NPQML – new from September 2017

The DFE’s vision is for an education system that drives social mobility, ensuring that every child and young person can access a high quality education, regardless of location, prior attainment, and background. After the quality of teaching, it is the quality of school leadership that is the most important educational determinant of pupils’ success. Excellent school leaders at all levels are critical to ensuring that every child can unlock their full potential.

The DFE has reformed the NPQs to better prepare leaders for the range of leadership roles in today’s school system. The new NPQs are due to commence in September 2017. The DFE will be announcing the organisations accredited to deliver the new qualifications after the general election on 08th June.

Learners First are taking ‘registrations of interest’ from school leaders wishing to start on the new NPQ programmes (NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH) from September 2017. To register your interest, simply email teachingschool@learnersfirst.org with your name, school, local authority and the programme you are interested in. Learners First will contact you after the DFE has announced its new providers.

Who's it for?

This level has been developed for those leading a team within an organisation. It is often aligned with a middle leadership role within school. Level 1 leaders might include those who have recently taken on a middle leadership role or a new responsibility or those who are more established and experienced in their role. Level 1 modules are also available to aspiring leaders; teachers who are ambitious and keen to seek promotion to middle leadership roles.

How much does it cost?

For 2016/17, NPQML with Learners First costs £840. This price includes the cost of *assessment (paid for by the DFE) for those starting on the programme before 31st January 2017.

*You’ll also need to pay £225 for your final assessment if you apply from either:- an independent or non-maintained school OR a school outside England

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, 1 further module 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

NPQML – documents to download

Click on the documents to download.
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NPQML Modules

In order to graduate from NPQML you will be required to successfully complete two essential and two elective module. The two essential modules are:-

  • Leading Teaching

  • Managing Systems and Processes


See below for further details of the 2 essential modules and the 5 elective modules.

NPQML module exemptions

Exemptions from one elective module are available for applicants who have successfully completed one of the following programmes in the last 3 years:-

  • Middle Leadership Programme (MLDP);
  • Leading from the Middle (LftM);
  • Leadership Pathways (LP) Programme;
  • Tomorrow’s Heads (THds) Programme;
  • Post Graduate Certificate  or Diploma in Educational Leadership;
  • Higher Degree in Educational Leadership.

You cannot claim exemption for any essential modules.



NPQML Assessment

The final assessment is a task drawn from work on a school improvement priority where you lead at team level for an extended period. You’ll need to show that you can:

  • make successful and sustainable improvement in your school
  • use the experience to reflect upon and improve your own leadership skills

* Full details are available in the NPQML Final Assessment document in the download section.

NPQML Modules

NPQML modules are delivered under license by the National College of Teaching and Leadership

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“the principal’s role is to lead the school’s teachers in a process of learning to improve their teaching, while learning alongside them about what works and what doesn’t.”

~ Michael Fullan

Middle Leaders have now chosen to undertake the nationally accredited NPQML with Learners First since 2012.

NPQML - Essential and Elective Modules
Leading Teaching

Leading Teaching (LT) is an essential module

Learn how to develop, improve and sustain high-quality teaching within a team and identify strategies to help close gaps in attainment. As part of this module, you’ll learn:

  • the principles, models and practice of effective teaching and learning
  • how to identify outstanding teaching and learning
  • leadership strategies to influence and improve the quality of teaching
  • leadership and management strategies for achieving high standards of pupil behaviour
  • how to analyse and use performance data
  • how to achieve and maintain high-quality subject specialisms within the team
Managing Systems and Processes

Managing Systems and Processes (MSAP) is an essential module

Learn how to implement whole-school policies with your team in a systematic and consistent way. As part of this module, you’ll learn about:

  • the principles, theories and models of leadership
  • effective management structures, systems and processes
  • managing resources, including financial management
  • how to manage teacher appraisals and staff performance
  • behaviour management and pupil attendance
  • health and safety legislation, including child protection
Succeeding in middle leadership

Succeeding in middle leadership (SIML) is an elective module

Learn more about your own leadership and how to develop your leadership capacity and capability.

In this module, you’ll learn about:

  • research evidence relating to characteristics of outstanding leaders
  • the relationship between personal effectiveness and leadership
  • the importance of personal review, reflection and learning
  • the importance of seeking and acting on feedback from others
  • the principles and practice of self-directed learning
Leading an effective team

Leading an effective team (LAET) is an elective module

Learn how to lead effective teams with a culture of high performance and trust.

In this module, you’ll learn about:

  • the characteristics of highly effective teams
  • the connection between leadership, trust and team relationships
  • how to build trust
  • the components of a high-performance culture
  • how to create and sustain a high-performance culture
  • the key strategies to support team-based learning
Leading and developing staff

Leading and developing staff (LADS) is an elective module

Learn how to spot talent and develop individual team members to improve teaching and performance.

In this module, you’ll learn about:

  • the characteristics of leadership that inspire, motivate and gain commitment from staff
  • the teachers’ standards and master teacher standard
  • strategies for recognising and sharing outstanding practice
  • how to identify strategies to improve teaching
  • teacher appraisal regulations and systems
  • professional development opportunities, their impact and cost effectiveness
  • opportunities for teachers beyond their school (for example, specialist leaders of education)
Leading change for improvement

Leading change for improvement (LCFI) is an elective module

Learn the essential knowledge needed to lead change to achieve school improvement.

In this module, you’ll learn about:

  • how organisations change to improve, and the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful change programmes
  • international evidence relating to effective change, including different ways of approaching change
  • leadership and management processes and tools that support change in schools
  • how team leaders contribute to and influence school-wide change
  • the professional qualities of effective team leadership in changing situations
Effective leadership of special educational needs provision

Effective leadership of special educational needs provision (ELOSEN) is an elective module

Learn how to improve practice and raise expectations so that all pupils can fulfil their potential, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities.
In this module, you’ll learn about:

  • how to provide effective leadership to drive change in your team so that all pupils can achieve
  • the different approaches to improving vulnerable pupils’ performance.
  • a whole-school approach to inclusion and how to implement it within your team
  • how to monitor, evaluate and review performance in relation to attainment of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities
  • how to put in place effective assessment mechanisms
  • effective ways to work with pupils and parents
  • how to improve the behaviour of vulnerable pupils
  • how to improve educational provision within your team for vulnerable pupils