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National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

The University of Chichester NPQML brings together the Institute of Education’s legacy of high-quality teacher education with some of the highest quality and most inspiring serving school leaders in our Academy Trust. You will study alongside aspiring and serving middle leaders from across the region, with particular focus on leadership in schools on the coastal strip, in rural settings and in the heart of big cities. If you wish, we are always happy to work with you to accredit your learning on the NPQML through our Masters programme in a way which suits you.

Our NPQML is designed for those who aspire to middle leadership as well as those currently serving in a middle leadership role. It is an important step on the route towards senior leadership. This may be subject leadership, year or phase leadership or responsibility for leading a specific element of whole-school development, for example attendance or assessment.

To be eligible you will need to be aspiring to or currently serving as a middle leader and have the support of your Headteacher. You will need to be able to complete a project based in your school which demonstrates how you have applied your learning on the course to the priorities of your school.

We are pleased to announce that we are part of the new NPQ Alliance, led by Ambition Institute.

This is a national Alliance that brings together 47 multi-academy trusts, teaching school alliances and teaching schools – including the Chichester Academy Trust and groups such as Ark, Outwood Grange and Oasis Community Learning – with regional school groups from across the country. We will deliver the NPQs through the Alliance’s experienced facilitators, tailoring programme content to meet local challenges and each leader’s development needs.

Working together to test, learn and innovate

The Alliance will support the education system to do everything it takes to raise the aspirations and attainment of every child, no matter what their background.

The programme:

The main focus of this programme is to ensure that all participants increase their confidence, capability and impact as a middle leader. The course will empower participants to proactively develop a strong network to support them in their first steps in leadership. Participants will be assessed through a written assignment relating to the school based project, to ensure that they have reached the qualification requirements.

The programme will comprise six half day sessions although it will also be possible to deliver two in a day. Content will cover all assessment requirements with six areas of focus being:

  • Strategy and improvement
  • Teaching and curriculum excellence
  • Leading with impact
  • Working in partnership
  • Managing resources and risks
  • Increasing capability

Workshops will include a mixture of theoretical input and also case studies and interactive discussion amongst participants. Participants will also be directed to a bank of online resources that will supplement and enhance learning thus preparing them for the written assessment.


The programme consists of six full-day sessions spread throughout the course of a school year.


This programme is suitable for:

Teachers who are aspiring to middle leadership and who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Likely to be in a middle leadership role in the next 12-18 months
  • Have completed at least one year of full-time teaching

Those currently in middle leadership roles who fit within the guidance below:

  • In secondary schools, middle leaders will have roles such as head of department, head of year or a whole-school lead role (for example, SEN), or second in charge of a department or pastoral area
  • In primary schools, middle leaders will have roles such as phase leaders; key stage leaders or a whole-school lead role (for example, literacy)
  • If the middle leader is aspiring to senior leadership, or currently serves on the senior leadership team, this person may be more suited to the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders

For both aspiring and serving middle leaders to receive their qualification, they will need to be able to complete the project element of this qualification successfully. This is to lead an improvement project in their team, lasting at least two terms, aimed at improving pupil progress and attainment and the capability of their team. It is essential that the school understands this element of the programme, and the support that will be required of them, when they are placing participants on the programme.

Cost: £950pp


For more details on the NPQ Alliance, visit:

How to apply - Downlaod our Application Form