National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership


This qualification is designed to meet the needs of senior leaders who are involved in leading a range of issues that affect the whole school or organisation. They include experienced middle leaders, deputy heads, SENCOs and advanced skills teachers and other senior staff looking for further professional development but not aspiring to headship at this stage in their career. It is designed to support participants in becoming highly effective senior leaders with the skills, confidence and knowledge to drive successful performance across their school.



Why do your NPQSL at George Spencer Academy?

  • We are a well-established Leadership Development training provider and Teaching school
  • Exceptionally high completion and pass rates
  • Outstanding leaders from primary, secondary and special schools, have jointly designed and will co-deliver this course
  • Our range of high quality and diverse placement schools
  • Opportunities for 30-60 M credits towards a Masters level qualification with the University of Nottingham*
  • High quality support through to your final assessment
  • Flexible options that take account of your differing phases, contexts and personal development needs
  • Some of our elective modules are only available through GSA
  • Easily accessible training venue


* For further details of the University of Nottingham's MA click here



What participants are saying:

  •  "I just wanted to let you know, that because of the NPQSL qualification I am currently taking, I interviewed and was successful at obtaining an assistant headteachers job here at Chellaston! I start in September and I am over the moon! Thank you so much!"
    - Claire Sutton, Chellaston Academy

  •  "This has been the most rigorous and valuable CPD course I have been on so far in my career. The learning covers both the theoretical and practical application of leadership and school improvement. Meeting a wide range of leaders with different experiences and roles from different contexts has also been of great benefit."
    - Dennis Simms, Head of Business, Administration and Finance (Magus Church of England Academy.)

  •  "I am nearing the completion of the NPQSL qualification and have found the course extremely useful in my development as a Senior Leader. I have particularly enjoyed listening to the key speakers and their case studies of what has worked well in their school's development. I have regularly come back to school and shared the 'good practice' I have been made aware of with my colleagues. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with other leaders at other local schools. The level of support has been great, and I have always felt that I could pick up the phone or email a question, if I was unsure on any aspect of the qualification."
    - Chris Gell, Assistant Headteacher (Eastwood Comprehensive School)

  •  "The Face-to-Face days were a really important aspect of the course. It provided the opportunity to meet colleagues from a wide range of different settings, and to learn from each other. The days were always stimulating and thought provoking, with speakers from both the primary and secondary phases. After completing the course, I feel much better prepared to take on a leadership role."
    - Marie Turner (St John's CE Primary School)

  •  "The course offered very informative subject content days. The training days allowed us to develop our subject content and engage in case studies which were demonstrating how certain initiatives were being delivered and implemented within the school setting. The speakers were excellent and gave valuable advice."
    - Suzanne Swainston (Chellaston Academy)

  •  "The course helped on so many levels! I honestly think that not only did it broaden my view point, but enabled me to talk openly with other colleagues about possible career changes. My projects gave me lots to talk about in my interview and definitely helped to show more a whole school impact!"
    - Sandra Stapleton, Faculty Leader of Science (Big Wood School)


  •  "The face to face days were great and I always came away with lots of ideas. I especially enjoyed the guest presenters who gave a real context to the theory."


  •  "A well-structured course. Lots of support and guidance available."


  •  "The course gave me the opportunity to prove that I am an effective leader and can successfully implement a sustained change. It developed my confidence in the day to day running of the school."



What Schools are saying:


  •  "Rob Milner, our Head of Humanities, has undertaken the NPQSL course, delivered by George Spencer Academy, as a member of Cohort 2, enrolling in October 2013 and due for assessment in September 2014. Rob has been an extremely effective and highly-regarded middle leader in school for a number of years and both he and the Senior Leadership Team felt he was ready to take the next step in his leadership development. He was put forward for the course, accepted onto it and coached through it by one of our Vice Principals. Rob has found the course challenging and valuable and has given him the opportunity to work on whole school issues with an impact beyond his very considerable but necessarily more restricted work as a curriculum area leader. In part as a result of the professional development and opportunities the NPQSL course has given him, Rob successfully applied for a secondment to our SLT in June 2014."
    - Martin Ebbage, Head Teacher (Kirk Hallam Community Academy)


  •  "Gemma has used the opportunities the course has provided to completely renew our assessment and data gathering procedures. She has worked with LA to implement SIMS, ensuring the package suits the needs of our school. Gemma trials things with her own class data before sharing with the staff – this is crucial so that data is not seen as a senior leader task but as a responsibility by all for whole school progress. Gemma is constantly striving for more so that we can improve the school from RI to good. Staff can now apply data onto Sims and generate intervention groups in order to impact those at risk of not making progress. Pupil progress meetings and other monitoring triangulates the evidence. Gemma became our Teaching and Learning Mentor when I could see her developing strongly into a senior leader. This role helps Gemma to address the standards issue in a positive and supportive way. The NPQSL gave Gemma confidence as well as an understanding of the 'bigger' picture. This has led to her being ready for the next stage of leadership – NPQH and I am very proud of her. It is my privilege to comment about the courses my staff have attended as they have been invaluable to the school and to the teachers themselves."
    - Saroj Bell, Headteacher (Richard Wakefield C.E. (VC) Primary School)


The Cost of the NPQSL course is £1,200. Scholarships are no longer available from NCTL, however we are offering a subsidy of £150 for small schools. A small school is classed as having 210 or less NOR as identified by Edubase at the time of application. Discounts are available for multiple bookings including bookings made through Academy Trusts. 



For more information or to book onto the course, please see below.


The NPQSL will also be available via George Spencer Academy but at the following Hub locations:




Closing date for booking onto any of our Hubs is Friday 23rd September 2016

NPQSL GSA Induction Day will take place on Friday 7th October 2016


To book onto this course, please complete the Initial Booking Form for the relevant Hub you wish to undertake the course at and email the completed form to:

Get in Touch

For further information, please contact us on the following: