National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership


NPQEL is for those who are, or who are aspiring to become, an Executive Headteacher or CEO of a MAT with responsibility for leading across several schools. The programme will include the opportunity to experience leadership in a non-educational setting, and on-going support from an external Coach Mentor.

It is expected participants will complete the programme within 12-18 months

Our Delivery Model

Our delivery model adopts a blended learning approach – prioritising learning through access to expert facilitators, who are practising CEOs, Executive Heads and high performing corporate leaders. The facilitated sessions are supported by self-directed learning through think pieces, current cutting edge research, work based practice and exposure to outstanding practice through optional school visits. There is also a recommended international placement in Asia Pacific, the Middle East or USA.



** Department for Education Scholarship Funding for all NPQs –  go to our Registration page now to find out more about taking up one of these FREE places.

Before completing the scholarship application form please read fully the information provided and identify that your school is in a category 5 or 6 area and that you fulfill the criteria for a full scholarship.    On registration you accept that the NCTL are advising that there is currently no cap on numbers but should there be over subscription the additional criteria will be assigned as outlined and that should NCTL impose the additional criteria and you no longer qualify for a full scholarship – you will have the option to withdraw from the programme if you have not yet started – at no cost. PLEASE SEE GUIDANCE NOTES ON WEBSITE and  Terms and conditions.


The Alliance of Leading Learning NPQEL Package Includes:

  • A launch day
  • A Leadership Diagnostic
  • 2 Weekend all-inclusive residential in 4* quality hotel (Thursday / Friday) led by exemplary Executive Heads, CEOs and Business Leaders
  • On line learning
  • Support with self-directed school-based tasks
  • A Business Coach
  • Final assessment support throughout the course
  • Access to the Alliance of Leading Learning national and international Professional Learning Community
  • Administrative support throughout the course
  • A placement. Price included if opting for UK placement. However, participants can opt to complete an international placement through Cognition Education’s unique links for an additional cost – (assuming economy class travel);
Destination Approximate Cost
Middle East £1,500 – £2,000
Far East £1,500 – £2,000
USA £1,500 – £2,500
Australia/New Zealand £1,500 – £2,500

* Investing in our leaders: The launches and residential for our NPQEL are delivered at quality hotels with full conferencing facilities, full board and access to leisure facilities – at no extra cost.

NPQEL Study Modules


Leading with Impact:

  • Motivate and unite a wide range of people across organisations around visionary leadership or challenging pupils.
  • Act as a credible public advocate for the organisation, promoting and defending its aims, vision and reputation convincingly and robustly.
  • Contribute to local and central government policy making.

Teaching and Curriculum Excellence:

  • Assess and improve teaching quality, pupil progress and attainment in a range of different contexts, including for disadvantaged pupils or those with particular needs (for example, including Pupil Premium, SEND, EAL or the most able pupils).
  • Deploy school-to-school support systems effectively to improve teaching quality, the school curriculum, pupil progress and attainment.

Increasing Capability:

  • Identify long-term or strategic capability gaps across several schools, in collaboration with the governing board.
  • Deploy staff strategically to increase the organisation’s responsiveness and resilience to change.

School Strategy and Improvement:

  • Identify and anticipate changes in the external or strategic environment and understand their impact on different organisations.
  • Design a sustainable business development strategy, whether for growth, stabilisation or specialisation.
  • Lead a programme of significant change across several schools.

Working in Partnership:

  • Look beyond the education system to identify excellence, expertise or professional advice in other sectors and deploy it to achieve cross-organisational goals.
  • Use school-to-school partnerships and collaboration to drive improvement in a range of different areas (for example, in relation to continuous improvement, governance, project management or financial efficiency).
  • Expand a school partnership to successfully prepare a school to join a partnership effectively.

Managing Resources and Risks:

  • Deploy resources strategically across a number of organisations, to maximise efficiency whilst improving pupil outcomes.
  • Maximise financial resources available, through income generation activities, fundraising, sponsorship and grants.
  • Hold those with responsibility for the management of resources and risks to account effectively (including fulfilling the Accounting Officer role as defined in the Academies Financial Handbook)

Final Assessment

The final assessment is comprised of two sections:

  • Designing a sustainable business development strategy for the organisation (4,000 words).
  • Leading an improvement project across several schools (4,000 words). You will be required to submit a project portfolio of evidence, detailing your development as a leader throughout the programme. You will be able to choose a window for your assessment within an 18 month timescale

To register, please click here.