The National Professional Qualification of Middle Leadership (NPQML)

The National Professional Qualification of Middle Leadership (NPQML)

Course date: The next programme will begin in the Autumn of 2020.

Course venues: Charlton Wood Primary (Bristol), The Beach (Bournville Primary, North Somerset), Corsham Primary School (Wiltshire)

£750 with reductions and free funded places available for eligible participants/schools


Target Audience: The NPQML is aimed at early years, primary, special and secondary colleagues who are, or are aspiring to become, a middle leader with responsibility for leading a team such as subject leader, curriculum development lead or Key Stage leader.

Facilitator: Experienced leaders from across the region’s teaching schools

The NPQML is a nationally accredited programme for middle leaders, facilitated by experienced local school leaders. NPQ@teachingschools is a unique partnership of teaching school alliances in the wider Bristol area with a strong track record of delivering exceptional professional development. As a designated DfE licensed provider, the Bristol Primary Teaching School Alliance has worked with our partner teaching schools to create and deliver a new and innovative middle leadership programme designed by experienced, current school leaders in order to develop the potential of the talented and motivated school leaders across our region.

National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership: NPQML

Who is it aimed at?

Accredited by the Department for Education, this nationally recognised programme is aimed at early years, primary, special and secondary colleagues who are, or are aspiring to become, a middle leader with responsibility for leading a team such as subject leader, curriculum development lead or Key Stage leader.


Starting in Autumn 2020, the NPQML programme takes around 12 months to complete and involves:

  • 5 full day face to face core training sessions facilitated by outstanding senior leaders from across the region
  • Minimum of 1 elective module session (½ day) on one or more of the following areas: Leading in an inner city school; Accelerating outcomes of disadvantaged pupils; staff workload and well-being; leading in a faith school context; leading in the Early Years; SEND.
  • School based improvement project and case study (4500 words)
  • Self-directed professional reading
  • Individual leadership profiling
  • Support from school based mentor
  • ½ day assessment presentation
  • During the programme delegates will develop their 7 leadership behaviours: commitment; collaboration; personal drive; awareness; respect; resilience and integrity.

In addition, delegates complete and collect evidence against 6 areas of study:

  • Leading with impact;
  • Increasing capability;
  • Working in partnership;
  • Strategy and improvement;
  • Teaching and curriculum excellence and;
  • Managing resources and risk.

Where is the programme delivered?

Delegates can access this programme at one of our hubs which will be run according to numbers in each location.

  • Whitehall Primary School, Bristol
  • Backwell School, North Somerset
  • Corsham Primary School, Wiltshire
  • Abbot Alphege School, Bath and NE Somerset



£750 per delegate – access the programme for free or with reduced pricing for eligible schools / participants

Fees will be reduced to £600 for eligible participants/schools if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The applicant is from a school with more than 30% of children currently in receipt of Free School Meals (not Pupil Premium figures) as referenced on the latest DfE school performance tables website;
  • The applicant is from a BAME background
  • The applicant’s school has <150 pupils on roll as referenced on the latest DfE school performance tables website.

OR a 10% reduction to full course fees will be applied to the second and subsequent applicants if more than one person from your school makes an application to participate in the same cohort of NPQML.

Scholarship Funding– for more detailed information about scholarship funding and eligibility, please read the DfE guidance

In 2019-2020 full course fees were reimbursed by the DfE for participants meeting the following requirements: this funding is not yet guaranteed to reimburse the course fees for those eligible for our autumn 2020 entry as it is subject to a government spending review.

 In 2020-2021 full course fees will be reimbursed through DfE scholarships for participants meeting the requirements below if they applied for a place prior to the cut-off date of 24th July 2020 which has now been set by the DfE.  However, you are welcome to apply and only then commence the programme if your school later becomes eligible for a free scholarship funded place when the spending review is complete, i.e. we will hold your application until any government funding is released and if you fall into one of the categories below:

  • They are enrolled on an NPQ course;
  • They work in a school in a Category 5 or 6 area*; or another school in your MAT or diocese is in one of these areas.
  • They do not already hold the NPQ for which they have enrolled;
  • They have not previously enrolled with the NPQ provider for the same NPQ course and dropped out before completing it; and
  • The Department for Education has not previously paid for their NPQ course.

*In the South West, these areas are: Weymouth and Portland; West Somerset; Torridge and Swindon.

If you are a participant from one of these areas, or your school is part of a MAT or Diocese which has at least one school in one of these areas, we will contact you upon application regarding reimbursement of course fees when further information has been released from the DfE.

Please refer to our scholarship information here

Please refer to our cancellation policy here

Please refer to our privacy policy and information about how we use your data

To view our NPQML flyer, please click here

Making your application

The application windows for this year’s round is now open! 
Our window closes at midday on 1st October 2020, in readiness for a November 2020 start.

To download an application form, please use the link below…

When completed, pleasure return by email to: