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National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

The University of Chichester NPQSL 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 senior 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 NPQSL through our Masters programme in a way which suits you.

Our NPQSL is designed for those who aspire to senior leadership as well as those currently serving in a senior leadership role. It is an important step for those looking to develop their senior leadership skills, but not aspiring to headship at this stage in their career.

To be eligible you will need to be in a current leadership role either as an experienced middle leader or as a relatively new senior leader. This might include subject leadership, phase or team leadership, deputy or assistant headship, SENCO or hold responsibility for a key whole-school priority, for example behaviour and attendance or pupil premium.

You will need to have the support of your Headteacher and be able to complete an extended project in your school on a school improvement priority which can bring about positive impact within 12 months.

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 University of 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 the participant’s own leadership development, including how to make best use of tasks and tools to make the transition to senior leadership. Participants will be assessed through a written assignment to ensure that they have reached the qualification requirements plus a viva interview to assess them against the more challenging Ambition bar.  

 The programme will comprise nine half day sessions. Content will cover all assessment requirements with six areas of focus being:

The training sessions will include the following six core areas:

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


The programme consists of nine half-day sessions spread throughout the course of a school year.


This programme is suitable for:

Middle leaders who are aspiring to senior leadership and meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Likely to be in a senior leadership role in the next 12-18 months
  • Have completed at least one year at a middle leadership level
  • May have served on an extended SLT

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

  • Senior leaders should have responsibility for the results of a team, and line manage at least one middle leader
  • Will serve on the senior leadership of the school, and attend SLT meetings
  • In secondary schools, senior leaders will have roles such as assistant headteacher or assistant/vice-principals
  • In large secondary schools, heads of large departments and faculties, leaders may have responsibility commensurate with that of senior leaders
  • In primary schools, senior leaders will have roles such as assistant/associate headteacher or assistant/vice-principals as well as substantive whole-school responsibilities
  • If the senior leader is aspiring to headship, or is a deputy headteacher in secondary / deputy or assistant headteacher in primary, this person is likely to be more suited to NPQH

For both aspiring and serving senior leaders to receive their qualification, they will need to lead and complete a written report on an improvement project across their school, lasting at least two terms, to reduce variation in pupil progress and attainment and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching.  Therefore, it is essential that this is something your school understands and will support when placing participants on the programme.

Cost: £1,150


How to apply - Download our Application Form