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Woodrush High School

Woodrush Teaching School Alliance

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National Professional Qualification in Middle Leadership

NPQML - Leading a team within an organisation

The National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) is a qualification that provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a middle leader.

Who is NPQML for?
  • NPQML is aimed at individuals with responsibility for leading a team and is suitable for:
  • Staff who have recently taken on a middle leadership role or a new responsibility‚Ä®
  • Staff who are more established and experienced in their middle leadership role
  • Subject/curriculum leaders
  • Key stage leaders
  • Heads of department
  • Pastoral leaders, for example, Head of Year or Head of House
  • Gifted and talented co-ordinators
  • Advanced skills teachers
  • Assessment co-ordinators
  • Career co-ordinators
What is the NPQML programme?
The qualification is part of the National College for Teaching and Leadership leadership curriculum, which offers more flexible development opportunities to support leaders at every stage of their career. To deliver the NPQSL locally, Woodrush TSA works in partnership with Leadership Live, a license holder for delivery of the national leadership curriculum. 

NPQML sits at level one of the leadership curriculum. It’s designed to support participants in becoming highly effective middle leaders with the skills, confidence and knowledge to drive successful team performance and improved classroom practice.

To achieve the qualification, participants will need to complete two Essential modules (‘Leading teaching’ and ‘Managing systems and processes’) and one Elective module (chosen from a wide range of options).
Included in the cost of the programme will be:
  • Online materials for the two Essential modules and one Elective module
  • Twilight face to face training for each module
  • Online discussions and support
  • Peer group meetings
  • A 360 degree diagnostic

What modules are available as part of the NPQML qualification?
Modules deal explicitly with leadership and management of a team or department and are designed for those with a very clear remit at middle leader level.

All modules reflect the recent and significant changes in schools and national policy and provide access to a wider set of leadership resources to challenge and support participants.

As a national qualification, NPQML may be used to contribute towards Master’s Level Study at a number of universities across the country.
Essential Modules
Leading teaching
Managing systems and processes
Elective Modules
Leading inclusion: achievement for all
Leading an effective team
Leading and developing staff
Succeeding in middle leadership
Leading change for improvement
Leading in a diverse system

The modules for the Middle Leadership pathway can also be grouped within the three key strands of the leadership curriculum:

Educational Excellence
Operational Management
Strategic Leadership

Each module can be completed in approximately 40 hours although you can spend longer using the online materials for your own learning if you so wish.

How is the programme assessed?
Although individual modules are not assessed, there will be the requirement of one extended school improvement task that relates to your leadership role and to your school’s improvement priorities. This extended school improvement task will need to draw on learning from modules studied.

The work will be undertaken over at least two terms to enable you to show evidence of the impact of your leadership.

How long does it take?
The qualification can take between 6 and 18 months to complete with each module requiring between 40 and 50 hours of learning. This comprises face to face sessions, online learning and workplace learning. The majority of middle leaders are likely to spend 12 months completing the programme.

How much does NPQML cost?
The NPQML programme is available at a cost of £750.

How to apply?
To register an interest in the NPQML please complete a booking form on this page or alternatively email for more details.