Apply now

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.

How does the programme work?

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.

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.

How will the programme be delivered?

The programme consists of a combination of:

  • local face-to-face development days

  • national training events

  • online learning materials

  • personalised executive coaching or mentoring sessions

  • webinars

  • 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).

What topics will be covered?

The programme covers all of the specified curriculum content specified for NPQEL through ten modules supplemented by additional information that existing executive leaders consider essential to successfully carry out the role.

  • School improvement strategy across the MAT

  • Business development, growth and sustainability

  • Ethical Leadership and change management

  • MAT governance and risk management

  • Growing and deploying people

  • Curriculum excellence across the MAT

  • Data and accountability across the MAT

  • Reputation, brand management and marketing

  • Safeguarding and health and safety across the MAT

  • Horizon scanning and influencing


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 upon registration, £2,000 + VAT by March 2020 and £1,000 + VAT (or £500 + VAT if coaching/mentoring is not chosen) by September 2020. You may be eligible for a fully funded place.

To find out if you are eligible for a fully funded place please email stating your name, school name and school URN and we will get back to you. Alternatively please call 0116 299 1122.

Want to know more?

Call 0116 2991122 or email

In partnership with Tenax Schools Trust and Altius Teaching School Alliance, the Yorkshire Leadership Community, the Lawrence Sheriff School and Griffin Teaching School Alliance, Athelstan Academy Trust and Avon Teaching School Alliance, and the National Governance Association.

NPQEL banner DfE 700x150px

ASCL Professional Development complies with the requirements of the Cyber Essentials Scheme