This course develops expertise in the role of a senior leader. Although the role varies, many senior leaders contribute to all aspects of the school through the leadership team as well as having a specific whole school responsibility of their own. This means the role is often both operational and strategic and relies on working with and through colleagues (in particular, through middle leaders) to ensure every pupil gets an excellent education. 

Those in this role need to have a strong understanding of their context, community and the pupils and adults they work with. They also need to have depth of expertise across a number of specialist areas related to their role (e.g. curriculum and assessment, behaviour, organisational management) and in approaches that, through working with their colleagues, enable their school to keep improving (e.g. professional development and implementation). 

Who the NPQSL course is suitable for

This qualification is designed for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities. 

Entry Requirements

Completion of the CET Leadership Development Programme provides a pathway to a fully funded place on one of the reformed NPQ courses. 

This programme will emulate the format of the NPQ on a smaller scale, giving participants meaningful professional development and a strong foundation to be accepted on to an NPQ course as the new programmes are rolled out. 

An online recruitment and application process will take place in June 2021 

The format of the new NPQ Courses 

The new NPQs are designed to provide high quality ‘hands-on’ and continuous professional development leading to improvements in teaching and therefore improvement for students. Rather than a series of separate standalone CPD sessions, the programmes combine evidence, research and opportunities to practice a variety of skills over a realistic time period. 

Pre-requisite course Programme & Timeline 

May 2021:  

  • Applications are to be made by applicants onto all pre-requisite NPQ courses. 

June-July 2021:  

  • Participant places are confirmed on all pre-NPQ courses 
  • In-school Mentors are assigned for all participants 
  • Pre-reading is distributed and impact projects are decided upon for participants based on individual whole school or CET strategic priorities for 2021-22 

September 2021 – April 2022:  

  • Delivery and Completion of CET Leadership Development Programmes  
  • Participant impact projects are to be planned and implemented. 

May – June 2022: 

  • Participant impact projects are reviewed 
  • Formal Application and Interview process for fully accredited NPQ courses to take place. 

*The Pre-Requisite Course Programme will be made up of a series of core sessions (as detailed in the course module outline). Details of these sessions will be shared in advance of the course, but please note that these are likely to take place after school.

Pre-requisite course delivery methods 

  • Online and face to face sessions  
  • 3 core sessions plus additional voluntary sessions 
  • Before each core session participants will be asked to complete a series of tasks and reading in preparation for the session. 
  • Assigned in-school mentor to support participants in the completion of mini-project focused on a whole school strategic priority area associated with this the content of this course.

Pre-requisite course outline

Next Steps – Future Leadership Pathway 

Commencement of DfE accredited NPQSL programme

Related Courses 



DGT Summary 3.74 MB 5 downloads


Mini Project Guidance 104.44 KB 8 downloads


NPQ Leading Teacher Development 318.09 KB 6 downloads


Speak to your line manager about the course and how you will benefit from participating.

Complete the online application form

Deadline for Online Applications:
Friday, 11 June 2021

Contact Nicola Tweddle – CET Leadership Development Manager – ntweddle@workingtonacademy.org for further information.