Senior Leaders have the potential to contribute to establishing the culture and conditions in which staff and pupils thrive.

With influence over both the operational and strategic activity of the school and a focus on working with and through colleagues (in particular, through middle leaders), senior leaders play a fundamental role in school improvement.

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) is aimed at school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities. Responsibilities may include contributing to all aspects of the school through the leadership team as well as having a specific whole school responsibility of their own.


Our delivery model is grounded in tried-and-tested evidence of effective school improvement from both the UK and US. The programmes are underpinned by theory, mapped for progression across all qualification levels, and application of learning prioritised to facilitate successful implementation.

NPQSL Sequence


The programme will use ‘see it, name it, do it’ as an organisational structure for scaffolding learning to the point of mastery. The model is a highly applied and personalised approach coined by the internationally renowned Leverage Leadership Institute.

  • See it: The approach goes beyond theory by using current, real-life models of exemplary practice
  • Name it: By identifying features of exemplary practice, the invisible is made visible. Participants reflect on their current practice and name their ‘gaps’
  • Do it: Participants are guided through implementation planning with time for practice, peer feedback and the use of gap tasks. As part of formative assessment, participants then ‘fix their gaps’ by applying their learning in school.


Opportunities to ‘do it’, through practice and planning give the best chance of successful implementation and lead to rapid school improvement. Application of learning provides regular practice opportunities for final scenario-based assessment.


The programme is made up of a blend of synchronous and asynchronous components totalling a maximum of five and a half days plus self study.





Online seminars




8 x 2hr sessions*

9 x 2hr sessions*


20 x 2hr units






*Synchronous in-person and online units are designed in two-hour blocks that may be combined as whole days lasting six hours or delivered as a series of two-hour twilights.


  • Cost: £995 per participant
  • Scholarship funding available – see below
  • Programme length: 18 months
  • Start date: November 2021 or February 2022
  • Assessment: An open-book assessment in an eight-day set window within 3 months of completion requiring a structured 1500-word response to a real multi-resource scenario/case-study

Please CLICK HERE to download the Department for Education Framework for NPQSL.


As part of the government’s long-term education recovery plan, £184 million of new funding for NPQs was announced on 2 June 2021 to be spent over the course of this parliament.

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Senior Leadership is available to all teachers 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 that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on pupil premium as of the end of the previous academic year


The funding approach targets deprived areas, by focusing on the top 30th percentile of schools in relation to pupils on pupil premium. Teachers and leaders from these schools will be able to access a fully funded NPQ.

These schools will benefit most from this funding, not only because they face greater challenges around recruitment and retention, but also because disadvantaged pupils have been most severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) disruption to learning.

Pupil numbers and pupil premium allocations as with the 2021 to 2022 publication are linked to an extract from Get Information about Schools to determine which schools are open and what percentage of the pupils in the school are eligible for pupil premium. The schools are then ranked by the percentage of pupils with pupil premium allocations, the top 30th percentile of schools are eligible for the scholarship (that is those with the highest proportions of disadvantaged pupils). Eligibility for pupils aged 16 to 19 years will be determined separately as pupil premium allocations are not given for this group.

For information concerning which schools are eligible for the scholarship, please see the DfE’s NPQ scholarship funding eligibility list.



The graphic below illustrates the application timeline.

NPQ scholarships are available to selected schools but funding is finite. In the event of a high demand for scholarships, round 1 participants will be prioritised.

App timeline

To apply for your place on an upcoming NPQ, please click the button below. Upon completion of your application, you will receive an automated email as receipt of your application. Following that, one of our delivery partners will be in touch with further information.

When asked to select your delivery partner, please select Harris Chafford Hundred Teaching School Hub


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