National Professional Qualification of Senior Leaders

Who can apply

You should be in a leadership role with cross-school responsibilities, for example:

an experienced middle leader
a deputy head
a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO)
an advanced skills teacher
other senior staff

You’ll be looking for professional development, but not aspiring to headship at this stage of your career.

What’s involved

The normal duration of study is 12 months. Depending on your experience and other commitments, you could complete in 6 months or it may take a maximum of 18 months.

You’ll need to complete 2 essential modules, 2 further modules of your choice and a final assessment.

Each module requires up to 50 hours of learning, including:

around 20 hours of practical learning in your school
face-to-face peer and facilitated learning
reading and reflection
online learning

Essential modules

You must complete both of the following modules.

Closing the gap

As part of this module, you’ll learn about:

data collection, analysis and interpretation to identify attainment gaps and diagnose causes
improving teaching to narrow pupil attainment gaps
raising expectations and achieving high standards of behaviour
the use of best practice to address within-school variation
collaboration between teams both within school and across schools

Succeeding in senior leadership

Explore the style of your leadership and find out how you can apply it to your workplace to address school improvements. As part of this module, you’ll learn about:

leadership in different contexts and professions, particularly in relation to senior leadership
the characteristics of highly effective leadership and the importance of emotional intelligence
how adults learn and the use of diagnostic tools
your own leadership, including strengths and areas for development
strategies for effective professional development
how to create and sustain a positive working culture

Further study modules

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

Effective partnership working
Effective whole-school management
Improving the quality of teaching
Leading change for improvement
Leading professional development
Research and development in teaching
School self-evaluation

Final assessment

The final assessment comprises 2 assessed tasks from the work you lead across your school. You’ll need to show that you can:

make successful and sustainable improvements in your own school
use the experience to reflect on and improve your own leadership skills

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