Web Banner image for the NPQ for Executive Leadership

A new Leadership NPQ for those who are, or aspiring to be, an executive headteacher, trust director or chief executive, with responsibility for leading several schools


“The NPQEL has real resonance, and real meaning and impact for participants. TDT’s NPQEL brings this to life.”


NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL)

Exceptional leadership across a group of schools or trust

A completely updated NPQEL for those who are, or aspiring to be, an executive headteacher, trust director or chief executive, with responsibility for leading several schools

  • Gain a nationally recognised, prestigious, government-backed qualification and make progress in your career
  • Strengthen your expertise as both a strategic and operational leader, creating the culture, governance and strategy needed for a group of schools to flourish successfully and coherently
  • Learn flexibly around your job with a blend of online learning, virtual sessions and local face to face workshops as well as a core residential weekend

Benefits for you

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of how to apply the evidence on multi-school improvement through people development, working with leaders, staff, pupils, governors and the wider community to create lasting and sustainable change
  • A blended learning experience which fits around your role where you learn and discuss key content online delivered in a way that suits the busy working lives of trust leaders
  • Local virtual and face to face sessions that focus on real problem-solving, creating understanding, connecting with your peers and gaining depth of knowledge
  • A residential stay helps you develop networks with key national leaders and peers
  • Ongoing preparation to give you confidence to pass the final assessment
  • Facilitation and support from serving executive leaders in excellent trusts and delivery at local venues

Benefits for your school or trust

  • A skilful and research-informed executive leader with the capacity to strategically lead a group of schools or trust 
  • Practical capability to get on with the job of developing others with the skills to lead with people and teams, creating change and impact
  • A professionally aware and informed leader who can make evidence-based decisions and approach leadership in an effective and efficient manner
  • The ability to review and evaluate practice in order to bring about change and get the best outcomes for young people and staff across the organisations

A blend of flexible online learning, online discussion, virtual workshops and face to face workshops, for a few hours study each week over 18 months with one weekend residential. This is followed by an assessment where you will complete a 1500-word case study assessment to demonstrate your understanding of real leadership and change.

Our online modules guide you and your colleagues through understanding and implementing effective approaches to people-powered school improvement.

This completely reformed Leadership NPQ has an evidence-based curriculum design, connecting you to the latest research and best practice. Our research-rich course covers all of the core content in the government’s Framework for this qualification. It will help you to:

  • Provide strategic leadership across a group of schools in effective teaching, curriculum, assessment and culture
  • Oversee the development of cross-school approaches to embed effective workforce development, change and implementation
  • Create and manage cross-school systems and processes, working with partners and boards.

Click here for full course overview

Funding and Cost

Funding for Autumn 2024 will target those teachers and leaders who work in the most challenging schools or educational settings, serving more disadvantaged communities. 

Scholarship funding to cover the full NPQ course cost will be available to teachers and leaders from: 

  • the 50% of schools with the highest proportion of students who attract pupil premium funding 
  • 16 to 19 educational settings identified as having high disadvantage 

Please see the government website here for more information and guidance on funding for NPQ courses.

The course fee is £4,050 for non-funded applicants. 

Start your application

Register your interest in the box provided below

More information

The Teacher Development Trust is an internationally leading charity in the fields of staff development and school improvement through people development. Founded by practising teachers and leaders in 2012, we’ve helped hundreds of schools and leaders to create lasting improvement.


Key Information: A Quick Guide

Course Length
18 months
Study Time
60hrs online study; one 2-day residential; three 4hr in-person sessions; nine 1.5hr local seminars; four 1.5hr national seminars; four 1.5hr case studies
National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership
Programme Start Date
w/c 26th February 2024 for Spring 24 cohort
Other Key Dates
Final Delivery Session w/c 7th July 2025, Assessment Window start 15th September 2025 – end 22nd September 2025
Please see the 'funding' tab above for information and guidance on funding & scholarships. £4,050 for non-funded applicants.

Express your interest in a TDT NPQ today!

Complete the form below to let us know that you’re interested in joining a future NPQ cohort. We’ll keep you up to date with the latest NPQ announcements and notify you when the 2024/25 application window is open.

