Access remote learning and working guidance here


National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

Course overview

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) will develop your skills and knowledge to be a high performing senior leader in your school.

The NPQSL is delivered over 18 months and will develop your knowledge in six content areas and seven leadership behaviours.

Content areas

  • Strategy and improvement
  • Teaching and curriculum excellence
  • Leading with impact
  • Working in partnership
  • Managing resources and risks
  • Increasing capability.

Leadership behaviours

  • Commitment
  • Collaboration
  • Personal drive
  • Resilience
  • Awareness
  • Integrity
  • Respect. 

Who is this course for?

The NPQSL  is suitable for senior leaders or aspiring senior leaders in roles such as deputy headteacher, assistant headteacher or an experienced middle leader.

Course delivery and schedule

The qualification will be delivered using online learning. Due to Covid-19, We have adapted the mode of delivery to ensure a safe and effective programme for all. The programme takes one year to complete.

The modules allow you to engage at a time of day that suits you over a series of two week windows and there will be additional support to plan your in-school project and prepare for your final assessment.

Session Date
Live Virtual Introduction 22nd October 2020, 4.00pm - 5.30pm
360 Baseline Late October 2020

Strategy and Improvement (Online modules)

23rd November - 6th December 2020
Maximising on your in-school project - live virtual advice sessions 5th or 6th January 2021

Teaching and Curriculum Excellence (Online modules)

11th - 24th January 2021
Leading with Impact (Virtual or face to face session) 16th or 17th March 2021, 3.00pm - 6.00pm

Managing Resources and Risk, and Working in Partnership (Online modules)

26th April - 9th May 2021
Working in Partnership and Preparing for your final assessment (Virtual or face to face session) 29th or 30th June 2021, 3.00pm - 6.00pm

Face to face sessions will be delivered in our training centre at our main office in Halesowen. From here we serve schools across Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Worcestershire.

Where we work with other multi academy trust partners, additional delivery locations are available. 

Course facilitators

NPQSL assessment

Each of the NPQ programmes has an assessment which is based on your learning from the modules put into practice through a workplace project. 

The assessment framework is compulsory and needed to complete the programme.

You will be guided through the assessment documentation, what evidence you need to gather and how best to present this. We will share examples of excellent submissions from our past delegates to help you to feel comfortable and assured ready for the assessment.

During the modules, you will get ongoing advice and guidance from qualified assessors and relevant templates and checklists to support your submission. We will also support your in-school coach so that they understand the process.

Cost and NPQ scholarship funding

The NPQSL costs £1,199*.

The DfE is providing funding for participants in some areas to access the NPQ programmes at a fully funded rate. For applications made prior to the end of July 2020 eligible applicants are guaranteed the funding.

For NPQ programmes commencing in Autumn 2020 scholarships will continue but the criteria is still to be confirmed by the DfE and until they have established the available funding pot they have temporarily suspended scholarship applications. The latest DFE announcements on scholarships can be accessed here

We understand however that scholarship applications may be open again in late Autumn 2020 for schools in:

  • Dudley
  • Sandwell
  • Walsall
  • Wolverhampton
  • Some parts of Staffordshire

If your school is not located within a funded area, there may still be an opportunity to access the funding. If you belong to a multi academy trust, which has a school in an eligible area, all staff within that MAT will automatically become eligible.

If DfE scholarship funding is unavailable, you will have the opportunity to withdraw prior to the programme commencing or your school could fund the qualification directly. 

*discounts are available for school and candidates that meet certain criteria. Please enquire at to discuss this further. 

How to apply

You can apply for the NPQSL by completing our online application form.

Apply now

Why study with Windsor Academy Trust?

The feedback on our tried and tested models is extremely positive and we performed well against nationally set metrics.

Our recruitment is consistently very strong, attracting leaders from a range of backgrounds.

95 percent pass rate

97% pass rate

Our qualification has a 97% pass rate, maximising your chance of success.

96 percent retention rate

96% retention rate

The quality of our teaching and support ensures that you remain on track and complete your qualification.

100 percent completion in 18 months

100% completion in 18 months

We make sure that you get your qualification completed on time.

gain different perspectives

Gain different perspectives 

We attract leaders from a wide range of diverse backgrounds allowing you to gain different perspectives and network and learn alongside a diverse group of leaders.

Statistics snapshot from the National QA agent