

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Cost: £1,045

DfE funding  

Full DfE funding, with no cost to the participant, is available to those who meet the following criteria: 

  • Are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities. 
  • Work in a state funded school in England.

Need more information?

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Is my school eligible?

While NPQs are open to all teachers and leaders in schools in England and Wales, we prioritise supporting schools that teach a high number of pupils from low-income backgrounds.

We use the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Achieving Excellence Areas (AEA) measures to identify this. We focus on schools that meet one of these criteria:

  • An IDACI of 40 or greater (40% of pupils live in the three most deprived deciles).
  • An IDACI of 35 to 40 and an AEA score of 4 to 6.
  • An IDACI of 30 to 35 and an AEA score of 5 or 6.
  • An IDACI of 25 to 30 and an AEA score of 6.
  • All schools in the top 30 percentile for pupil premium.

If your school is affiliated to one of our NPQ Delivery Partners, your school is automatically eligible to take part. Contact the relevant Delivery Partner for further information.

If you’re not sure whether your school is eligible, please complete our expression of interest form.

What are the programme start dates?

Our next cohort starts in February 2022.

How to apply

There are several routes to apply for our NPQ programmes depending on your circumstances, so carefully read the information below to find which one best suits you.

1. If you want to apply directly with Teach First, please read the application guidance and then complete the application form below as soon as possible:

Apply now

Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. 

2. If you are: 

  • an individual who has some questions for us before completing the application form / who wants to register your interest for a future start date
  • OR a school that wants to register its interest in our NPQ programmes for several members of staff

please complete our expression of interest form.

3. If you are a current Teach First partner school, you can nominate your teachers on the School Portal

4. If your school is affiliated to one of our NPQ Delivery Partners, your school is automatically eligible to take part. Contact the relevant Delivery Partner for further information.

Need more information?

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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

Join the Senior Leader programme

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