ASCL National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL)

The ASCL National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) is your opportunity to achieve a nationally recognised, executive leadership qualification, working with colleagues and leading educationalists from across the country, and utilising local expertise and knowledge which fits your regional context.

Specifically designed for those currently leading more than one school or college, or those interested in taking on such a role, either as an executive headteacher or as chief executive of a trust or federation in any phase of education, our executive leadership programme offers you an exceptional opportunity to prepare for the challenges of running a group of schools/colleges, enhance your leadership skills, hone your practice and achieve formal recognition.

Apply now  The next cohort starts in October 2020.


"The support throughout both from the ASCL NPQEL administrators and the NPQEL course leaders was excellent. The national and regional training days were well planned and provided comprehensive information to support all aspects of the assessment criteria. The high calibre speakers from education and the business world were inspirational and certainly provided me with lots of food for thought!
I am delighted to have successfully completed the NPQEL course and would highly recommend ASCL as the course provider."​



Choosing ASCL for your NPQEL provides you with quality assured leadership delivery, coupled with local expertise and knowledge to ensure that learning fits your regional context.

This first-rate executive leadership programme has been developed by ASCL working with four well-established and highly regarded teaching school alliances.

For the cohort starting in October 2020 the current Covid-19 situation has meant that we have replaced our normal programme of National days and Regional tutorial days with webinars and online tutorial sessions at least for the Autumn Term 2020. Should the Covid-19 situation change significantly in 2021 we will review whether the latter part of the programme can return to our pre-Covid-19 method of delivery. 

Through a blended delivery model, the programme will cover key topics on a modular basis over an 18 month period, culminating in the two assessments which lead to the qualification. The programme consists of a combination of:

  • webinars
  • online tutorial sessions
  • online learning materials
  • personalised executive coaching or mentoring sessions
  • advice and guidance on the selection of assessment projects
  • 360o professional reviews at the start and end of the programme
The programme is delivered by serving, experienced Executive Heads/CEOs and the ASCL Specialist team, and is supported by research evidence from the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE).

The programme covers all of the curriculum content specified for NPQEL through the online learning materials, webinars and tutorial sessions. We use a mixture of experienced executive leaders and experts on specific topics to deliver the webinars that have currently replaced the National Training Days and the online tutorials that we are using instead of Regional tutorial sessions.

There are six areas of curriculum content:

  • Strategy and Improvement
  • Teaching and Curriculum Excellence
  • Leading with Impact
  • Working in partnership
  • Managing Resources and Risks
  • Increasing Capability

To obtain the qualification you will need to successfully complete 2 projects: 

  1. design a sustainable business development strategy for your organisation, analysing the benefits, costs and risks of different options
  2. lead a project to improve progress and attainment in several (three or more – one of which can be your own) schools

Between these 2 projects, you will need to demonstrate your competence linked to the knowledge and skills set out in the 6 content areas.
Each project is assessed through a written submission of no more than 4000 words with supporting appendices of no more than 2000 words.

Individual guidance is given to all participants on their choice of project and throughout the assessment process. 

The project will be externally assessed and the overall assessment process is further moderated by Tribal, as the quality assurance agent of the DfE.
 

Our next programme will run online and commences on 6 October 2020 with 2 compulsory webinars followed by regular online webinars and tutorial sessions, culminating in assessment submission by January 2022.

Introductory Webinar Part 1: Tuesday 6 October 1.30-3pm
Introductory Webinar Part 1 REPEAT: Wednesday 7 October 10-11.30am

Introductory Webinar Part 2: Wednesday 14 October 10-11.15am
Introductory Webinar Part 2 REPEAT: Friday 16 October 10-11.15am

The cost of the ASCL NPQEL is £4,800 + VAT.

This includes all materials, tutorial costs, coaching/mentoring costs and assessment fees. The cost without coaching/mentoring is £4,300 + VAT.
 
The payment schedule is £1,800 + VAT in October 2020, then £2,000 + VAT in March 2021, and £1,000 + VAT (or £500 + VAT if coaching/mentoring is not chosen) in September 2021.

Alternatively full payment can be made upon registration.
 
Fees are non-refundable once enrolment has been confirmed.

"The support throughout both from the ASCL NPQEL administrators and the NPQEL course leaders was excellent. The national and regional training days were well planned and provided comprehensive information to support all aspects of the assessment criteria. The high calibre speakers from education and the business world were inspirational and certainly provided me with lots of food for thought!
 I am delighted to have successfully completed the NPQEL course and would highly recommend ASCL as the course provider."​

"The NPQEL was challenging, relevant and formative. It has allowed me to re-envision the next steps in our organisational development and has developed and honed my leadership skills."

