Middle Leadership Development

Middle leaders have an essential role in translating the school’s vision into practice and are often described as the ‘engine room’ of school improvement. Outstanding schools invariably have high-quality middle leaders and seek to continuously develop and build these individuals into high-performing teams.

National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

In partnership with the SSAT (the Schools, Students and Teachers network) who are a Department of Education (DfE) accredited provider, the Slough Teaching School Alliance is pleased to be able to offer the new NPQML programme. This builds on the success of the very popular National Award for Middle Leadership (NAML) programme run in previous years. The programme is led and facilitated by experienced senior leaders and SLEs from Slough schools.


Programme Overview

The National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) is designed to support participants to become highly effective middle leaders, with the skills, knowledge and confidence to be even more effective in their roles.

Who is the programme suitable for?

The NPQML is designed for those who are, or are aspiring to become, a middle leader with responsibility for leading a team. For example, a key stage leader, a curriculum area leader, a pastoral services leader, a subject leader, a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), a head of department or those who are, or are aspiring to be, a middle leader with cross-school responsibilities such as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE). Applications are welcome from teachers in primary, secondary, sixth form, and special schools including those working in the independent sector.

Programme Content

The NPQML training programme comprises of a range of professional learning opportunities, built around 12 course modules for delivering the foundations of successful leadership. These modules cover all the key middle leadership responsibilities.

Participants will need to attend 6 whole day face-to-face sessions over the course of the programme to complete the modules. Each module contains a mixture of theoretical input drawing on up-to-date research and evidence, structured reflection, peer discussion and ideas for practical application. Between sessions there will be guided readings and tasks to complete, including contributing to an online community. Participants will also be required to undertake a school improvement project and submit a report of this, which will be formally assessed.

Schools sending participants will be asked to provide in-house coaching to support the professional development of participants through the programme and the completion of their school improvement project.

Indicative time allocations for these tasks are:

  • Self study intersessional tasks    12 hours
  • Online engagement with peers  12 hours
  • Coaching                                     6 hours
  • Improvement project                  150 hours

Final Assessment

In order to gain the NPQML participants are required to submit a report on their in-school improvement project, totalling 4500 words. The school improvement project normally should last at least 2 terms and must demonstrate impact on improving team capability and improving pupil progress and attainment.

This submission is assessed against the knowledge and skills set out in the 6 NPQML content areas: strategy and improvement, teaching & curriculum excellence, leading with impact, working in partnership, managing resources and risks, increasing capability. Participants must demonstrate competency in all areas in order to achieve the NPQML. This is in addition to the requirement to attend all face-to-face days and complete tasks between sessions.

Guidance and support will be given to participants on the face-to-face days regarding the school improvement project and assessment.

Applications for the 2019-20 cohort are now closed.
Information regarding next academic year will be available in the summer term 2020.

For Further Information Contact:

Janet Roberts
STSA Teaching School Director (CPD & School Support)
Langley Grammar School
Reddington Drive, Langley, Berkshire SL3 7QS
01753 598300 ex 8368