National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

Who is this for?

Middle leaders such as key stage leaders, curriculum area leaders, pastoral services leaders, subject leaders or heads of department. You should be a middle leader in a school, or about to take on a substantive middle leader role. It is expected that applicants have or will have responsibility for leading a team within the school.


If you are a school leader from the English state-maintained sector, the National College for Teaching & Leadership will fully subsidise the cost of the application process and final assessment and will provide a limited number of scholarships to support you in your development journey with the us.

See full details of costs and scholarship eligibility

National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

The National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) from the National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) is a new qualification that provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a middle leader and will help you develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to lead a high-performing team in a school and to improve classroom practice.

This qualification has a flexible, modular structure which combines core modules with the freedom to specialise or develop your own professional areas of interest through the choice of elective modules.

NPQML is assessed and awarded by NCTL, with assessment focusing on tasks linked to school improvement activities undertaken in the workplace.

All modules reflect the recent and significant changes in schools and national policy and provide access to a wide set of leadership resources to challenge and inform participants.

NPQML requires a high level of commitment, both in terms of time, and engagement in learning activities.

The IOE and the Leadership CoLab partnership will provide you with outstanding support on this journey through:

  1. an introductory twilight online session to frame your learning
  2. a bespoke modular provision with maximum flexibility of learning opportunities
  3. support to your home school
  4. preparation for assessment to complete your qualification
  5. the widest range of additional learning opportunities up to and beyond Masters level

See further information on the programme including details of modules, assessment and costs.

See how to make an application for the programme, including dates of the application rounds.

Contact Mike Beaton at