National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

Who is NPQH for?

NPQH is for those who are, or are aspiring to become, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school. This includes those who are, or are aspiring to be, a head or head of school with cross-school responsibilities e.g. a National Leader of Education (NLE).

What you will learn on NPQH?

Each NPQ course features the same 6 content areas as below, however the knowledge and skills within a content area increases in sophistication, depth and breadth progressively through each of the NPQ levels.

Strategy & Improvement Teaching and Curriculum Excellence Leading with Impact
Working in Partnership
Managing Resources and Risks
Increasing Capability
Anticipate changes in the external and strategic environment. Develop an evidence-based organisational strategy, in collaboration with the governing board. Lead a successful whole-school change programme. Lead and grow excellent teaching in a school. Support pupils of all backgrounds, abilities and particular needs in the school to achieve high standards, including Pupil Premium, SEND, EAL or the most able pupils. Systematically review the cumulative impact of initiatives on teacher workload and make proportionate and pragmatic demands on staff. Distribute responsibility and accountability throughout the school to improve performance. Be an inspiring leader in a range of different situations. Communicate and negotiate with different people effectively to make progress on objectives.. Use different models of partnership working to improve educational provision, sustain a culture of mutual challenge and learn from others (including parents/carers, the wider community and other organisation). Lead an effective partnership which brings benefits to the school and wider education system, particularly in their school’s area(s) of expertise or specialism. Balance a school’s strategic or educational priorities with financial efficiency. Implement accountability arrangements to manage resources and risks effectively and in line with statutory requirements (where applicable, fulfilling the Accounting Officer role as defined in the Academies Financial Handbook). Hold all staff to account for performance using performance management, appraisal, misconduct and grievance systems. Create and sustain an environment where all staff are encouraged to develop their own knowledge and skills, and support each other. Anticipate capability requirements or gaps in the school and design strategies to fill them..

Programme Delivery

NPQML is delivered over the course of at least two academic terms, ensuring that participants are afforded sufficient time and development opportunities to successfully meet the assessment criteria. This will include the equivalent of 6 days face-to-face sessions out of school, online webinars and school visits delivered by experienced school leaders. A total of 110 study hours are required.

Leadership Behaviours

In addition to learning about the 6 content areas, as part of the NPQML participants are required to evaluate their strengths in each of the following 7 behaviours at the beginning of their NPQ, and plan how they will develop these during their study programme. Descriptors of the behaviours are as follows:-

Personal Drive
The best leaders are self-motivated and take a creative, problem-solving approach to new challenge. The best leaders readily engage with, and invest responsibility in, those who are best placed to improve outcomes. The best leaders are self-motivated and take a creative, problem-solving approach to new challenge. The best leaders remain courageous and positive in challenging, adverse or uncertain circumstances. The best leaders will know themselves and their teams, continually reflect on their own and others’ practices, and understand how best to approach difficult or sensitive issues. The best leaders act with honesty, transparency and always in the interests of the school and its pupils. The best leaders their respect the rights, views, beliefs and faiths of pupils, colleagues and stakeholders.

NPQML Assessment

The assessment requirements outlined below are applicable to participants starting their NPQML study programme in 2020-21.

Participants must:

Lead an improvement project in their team, lasting at least 2 terms, aimed at improving pupil progress and attainment (part A) and the capability of their team (part B)*

Submit a written account of the project to the provider for assessment, demonstrating how they have met the criteria set out below. This should cover the initiation, implementation and evaluation of the project.

Submit supporting documents/material as evidence where indicated below. Supporting evidence must be concise and directly related to the candidate’s project and corresponding assessment criterion.

Not exceed a total word count (across both parts of the project) of 4500 words excluding any supporting documents or annexes.

Assessment Content Areas
Part A Part B
• Strategy and Improvement
• Teaching and Curriculum Excellence
• Leading with Impact
• Working in Partnership
• Managing Resources and Risks
• Increasing Capability

Programme Cost

The current cost of NPQML with Leading Learning Forward TSA and The Humber Teaching School, for courses starting in October 2020, is £1299 which covers the cost of:

  • course materials and resources
  • course presentations and face-to-face sessions
  • online learning and support
  • lunch and refreshments
  • one assessment submission.

NB: Any participant failing to adhere to the assessment requirements may be liable for the cost of re-submission.

Eligibility for DfE Scholarship Funding

NB: DfE scholarship funding for NPQML courses, is still available, subject to revised criteria which will be published by the Department for Education in due course. It is likely that any new scholarship funding will be available for the 2020-21 academic year only.



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Date: Mon 23rd March 20 Venue: Humber Teaching School Ref: HTS.20.TLT Duration: Full day 9.30am-4pm (TBC).

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