NPQSL 700x300

ASCL is delighted to launch the first fully accredited Women’s NPQSL Programme for new and aspiring female senior leaders, in partnership with The Leading Women’s Alliance and Leadership Live (run by Lawrence Sheriff School).

This programme will support and encourage female leaders from all types of school and college to develop the knowledge, leadership qualities and skills to be effective senior leaders, and achieve the NPQSL qualification. We aim to encourage women to develop confidence, resilience, and network with other female leaders within a nurturing and challenging peer-learning programme, led by our partnership team of experienced female headteachers.

What’s unique about this programme?
This accredited NPQSL programme is open to all women, irrespective of the type of school or college they lead or aspire to lead. The programme offers the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification through rigorous CPDL with an enrichment programme specifically for female leaders.

The programme is designed, led, and facilitated by the diverse female role models that aspiring female leaders tell us they need. It draws on a wide network of specialists and serving female leaders. All participants will experience a blended learning programme, including residential sessions and access to regional peer hubs. Regional peer hubs meet with their regional mentor outside of the taught programme, to encourage, build confidence and network with each other.

The programme includes a 360° diagnostic profile in which peers, line managers and participants evaluate their leadership skills against aspects of successful leadership, including the seven leadership behaviours of the NPQSL Programme: commitment; collaboration; personal drive; resilience; awareness; integrity; respect.

Participants will have priority access and reduced rates to any Leading Women’s Alliance events, including Women Prepare for Headship pop-ups and newsletters.

This programme aims to address specific issues that women face as aspiring or new leaders.

What does the programme include and how is it delivered?
There are six modules, each mapped against the DfE’s NPQ curriculum and assessment areas, but enriched with a focus on women’s leadership. The programme is delivered as follows:

  • Commences with a compulsory residential in Leicester on 5-6 July 2019.

  • A 360° diagnostic assessment. The diagnostic tool is based around the seven NPQ leadership behaviours.

  • Two additional face-to-face days in the academic year 2019-20.

  • A serving female school or college leader who will mentor in your region, and who will facilitate a peer-learning hub enabling participants to support and encourage each other.

  • Regular sessions with your own school-based coach who sponsors your leadership project

  • Three hours of self-study prior to every face-to-face and your peer-learning group sessions.

  • Online learning: access to all course materials, progress trackers, and final assessment information.

  • Opportunities to focus on an in-school development project for an additional minimum two hours a week.

You will lead a school or college improvement project across your institution and lasting at least two terms, which will focus on reducing variation in pupil progress and attainment and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching. You must submit a written account of the project for assessment.

How and when do I apply?
The programme is now full. If you wish to register your interest for cohort two, please email

Applicants will need to attend a residential on 5-6 July 2019.


The cost of the NPQSL is £1,000 + VAT. This includes all materials, tutorial, residential, and coaching/mentoring costs and assessment fees. You may be eligible for a fully-funded place. To find out if you are eligible please email stating your name, school name and school URN and we will get back to you. Alternatively please call 0116 299 1122.

For further information call 0116 299 1122 or email