National Professional Qualification in MIDDLE LEADERSHIP (NPQML)

The Foundations of Leadership


The application window for our 2017-18 cohort is now open. Devon Teaching School Partnership has been appointed by the National College for Teaching and Leadership to deliver the NPQML.

What is the NPQML qualification? The NPQML programme is a national qualification that recognises the skills and abilities you have as a leader within schools.

Who is the programme for?  It designed to develop the leadership potential of Middle Leaders leading a small team within their school to improve pupil progress and attainment. If you are, or are aspiring to become, a middle leader with responsibility for leading a team e.g. a key stage leader, a curriculum area leader, a pastoral services leader, a subject leader, a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), or a head of department then this is an exciting development opportunity for you.

What will I gain from it? The NPQML is an excellent opportunity to make a difference to a team you are leading and extend their impact on children’s learning. Throughout the whole programme you will be supported to explore, address and progress in your own leadership style and qualities. You will gain a greater understanding, through research, through experiences and through coaching how to motivate, challenge and support your team.

What is the Programme Structure? The design of the programme is to support you in work that you are already doing within school so that you know that your time commitment is both worthwhile and more effectively used.

An outline of the four modules that comprise the programme are set out below. Each module will support you with:

  • Face to face training days exploring the key themes of your leadership
  • Personal 1:1 coaching to support your thinking about your project, your team and your leadership
  • Latest research materials and reading to extend and challenge your thinking
  • Planning templates and exemplars to support the development of your project


Course Outline

Key Content Questions


Pre-Course Preparation

  • What is my leadership like? What do I want it to be?

1st Sept – 19th Oct

Module 1 :

Planning to Lead

  • What are effective leadership behaviours?
  • What are the key processes of leading successful change?
  • How can I succeed in leading my improvement project?

1st November

The Devon Hotel

Personal Coaching 1

  • 1:1 coaching provided within ML’s school by one of the course facilitators to develop personal leadership skills

December 2017

ML’s School

Module 2:

Leading your Team

  • How can I positively impact on the quality of teaching and learning?
  • What are the key dynamics and levers of effective change?
  • How do I implement my improvement project?

January 19th 2018

The Devon Hotel

Module 3:

Leadership Challenges

  • How do I increase the capability and quality of my team?
  • Challenging conversations – how do I improve the performance of my team?

March 7th 2018

The Devon Hotel

Module 4:

Evaluating Impact

  • How do we know how effective change has occurred:
  • In our team? On our children? On our leadership?

30th April 2018

The Devon Hotel

Personal Coaching 2

  • 1:1 coaching in ML’s school to
  • help prepare for final assessment
  • reflect on leadership changes

June/July 2018

ML’s school



The programme will begin in the Autumn term and will last 3 terms followed by a period of time in which to submit your assignment in January or March 2019.

How is it Assessed?

All NPQML participants will complete an improvement project that they will lead, to improve a) pupil progress and attainment and b) team capability in their own school. You are able to decide with your leadership team the nature of this project. You will then submit for assessment a 4,500 word assignment which covers the initiation, implementation and evaluation of the project.

Why should you complete the NPQML with the Devon Teaching School Partnership?

  • Led by experienced school leaders who understand school improvement processes and the key part leadership plays.
  • Inspirational trainers who know how to develop your key personal and professional skills
  • Excellent face to face leadership training days aligned to a core theme of leading and managing a team through change
  • Two coaching sessions provided within the ML’s school to explore their personal leadership and develop confidence
  • Latest leadership research materials and articles accessed online to develop leadership awareness
  • Committed, supportive cohorts grouped together locally
  • A programme that seeks to develop the internal motivations and character of Middle Leaders
  • Development of personal coaching skills through a coaching Triad


Who will be my Programme facilitators and coaches?

Heather Hanrott

Heather has been involved in primary education for over 35 years and taught in both inner city and rural schools. Her interest in leadership and management started when she became a middle leader in a London school. In her roles as deputy head and later acting head she was further able to develop her understanding and practice. As a headteacher of two Devon schools, she enjoyed success in developing the staff teams and guiding them to grow in confidence in their own leadership.

As well as supporting senior leaders in a number of Devon schools through the school partnership programmes, I have been involved in the professional development of middle leaders through the NPQML training. In this role, Heather has enjoyed meeting many primary and secondary teachers over the past six years while facilitating on courses which assisted them to develop their own leadership style with confidence.

Kate Reeves

Kate is the Deputy Director of Devon Teaching School Partnership and has been the Senior Tutor for Devon Primary SCITT since its inception in 1999.

Her passion for developing support staff and teachers at different stages in their careers has been evident throughout her school leadership, training and consultancy roles. In her current role, she helped to develop a coaching approach which has been key to training outstanding teachers and leaders.

The Devon Primary SCITT and the schools in which Kate held senior roles, were consistently judged by Ofsted to be Outstanding, and specific references and comments in each of the reports confirmed the quality of her leadership.

Leadership and governance roles in the last 25 years have required Kate to think strategically, and her strong interpersonal and communication skills have been central to developing effective teams and ensuring positive outcomes.

What is the cost of the NPQML programme?

For 2017-18 the cost of the programme, (which includes the final assessment of your assignment) is £895 (£845 for partnership schools)

We have bursaries of 50% of the course fee for schools with 30% FSM or participants who are from and non-white British heritage. We also offer £150 discount for schools with less than 150 pupils on roll.

How do I apply?

For further questions or to ask for an application form please contact Tasha Fossick at or call us on 01392 454359.

Deadline date for 2017-18 cohort : 19th October 2017