The NPQSL is a professional qualification providing recognition of leadership development and professional achievement. It will support you in developing the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to be a highly effective senior leader, contributing to the strategic development of your school as part of the senior leadership team.

Who is it for?

NPQSL is for those individuals who not only have responsibility for leading a team, but are also involved in leading a range of issues that affect the whole school or organisation. This includes those who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities e.g. a Director of a Teacher School Alliance (TSA).

Course Overview

The qualification will support you in becoming a highly effective senior leader with the skills, confidence and knowledge to contribute to the strategic development of your school or organisation as part of the senior leadership team. The support of a 'sponsor' from your school, usually your line manager or Headteacher, is essential to enable you to make the most of the programme. You will tailor the programme to meet your particular priorities through your choice of in-school project and a 360 20q Diagnostic of your leadership skills which will help you identify the areas you want to develop.

 Each Module involves a mix of blended learning, including the following:

  • Online entry and exit Leadership Diagnostics that identifies development areas through feedback from colleagues
  • Induction Twilight for you and your school based mentor, to enable you to fully understand the requirements of the programme and final assessment
  • School based induction tasks to support your preparation for your in-school project
  • 3 Face-to-Face days facilitated by experienced and serving practitioners
  • Online self-directed study to link face-to-face learning with your current school role
  • Action Learning sets to gain experience of other schools
  • Final Assessment Twilight to fully prepare you for your assessment submission
  • Ongoing support (from your in-school Mentor and our trained Facilitators) to link learning to your in-school role


Induction Twilight

19th September 2019

Dane Court Grammar School

Face to Face Day 1

6th November 

King Ethelbert School

Face to Face Day 2

6th December

PLCC, Canterbury Primary School

Face to Face Day3

28th January 2020

Herne Bay High School

Final Assessment Workshop - Twilight

27th February

King Ethelbert School

Study modules

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.

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.

Increasing Capacity:

  • 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.

School Strategy and Improvement:

  • Analyse performance data to identify the causes of variation within a school and against comparative schools.
  • 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.

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.

Managing Resources and Risks:

  • 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.

final assessment

The final assessment is submitted to an external assessor.
The assessment comprises of a project style submission detailing your development as a leader throughout the programme. You will create a 5000 report based on your project where you will work across your school to:

  1. reduce variation in pupil progress and attainment
  2. improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching 

Your school based coach and sponsor will also be required to contribute by verifying your submission and supporting with further evidence.

You will be able to choose a window for your assessment within an 18 month timescale. 

course fee

EKLA is able to offer the programme through a local cluster at a price to schools of £849 per person.



For a limited period, participants from the following areas will receive full scholarships for any of the NPQ Programmes :

Ashford, Crawley, Gravesham, Hastings, Lewes, Medway and Thanet.

The DfE has recently confirmed that £10 million of the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF) has been set aside to support teachers and leaders in challenging areas to access the reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs).

This funding will cover the full participant costs of the course for teachers working in an Opportunity Area or a priority area (defined by the DfE as a category 5 or 6 ‘Achieving Excellence’ area).

To be eligible for a scholarship, the participant must be:

  • Working in a school in one of the above areas or working in MAT's or dioceses which cover those areas
  • Not already hold the NPQ for which they are applying
  • Not previously have dropped out before completing the NPQ for which they are applying



The deadline for applications for the NPQSL Cohort 15 programme commencing in September 2019 with EKLA is Friday 28th June.




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