“The programme’s key guest speakers provided an enthralling oversight of how they developed their Trusts over time, using different methods of growth/expansion and leadership and the support provided by key ASCL staff was superb and really helped with the challenging assignments.”

"This was the highest quality input I have had on any professional qualification including NPQH and MA Ed in the past."


"I thought the quality of providers and those brought in to deliver content was very good."

"The presenters at our national and regional days were all sector leaders and extremely knowledgeable and experienced. There was a good mixture of styles and personalities to suit all tastes."

"Really good speakers with relevant experience. I felt challenged and informed."

"The support and guidance for assessment writing was excellent and very much appreciated."

"The course helped me gain a greater understanding of the legal aspects of leading a MAT. In addition, there was some really insightful information on MAT growth."

"Excellent to hear from CEOs from wider industry."

"The most benefit was gained from sharing learning and experience with colleagues."

"Having people talk about the job who were doing it was invaluable. This was a very good opportunity to reflect upon leadership skills and motivations."

 

Our performance against nationally set NPQ metrics:

Metric 1: Recruitment of target number of participants.
Providers recruit at least 100% of their target number of participants for each year and for each NPQ offered.

Qualification 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Target Actual % Target Target Actual % Target Target Actual % Target
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) 80 115 143.75% 80 49 61.25% 80 53 66.25%

Metric 2: Target percentage recruited from schools where 30% or more are eligible for FSM.
Providers ensure that their allocated target of all those recruited are from schools where 30% or more pupils are known to be eligible for Free School Meals, for each NPQ level offered.
 
Qualification 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Target Actual % Target Target Actual % Target Target Actual % Target
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL)   14% (16)   13% (6) 20% (10) 156.99% 15% (8) 15% (8) 100.63%

Metric 3: Target percentage recruited from non-White British groups.
Providers ensure that their allocated target of all those recruited are from non-white British groups, for each NPQ level offered.
 
Qualification 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Target Actual % Target Target Actual % Target Target Actual % Target
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) 2% (2) 10% (11) 478.26% 5% (2) 10% (5) 204.08% 7% (4) 15% (8) 215.63%

Metric 4: Percentage of participants that present for final assessment within 18 months*.
Providers ensure that at least 90% of participants present for final assessment within 18 months of formally commencing the programme.

*Due to the changes necessary following the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent communications, participants embarking on an NPQ from 1 July 2018 have been granted 24 months from their starting date to submit for final assessment. This is shown in the Metric 4 calculation.
 
Qualification 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Presented Within 18m % of Presented Presented Within 18m % of Presented Presented Within 18m % of Presented
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) 32 13 40.63% 9 9 100% 2 2 100%

Some 2017/18 participants are still in the process of submitting or waiting for results and both 2018/19 and 2019/20 participants are within the 24 month window.

Metric 5: Assessment Accuracy
Providers ensure a 95% accuracy level for all their final assessments.
 
Qualification 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Assessment Count QAA Moderation Accuracy % Assessment Count QAA Moderation Accuracy % Assessment Count QAA Moderation Accuracy %
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) 70 11% (8) 100% 19 32% (6) 100% 4 50% (2) 100%

Metric 6: Participant Feedback
Providers ensure that the aggregated mean rating across all participant feedback received is at least 6 out of 10.
Qualification 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
  Feedback Rating (Avg) Feedback Rating (Avg) Feedback Rating (Avg)
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) 8 9.2 8.3

Metric 7: Rates of achievement and retention (including by group)
Providers ensure that there is no significant difference in retention and achievement rates between different groups, for example, groups with protected characteristics or leaders from schools with different levels of performance.

2017/18:
Qualification Retention Deferrals Achievement
Started Withdrawn Retention % Started Deferred Deferred % Submitted Passed Achieved %
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) 115 36 68.7% 115 43 37.39% 33 33 100%

2018/19:
Qualification Retention Deferrals Achievement
Started Withdrawn Retention % Started Deferred Deferred % Submitted Passed Achieved %
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) 54 20 62.96% 54 4 7.41% 10 10 100%
 
2019/20:
Qualification Retention Deferrals Achievement
  Started Withdrawn Retention % Started Deferred Deferred % Submitted Passed Achieved %
NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) 72 4 94.44% 72 3 4.17% 3 3 100%

Candidates from all cohorts are still in the process of submitting or waiting for results

Related Pages

Joint guidance on the conduct of schools on professional matters in light of the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Conditions
  • Employment
  • Pay
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Career Progression
  • Governors and Trustees
  • Health and safety
  • Professional Development
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  • Coronavirus

Professional Development Planning for School Business Leaders

  • Business Leadership
  • Professional Development

Being Resilient

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  • Post-16
  • Pastoral
  • Primary
  • Career Progression
  • Governors and Trustees
  • Professional Development
  • CPD
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