The National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) for aspiring and serving executive heads and CEOs leading across several schools

Key Features

F2F events

With outstanding facilitators supported by guest sector experts and business leads


One-to-one coaching sessions

Termly coaching calls with a dedicated executive coach


Award winning online courses

Flexible facilitated study working alongside peers


360° diagnostics

Track your progress with leadership skills diagnostics


Multi-school improvement project

Work within a peer-set to lead improvement across several schools


Masters credits

Accrue credits towards a Masters through Liverpool Hope University

Who is this for?

NPQEL is for those who are, or are aspiring to become, an executive headteacher or CEO of a MAT with responsibility for leading several schools.

Qualification overview

NPQEL provides the opportunity to recognise the achievements of leaders across a group of schools. Experienced and talented leaders will form Peer Leadership Challenge Groups, undertaking a joint improvement project, before embarking on a course of study covering strategic planning, organisation change and business development. Candidates have access to high-quality learning materials and accounts of practice from outstanding leaders, including executive leadership coaching. We will provide guest speakers from major UK businesses and peer mentors from different sectors to offer perspectives and approaches from outside the education system.

The qualification has a flexible combination of blended learning and support opportunities that includes face-to-face sessions, online learning, leadership learning groups, dedicated personal tutor and peer support. Candidates will complete three modules covering three learning areas: Strategy and Improvement, Teaching and Curriculum Excellence, and Managing Resources and Risks, each facilitated within a 4-week period. All focus on improving the effectiveness of leadership practice and developing behaviours around commitment, collaboration, personal drive, resilience, awareness, integrity and respect.

NPQEL delivery model

Programme delivery

The face to face elements of our NPQ programmes are delivered in groups around specific locations. These locations are usually chosen for their ease of access and/or proximity to the majority of applicants.

Distance learning

In the event that there isn’t a convenient group to attend near you it is possible to study for an NPQ in a distance learning group. We will replicate the face-to-face events and activities online. Overseas candidates will be grouped according to time zones to try to meet each learner’s scheduling needs.

What does it cost?

The National Professional Qualification for Headship costs £4,950 to undertake with OLP.

Terms and conditions

Please make sure that you read our terms and conditions before you register.

How to register

We are delighted to confirm that we have been licensed by the Department of Education to deliver all of the National Professional Qualifications (NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH and NPQEL).

Registrations are taken through our partner Best Practice Network. The registration deadline for our Spring 2018 intake is 11.59pm on Friday 22 December 2017.

Those who register will be required to have an informal telephone interview with one of our programme team to discuss their registration details, relevant workplace experience and the NPQEL learning journey.