National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

Image of senior leader in school helping develop her staff
ForThose who are or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school or cross-trust level responsibilities  
Length18 months
Study Time80 hours:
55hrs online study; four 4-hour in-person sessions; 14 x 1.5hr virtual sessions
Programme Start OptionsNovember 2021 or February 2022
Fully funded for all staff in state-funded schools in England – more information here

Lead successful whole school improvement and change

  • Gain a prestigious, government-backed qualification and make progress in your career
  • Grow your expertise as a senior leader, creating a culture where pupils and staff can thrive and learn how to bring staff with you on the journey
  • Learn flexibly around your job with a blend of online learning, virtual sessions and local face to face workshops
  • A completely updated NPQSL for those who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school or cross-trust responsibilities

Benefits for you

Our NPQSL qualification is aligned to the Chartered College of Teaching’s Chartered Leader Status, providing a springboard for your next steps.

Benefits for Participants

  • Develop expertise and leadership in the art, craft and science of school improvement through people development, understanding how to lead everything from whole school programmes to specialist areas
  • A blended learning experience which fits around your role where you learn and discuss key content online – no more sitting listening to presentations for hours
  • Local virtual and face to face sessions that focus on real problem-solving, creating understanding, connecting with your peers and gaining depth of knowledge
  • Ongoing preparation to give you confidence to pass the final assessment
  • Facilitation and support from serving school leaders in outstanding schools and delivery at local venues

Benefits for your school or trust

  • A skilful and research-informed leader who can contribute to a cohesive, impact-focussed school leadership team
  • Practical capability to get on with the job of developing others with the skills to lead people and teams, creating change and impact
  • A professionally aware and informed leader who can make evidence-based decisions and approach senior 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 within the organisation

A 18-month blend of flexible online learning, online discussion, virtual workshops and face to face workshops. This is followed by a 8-day assessment window 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.

The course covers all of the core content in the government’s Framework for this qualification and this is aligned with core themes around: effective communication, creating change, working with teams, managing yourself. Key areas include:

  • Creating effective teaching, curriculum, assessment and culture
  • Leading effective professional development, change and implementation 
  • Managing a school’s systems and processes, working with partners and governors


The course fee is £1,149. 

Fully funded for all staff in state-funded schools in England – more information here

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.



Start your application here:

Find your local partner

Image showing map of Teacher Development Trust's Delivery Partners

Our network of UK and international delivery partners will be happy to support you along your learning journey with exceptional facilitators who have a strong track record of leadership and supporting other leaders.

If you may be interested in becoming a facilitator, please click here.

Download our NPQSL brochure