Middle Leadership Programmes

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National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

 The application round is now closed.

The NPQML is a qualification that provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a middle leader. This programme is carefully designed to develop the leadership potential of aspiring middle leaders from all schools and phases. The programme supports participants to identify personal areas for development, understand the typical responsibilities and challenges for middle leaders supporting them to develop techniques to lead others and drive school improvement effectively.

Facilitators role-model outstanding practice and use coaching techniques to support participants to further develop their leadership experience. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own areas of strength and areas for improvement and identify ways they can improve their leadership through various activities whilst on the course. 

Who is the programme for?

This programme is for teachers aspiring to take up middle leadership positions and newly appointed middle leaders. At middle leader level it is expected that participants will have responsibility for leading a team, key stage / subject. Suitable for curriculum leaders, heads of department and pastoral leaders. Please note applicants need to be resident in the UK, or have the right to study in the UK.

What is involved?

The programme is delivered by serving school leaders with extensive experience in school improvement and effective leadership and management.

The NPQML qualification consists of:

1. Learning across the six content areas and seven leadership behaviours common to each NPQ level:

Content Areas

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

Leadership Behaviours:

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

2. Engagement in a range of learning activities including,

  • Work-based learning
  • Self-directed learning (online reading and research)
  • Support for learning (facilitators/line managers)
  • Coaching for improvement (mentors)
  • Learning with peers
  • Face-to-face learning*
  • Structured reflection (critical review, evaluation and analysis)
  • Recorded reflections, blogs and identification of key learning (to focus on leadership development priorities and to demonstrate progress)

*Currently, due to covid-19, all sessions are being delivered virtually/online.

3. Successful completion of an assessed task

Please find the assessment task sheet below in the 'Downloads' section

Commitment & duration

The programme is delivered over three school terms and requires compulsory attendance at six face-to-face training sessions including the programme induction. Assessment must be completed within 18 months of starting the programme.


The assessment involves successful delivery and leadership of a sustainable school improvement task that has a positive and measurable impact on student outcomes. Participants will complete a 4,500 word written assignment on:

Working with my team to improve:

a) pupil progress and attainment and

b) team capability

The assignment will be assessed by a team of experienced senior leaders from the Harris Federation Teaching School Alliance.

Project Summary: (4,500 words)

Please find the assessment task sheet below in the 'Downloads' section.


Each face-to-face training session takes place at a different academy or alliance partner school. Participants will have opportunities to tour the schools and academies and interact with staff and students.


The cost of this programme is £1,000.
The cost of the first assessment is included in the cost above, but please note that the cost of coaching and assessment resubmission if required is not included.

How to Apply

The application round is open! Please click here to apply.

The application form consists of two sections - one to be completed by the applicant and the other by the applicant's NPQML sponsor, usually the headteacher or line manager.

Successful applicants

If your application is successful, you will receive notification from us via email within one month of the application deadline, including details of the programme induction.

Unsuccessful applicants

If your application is unsuccessful, we may call you to discuss the outcome. We will provide you with feedback on why your application has not been successful at this time, and in some cases you may be asked to submit more information or you will be invited to reapply.

For further queries, please contact info@harristeachingschool.com

Privacy, complaints and whistleblowing policies


Recruitment targets from DfE:

Year 1 (2018): 70% Partially met

Year 2 (2019): 100% Fully met 

Year 3 (2020): TBC

DfE targets for % non-white British participants:

Year 1 (2018): 100% Fully met 

Year 2 (2019): 100% Fully met 

Year 3 (2020): TBC

DfE targets for participants from schools with >30% FSM:

Year 1 (2018): 100% Fully met 

Year 2 (2019): 100% Fully met 

Year 3 (2020): TBC

% of participants presenting for final assessment within 18 months: 75% Partially met DfE target

Participant feedback rating: 100% Fully met DfE target

Current pass rate: 97%


Page Downloads Date  
NPQML Assessment Task Description 08th May 2019 Download
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