This qualification is intended for senior leaders who have significant cross school responsibilities, including experienced middle leaders, deputy heads, special educational needs co-ordinators and advanced skills teachers. The qualification will also benefit senior staff looking for further professional development but not necessarily aspiring to headship at this stage in their career. Please get in touch if you have any questions about whether or not this is the right programme for you.


To achieve the qualification you will need to complete 2 essential and 2 elective module (and related assignments) from the following selection:



Note that each module will be delivered across 2 half days/afternoons.


Succeeding in Senior Leadership

This module will consider the significance of leadership across the school and explore motivations and behaviours that leaders bring to their role, including values and beliefs. Participants will look at how they apply their leadership in the workplace to address school improvement priorities.


Closing the Gap

This module will teach participants how to close gaps in achievement and attainment that can occur across specific groups of pupils, particularly addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils, including those entitled to free school meals. The module considers how leaders can identify gaps, diagnose causes and address within-school variation (eg differences in performance by teachers with similar groups of pupils). Evidence drawn from research will be used to demonstrate which pupils perform least well nationally and why.




Improving the quality of Teaching

In this module participants will review the international research evidence about leading and improving teaching. The module will look at how to improve teaching and learning across the school through the development and implementation of school-wide policies, models of teaching and approaches to evaluating pupil progress.


Effective whole school management

This module focuses on the senior leader's role in the effective management of the school, with an emphasis on curriculum, managing performance, behaviour, finances, health, safety and welfare. Through module content and activities, senior leaders will be supported in strengthening their management in relation to these aspects.

School self evaluation

Through this module participants will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to undertake whole-school self evaluation and understand its links to strategic planning and managing performance. Participants will understand how to use evidence collected from self evaluation to make accurate judgements about a school's strengths and areas for improvement. 


Effective partnership working

This module focuses on how leaders develop successful partnerships with pupils, parents, governors, other schools and the wider school community and how to capitalise on these partnerships to improve outcomes for pupils.


Leading professional development

This module will enable leaders to know how to design and implement a strategy for professional development which engages all staff and supports colleagues' leadership development in order to improve quality of teaching, learning and outcomes for pupils. They will understand how professional development can enable staff to perform at their best.


Research and development in teaching

This module will enable senior leaders to understand how to promote and lead research and development within and between schools. It will explore critical issues in 21st century teaching and learning and how research and development can help to address these.


Leading in a diverse system

This module focuses on the significance of context and the unique features of particular contexts such as free schools and academies. The modules will consider how differences in context affect the nature, direction and type of leadership. Leaders will have the opportunity to explore how the context they work in has a direct impact on their team and on classroom practice. The importance of engaging with both the internal and external school communities in order to share expertise and secure system wide improvement is covered.

Leading change for improvement

This module will teach participants the essential knowledge linked to leading change in practice. Building on Michael Fullan's research work and using one of his analytical tools, participants will develop their own knowledge to help them lead change in their school as a senior leader.


All modules will be supported by National College online activities and resources.

Following a 360 leadership assessment, your pathway through the programmes will be planned on the induction day with the programme facilitators. In addition to online access to materials you will be part of national and regional online communities to debate and learn with your peers.



The programme will enable you to become a highly effective senior leader and begin to prepare you for a future NPQH application.

Modules are delivered in locations across the region so you shouldn't have to travel too far.