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National Professional Qualifications

NPQML and NPQSL are nationally recognised development programmes for middle and senior leaders respectively.

With both National Professional Qualification pathways developed collaboratively between school leaders, UCL teaching staff and researchers, the courses are built upon high-quality leadership practice, evidence and research. The varied programme of study enables participants to self-reflect and apply their learning in their own context, supported by regular development days and learning journals.​​​​​​​



National Professional Qualification in Middle Leadership (NPQML)

Target Audience

  • Subject leaders

  • Curriculum area leaders

  • Year group leaders

  • Pastoral leaders

  • Special educational needs coordinators (SENCO)

  • Specialist leaders (SLE)

  • Leaders/mentors for small groups of staff


Course Content

  • Day 1 - Leading with Impact

  • Day 2 - Leading Learning and Teaching

  • Day 3 - Leading Effective Partnerships

  • Day 4 - Leading Strategically


National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

Target Audience

  • Experienced middle leaders

  • Middle leaders of core subjects

  • Phase leaders

  • Special educational needs coordinators (SENCO)

Course Content

  • Day 1 - Succeeding in Senior Leadership

  • Day 2 - Leading Learning and Teaching

  • Day 3 - Leading with Impact

  • Day 4 - Leading Effective Partnerships

  • Day 5 - Leading Strategically


Curriculum Framework

The curriculum framework is built around six content areas and seven leadership behaviours, all of which are common to each level of NPQ, enabling leaders to develop the depth and breadth of knowledge.

Content Areas

  • Managing Resources and Risks

  • Strategy and Improvement

  • Working in Partnership

  • Teaching and Curriculum Excellence

  • Leading with Impact

  • Increasing Capability

Leadership Beahviours

  • Commitment

  • Personal Drive

  • Collaboration

  • Awareness

  • Integrity

  • Resilience 

  • Respect


Resources Assessment
  • Online resources

  • 360 diagnostic survey
  • Workplace learning
  • Peer and facilitated learning

Two-term school improvement project.

All participants are expected to submit a written report within 18 months of the programme start date.

NPQML: Approximately 4,500 words

NPQSL: Approximately 5,000 words


Application Process

Step 1: Speak with your Primary Headteacher or Vice Principal for Teaching to express interest, check eligibility and obtain the support of your institution.

Step 2: Contact Atlas (enquiries@atlaspartnership.com) to express interest and confirm that you have received the support of your school.

Step 3: Submit an online application form to UCL Institute of Education (IOE).


Do you know someone who should participate?

We'd love to hear from them! ​​​​​​​Share our flyers and encourage them to get in contact with Atlas Partnership on enquiries@atlaspartnership.com.