Please note that applications for this iteration of NPQs are now closed - we hope to have news about the new suite of NPQs after Easter. If you are interested in studying an NPQ with us in the future then please Register for Updates

Who is it for?

NPQEL is designed for serving headteachers (or equivalent) who are, or are aspiring to become in the near future, executive headteachers with responsibility for leading more than one school. If you are not sure about your suitability for the programme, please contact us and we will assist you.

The programme requires 4 full days out of school, in addition to 9 half-days for breakfast or twilight seminars. if necessary we wil deliver 8 online sessions.


You will complete two projects for the assessment of NPQEL. You will produce a separate written account of each project as part of a single portfolio. This should cover the design, implementation and evaluation of the projects.

Once submitted, your work will be assessed against the DfE criteria for the award of NPQEL

Project 1

  • Design a sustainable business development strategy for your organisation, analysing the benefits, costs and risks of different options (for example, growth and stabilisation).
  • Present your chosen strategy to the governing body/board of trustees, record it, answer questions, and gather feedback. The recording must also be submitted to NETSP.

Project 2

  • Lead a project to improve progress and attainment in several schools. The precise focus of the project should be negotiated and agreed with representatives of the relevant schools.
  • Present your plans to a group of relevant stakeholders (for example, the relevant governing boards, teachers and community representatives), record it, answer questions and gather feedback.

Your work is submitted directly to NETSP and assessed against the Department for Education (DfE) criteria for the award of your NPQEL.

Assessment with 40 Masters' credits

You can opt to have your NPQEL work assessed against both the DfE and Newcastle University criteria to achieve Masters' credits as well as your NPQEL.

NPQEL with 40 Masters' credits incurs an additional cost of £400*. If you achieve the Masters' credits you can subsequently complete the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Educational Leadership at Newcastle University next academic year. The cost of the remaining module of the PGCert is £1390*.

*This cost is for 2020/21, it may change in future years

Blended Learning

Our curriculum model incorporates a range of different types of study.

◆ Workplace Learning ◆ Face-to-face CPD ◆ Structured Reflection ◆ Online Learning ◆ 360° Diagnostic Tool ◆ High Quality Resources Designed for Executive Leaders ◆

Leadership Behaviours

We have designed the programme to help you develop the following leadership behaviours.

◆ Commitment ◆ Personal Drive ◆ Collaboration ◆ Resilience ◆ Awareness ◆ Integrity ◆ Respect ◆

Content Areas

The programme covers the following content areas appropriate to Executive leadership:

◆ Strategy and Improvement ◆ Teaching and Curriculum Excellence ◆ Leading with Impact ◆ Working in Partnership ◆ Managing ◆ Resources and Risks ◆ Increasing Capability ◆