National Professional Qualification of Middle Leaders

Who can apply

You should be highly motivated to be a headteacher. You’ll be no more than 12 to 18 months from applying for headship posts and ready to take up a headship as soon as you graduate.  You should also have the full support and endorsement of a sponsor. Usually, this will be your headteacher or line manager.

What’s involved

The duration of study is 6 to 18 months. During this time you’ll:
undertake a placement at a school, in a different context from your own, for a minimum of 9 days
complete 3 essential modules and 2 further study modules of your choice
undertake a final assessment

You can control the pace and focus of your study by completing the work in a timeframe that suits you, and by choosing modules that interest you.

Essential modules

You must complete the following 3 modules.

Leading and improving teaching

Learn how to develop, improve and sustain high-quality teaching across your school. As part of this module, you’ll learn about:
effective teaching and the head’s role and responsibilities in leading and improving teaching
the Ofsted inspection framework
holding all staff to account for performance
high standards of behaviour
classroom management in relation to high-quality teaching and positive behaviour
monitoring, evaluating and improving teaching
teacher appraisal, including how to improve teacher performance and address underperformance
how to work with pupils and parents to improve pupil attainment

Leading an effective school

Learn about the key management systems required in an effective school, particularly teacher performance, pupil behaviour and financial management. As part of this module, you’ll learn about:
the main management processes (including behaviour, personnel and financial management)
governing body and headship accountabilities
managing performance, professional development and sustained school improvement
managing misconduct and grievance
behaviour management
strategic financial planning and operational budget management
HR law, including pay and conditions, and employee rights
health and safety in schools
child protection

Succeeding in headship

Learn about the essential legal and accountability components of headship and governance with a focus on how successful heads operate in practice. As part of this module, you’ll learn about:
the non-teaching aspects of the Ofsted framework
how to establish yourself as a headteacher, including building trust and credibility with governors, staff and parents
how to manage your time and maintain resilience
effective leadership in high-performing international systems
main management tools, including operational and strategic planning
implementing change effectively

Further study modules

You need to complete 2 of the following modules as well.

Closing the gap
Curriculum development
Freedoms and constraints
Leading change for improvement
Leading inclusion: Achievement for All
Leading staff and effective teams
Relationships and reputation
School improvement through effective partnerships
Using data and evidence to improve performance

Find out more about what you’ll cover in these study modules.
Final assessment

The final assessment comprises 3 tasks: 1 in your school, 1 in your placement school and a presentation/interview assessment. Through this process, you’ll need to show:
how you have led the school improvement work in your own and other school settings
your ability to present and perform at interview
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