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 Time60hrs online study; four 4hr in-person sessions; four 1.5hr national seminars; nine 1.5hr local seminars; four 1.5hr case studies
Programme Start OptionsOctober 2023
CostFully Funded for all staff in state-funded schools and state-funded organisations that offer 16 to 19 places in England
£1,149 for all others more information here

Lead successful whole school improvement and change

A completely updated NPQSL for those who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school or cross-trust responsibilities

  • Gain a nationally recognised, prestigious, government-backed qualification and make progress in your career
  • Strengthen your expertise as a senior leader, helping you to support a culture where pupils and staff can thrive, learning 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

Benefits for you

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of how to apply the evidence on school improvement through people development, learning 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 delivered in a way that suits the busy working lives of teachers and school 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
  • Ongoing preparation to give you confidence to pass the final assessment
  • Facilitation and support from serving school leaders in excellent 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 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 blend of flexible online learning, online discussion, virtual workshops and face to face workshops, for a few hours study each week over 18 months. This is followed by an assessment window where you will complete a 1500-word case study assessment to demonstrate your understanding of real leadership and change.

NPQSL programme overview graphic

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:

  • Create the environment need to ensure effective teaching, curriculum, assessment and culture
  • Lead effective professional development, change and implementation
  • Manage a school’s systems and processes, working with parents and governors

Funding and Cost

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
  • are employed in state-funded schools, as well as those employed in state-funded organisations that offer 16 to 19 places in England

The course fee is £1,149 for all others – more information here

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.



Register now for our NPQs starting in Autumn 2023:

Register Now for our NPQs starting in 2023-24

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Find your local partner

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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.

“The course had a huge impact on my professional life this year […] it reignited my desire to learn in an academic sense”

“The course material is utterly brilliant. Such high quality and carefully crafted. The spirit and ethos of TDT is forefront.”

Key Dates

Autumn 2022 Cohorts

QualificationStart DateFinal Delivery SessionAssessment window startAssessment window end
NPQSL17th October 2022w/c 25th March 2024Monday 15th April 2024Monday 22nd April 2024

National Seminars

National Seminar 1Monday 17th October 2022 (3.30pm – 5pm)
National Seminar 2Tuesday 24th January 2023 (3.30pm – 5pm)
National Seminar 3Thursday 4th May 2023 (3.30pm – 5pm)
National Seminar 4Wednesday 8th November 2023 (3.30pm – 5pm)

Spring 2023 Cohorts

QualificationStart DateFinal Delivery SessionAssessment window startAssessment window end
NPQSLMonday 6th February 2023w/c 15th  July 2024Monday 2nd September 2024Monday 9th September 2024
Download our NPQSL brochure