The National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) is a new, nationally recognised qualification aimed at existing executive headteachers, CEO of a Multi-Academy Trust or those aspiring to become one..

NPQEL Programme

NPQEL will develop talented leaders from all backgrounds who can deliver educational excellence in a self-improving system, and high quality outcomes for pupils and students.


To be completed within 18 months








The start date for our next NPQEL course TBC.



To register for the NPQEL programme with University of Winchester, please apply via this link on LLSE’s website: Apply Now For Your NPQ – Leadership Learning South East (


National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership

For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, an executive headteacher or have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.

Areas of Study

  • School culture
  • Teaching
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Behaviour
  • Additional and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • Professional Development
  • Organisational Management
  • Implementation
  • Working in Partnership
  • Governance and Accountability


Delivery Model

A flexible and accessible blended learning model combining in-person workshops, online seminars, webinars and a range of independently organised learning activities and peer networking.

Face to face workshops Opportunities to bring learning to life in your context, reflect with other professionals and benefit from expert facilitation. 16hrs
Seminars In person facilitated online learning to complement in-school implementation and private study. 10hrs
Coaching The opportunity to unleash your strengths and engage in focussed professional dialogue about your development. 6hrs
Webinars Engage with virtual learning aligned to your subject / phase / contect allowing for increased specialisation in the content covered. 8hrs
Self-Directed Learning Engage with a wide range of online content including the EEF evidence base materials. 10hrs
Communities of Practice Establish and build a community of likeminded leaders serving in your locality as well as participating in regional and national groups where applicable. 6hrs
Self-Audit Working with your coach and other colleagues to review your development as your progress through the course. 4hrs
Formative Assessment Opportunities to reflect on the progress you make as you learn more and can do more as a result of your participation and engagement with the NPQ materials. 2hrs
Case Study Supporting you to apply your learning and implement change in your own context utilising an evidence informed approach. 8hrs


Formative assessment takes place throughout the programme, helping you understand the progress you are making, and facilitators to adapt your learning experiences.

Summative assessment takes the form of a 1500-word response to a case study, completed in a single 8-day window at the end of your programme. The assessment will give you the opportunity to demonstrate how you would deploy the knowledge, skills and understanding gained through the NPQ to lead and implement a specific aspect of change.



Our participants are crucial to our continuous quality improvement. The regular evaluations of our entire NPQ experience help us to give you the very best learning experience, as we are able to respond quickly to any issues, and share best practice rapidly. “incisive self-evaluation which drives continuous improvement.” (Tribal 2019)

To register for any of the NPQ programmes with University of Winchester, please apply via this link on LLSE’s website: Apply Now For Your NPQ – Leadership Learning South East (





NPQ Formative and Summative Assessment

1: Formative Assessment


  • Supports participants in accurately identifying strengths and areas for development, and planning for these
  • Underpins participant self-evaluation (helping to increase purpose and agency) and supports the peer review process and communities of practice discussions
  • Informs the planning of future sessions and online materials
  • Provides information to support the experiential learning process (adult learning, leader and teacher development)
  • Evaluates the programme experience in its entirety
  • The rationale for this approach is rooted in principles of adult learning and leadership/teacher development
  • Monitors participant engagement in the programme


  • The ‘learn that…’ (evidence) and ‘learn how to…’ (practice) statements, and research evidence base are mapped into learning blocks, and then each learning experience – f2f, self-directed, on line, CoP et al.
  • After specific learning experiences participants are asked questions that enquire about their learning, understanding and developing leadership practice and behaviours; evaluate the facilitation, the usefulness and accessibility of programme materials and their coaching experiences
  • Therefore the participant will be able to demonstrate their fluency in the curriculum (evidence and practice statements) and their developing skills and behaviours in discussion with their coach
  • The self-evaluations are triangulated using the evidence discussed at coaching sessions, supported by evidence-led critical reflection. Evidence discussed at coaching could include direct observation, evidence of leadership impact (the work/behaviours/developing thinking of others – interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, observations et al), evidence of leadership impact on pupils beyond leader’s own class(es) (focus group discussions, surveys, exit cards, pupils’ work, observations et al)
  • The formative assessment process will also register participants’ engagement with the programme
  • Facilitators will be able see formative assessment outcomes rapidly and therefore be able to adapt curriculum materials for subsequent aspects of the programme


  • Provides highly adaptive, responsive and flexible participant learning feedback
  • Increased participant agency;  participants will be acutely aware of their own progress in relation to the content framework and their leadership development
  • Provides information for both peer review and communities of practice discussions
  • Participants will be involved in researching their own practice and the impact thereof
  • Facilitators and coaches will have up-to-date accurate information about learning
  • Participants will be preparing well for assessment


2: Summative Assessment


  • The NPQ is awarded if the participant attendance is greater than 90% and the participant passes the summative assessment. 100% attendance is the LLSE expectation because this will enable the participant to maximise their leadership learning and development.
  • There are 8 calendar days (deadline is at 23.59) in which to submit an absolute maximum of 1,500 words.

Assessment questions

  • The assessment will be based on a 2,000+ word assessment case study with questions that:
    • allow the participant to demonstrate their knowledge and skills of implementation and (at least) one other strand, rather than whole curriculum
    • include the identification of problem(s), selecting and justifying solution(s) and defining and justifying implementation strategies for sustainable change
  • The assessment questions will be well-crafted and supported by a mark scheme that promotes the expectation that all participants will pass if they have been fully engaged in their learning.
  • The questions will have:
    • a narrow focus to increase depth of thinking
    • sub-questions and preamble to remind participants of the expectations


  • The mark scheme will indicate:
    • the pass mark,
    • the failure-level omissions, i.e., anything that is vital to include – e.g. stages of implementation.
  • The scripts will be marked positively for relevance and justification.
  • The participants must demonstrate that they have convincingly understood the curriculum and applied ‘learn that…’ and ‘learn how to…’ knowledge explicitly or implicitly.
  • Participants will only receive detailed feedback if they fail or are borderline.