National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

Course Start Date: 15/11/2018

*New application window for an Autumn 2018 start now open*

The NPQSL qualification provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a senior leader. You should be a senior leader in a school, or about to take on a substantive senior leader role. You should be in a leadership role with cross-school responsibilities, for example: an experienced senior leader, a deputy head, a special educational needs coordinator (SENCO), an advanced skills teacher (AST), or other senior staff.

What’s involved?
In addition to the 5 face-to-face (F2F) sessions detailed below, the NPQSL programme follows a blended learning format. This consists of workplace learning and practice activities, peer and facilitated learning, reading, structured reflection, online learning and a 360 diagnostic assessment.

Day 1 Succeeding in Senior Leadership
Day 2 Leading Learning and Teaching
Day 3 Leading with Impact
Day 4 Leading Effective Partnerships
Day 5 Leading Strategically

The Programme
NPQSL will help you develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to be a highly effective senior leader.

Completion of NPQSL generally takes around 12 months. This is a self-managed programme and you decide how best to structure the elements to meet the deadline for assessment.

Modular Delivery
These qualifications have a flexible, modular structure. Each module provides opportunities to access up to 50 hours of blended learning:
• face-to-face facilitated learning
• workplace learning and practice activities, face-to-face activities, including peer and facilitated learning and reading, reflection and online learning.
• online sources of material including many examples of practice and activities to pursue.
• 360 diagnostic survey: a peer-led analysis of your leadership style and objectives providing the foundations for your targeted leadership development.

Completion and assessment
Completion of NPQSL generally takes around 12 months. There will be a final assessment at the end of the programme and currently this is an assessed strategic leadership task in your own school, linked to school improvement activities undertaken in the workplace and your learning from the modules. Your sponsor (headteacher or line manager) will also be required to submit a formal verification of your progress during the assessment activity - based on observation of your leadership during the leadership task. Individual modules are not currently assessed. However, all participants are asked to reflect on their learning as they progress through the programme.

At assessment you’ll need to show that you can:
• deliver successful and sustainable school improvement in your school setting
• use the experience to reflect upon and improve your own leadership skills

Criteria for acceptance to the programme
On the application form, you are asked to provide your two best recent examples of leadership roles, and explain how they demonstrate your success as a leader, what you feel are your key areas for development as a leader, and what you hope to gain by completing the programme. Your application will be assessed against the following criteria:
• the suitability of your role
• evidence of leadership activity at the appropriate level
• support of the sponsor i.e. your line manager or headteacher

Please note that this is an individual qualification and applications are assessed on an individual basis. There can be no substitutions of participants as each applicant must be assessed on their own merit, and therefore must make an individual application.

Complete the online application form at

The deadline for applications for this cohort is 24th September 2018.

Course Files


Thurston Community College

Thurston Community College
Norton Road
Bury St Edmunds
IP31 3PB

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