Applications for Spring 2024 are now closed.

Express your interest in a TDT NPQ today!

Please ensure both email fields contain the same address.
A note regarding your email address

We ask that you please use the same personal email address throughout your NPQ journey with us, rather than a work or university email address. This ensures we maintain a seamless connection with you, preventing potential issues caused by changes in school or position, duplicate applications, and minimises the risk of our messages being blocked by school firewalls.

This also enables us to align with the DfE who will also ask you to use a personal email address during the application process.   

By using a personal email address, you help us stay consistent, accurate, and timely with the information we send your way. If this poses any challenges for you, don't hesitate to let us know and we will make every effort to accommodate.

My NPQEL Experience

Current TDT NPQEL participant, Emily Walker, Director, LEARN Teaching Centre, tells us more about her experiences of the qualification so far.

Find a Delivery Partner near you

Our carefully selected network of Delivery Partners deliver our courses across over 21 locations in England, Guernsey and the United Arab Emirates. Some Delivery Partners deliver in more than one region, so please ensure you are able to travel to your chosen local delivery location. 

Please use our interactive map below to see where our partners are based and what courses they are offering. 

Upcoming Key Dates for current NPQEL participants

Spring 2023 NPQEL Cohort

The following calendar lists the NPQ Executive Leadership sessions for the Spring 2023 cohort. Please note that you should ensure that you can attend every session. A limited number of catch up videos and study packages may be allowed if sessions are missed.

Session Name)
Local Webinar (4)
Residential & face to face seminar 2
National Webinar 3
Local Webinar (5)
Local Webinar (6)
Face to face seminar 3
National Webinar 4
Local Webinar (7)
Local Webinar (8)
Local Webinar (9)
Face to face seminar 4
Final Delivery Session
Assessment window start
Assessment window end
Date, Time, (Location)
21st September 2023, 3pm-4.30pm (Zoom)
19th-20th October 2023, 1pm on 19th-3pm on 20th (Birmingham)
7th November 2023, 10am-11.30am (Zoom)
29th November 2023, 9am-10.30am (Zoom)
18th January 2024, 10.30am-12 midday (Zoom)
6th February 2024, 10am-3pm (London)
19th February 2024, 3.30pm-5pm (Zoom)
12th March 2024, 3pm-4.30pm (Zoom)
23rd April 2024, 12.30pm-2pm (Zoom)
13th June 2024, 2pm-3.30pm (Zoom)
8th July 2024, 10am-3pm (London)
15th July 2024
2nd September 2024
9th September 2024

Meet your course tutors

If you choose to study with the TDT central team, your lead tutor will be Sir Steve Lancashire and David Weston.

Image of Sir Steve Lancashire

Founder and former Chief Executive of the Reach2 Multi Academy Trust, one of the largest and most successful primary academy trusts in the country. Steve has been involved in primary education for thirty years and as a Headteacher for the past twenty years, most recently as Executive Headteacher of Hillyfield Primary Academy. Hillyfield is a double outstanding school and REAch2 was founded on its success.

Steve is a National Leader of Education and has been a lead adviser for the Department for Education, taking the lead in supporting schools to move from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’.

As the founder and Chief Executive of REAch2, Steve seeks to establish a family of schools that share his passion and drive to secure the best possible outcomes for primary aged children and to ensure that primary education has a strong national voice. Ensuring there is enough capacity in the education system to enhance existing good schools and to tackle the issue facing failing schools is at the heart of Steve’s vision so that all young people have access to an exceptional education.

Steve was Knighted for services to education in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2016.

Image of David Weston CEO of TDT

David is the founder and Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust.

He is Chair of the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group and, alongside Bridget Clay, wrote Unleashing Great Teaching: the secrets to the most effective teacher development.

David taught maths and physics for ten years in two schools in London and the South East. He is a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. David speaks and writes frequently for the education sector and national media and has had a number of radio and TV appearances on the subject of teaching, teacher development and LGBT issues.

Find out more about the NPQEL from David Weston and Sir Steve Lancashire in our video below: