Claire Frosdick

 “Middle leaders have more day-to-day impact on standards than headteachers. Middle leaders are, simply, closer to the action. Teachers’ and pupils’ experience of leadership comes most frequently from their middle leaders” Russell Hobby, General Secretary National Association of Head Teachers


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The National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) is a new qualification that provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a middle leader.
NPQML is aimed at individuals with responsibility for leading a team, including key stage/subject/curriculum leaders, heads of department and pastoral leaders.
The qualification is designed to support you in becoming a highly effective middle leader, with the skills, confidence and knowledge to drive successful team performance and improved classroom practice.
To achieve the NPQML qualification you’ll need to successfully complete two essential modules and one further elective module, which you are free to choose from a wide range of options. Programme content: Essential modules:  Leading the gap and Managing systems and processes. (titles subject to change).  Sample Elective Modules:  Effective leadership of SEN provision, Leading an effective team, Leading and developing staff, Succeeding in middle leadership, Leading change for improvement, Leading in a diverse system. Commitment: Each module requires up to 50 hours of blended learning.  This typically consists of workplace learning, face-to-face activity, including peer and facilitated learning, reading, reflection and online learning.

National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership

The NPQML has been developed for those leading a team within an educational organisation, including: schools, nursery schools, pupil referral units (PRUs), secure units, academies, free schools, and education consultants. The Level 1 modules are suitable for a wide range of leaders and aspiring leaders including:

Those who have recently taken on a middle-leadership role or a new responsibility:

        • Leaders more established/experienced in their role, looking to develop their leadership skills
        • Individuals who are ambitious and seeking promotion to a middle-leadership role
        • Individuals with responsibilities and accountabilities which are traditionally associated with middle leadership roles including:
          • Subject/curriculum leaders
          • Head of key stage
          • Head of department
          • Pastoral leaders, for example head of year /head of house
          • Gifted and talented co-ordinator
          • Advanced skills teacher
          • Assessment co-ordinator
          • Career co-ordinator

We run our NPQML Course in association with Anglia Ruskin University. The Anglia Ruskin Leadership Alliance combines the expertise of practicing leaders from outstanding schools, with Anglia Ruskin University’s significant experience of delivering high-quality, professionally accredited CPD programmes across the Eastern and London region.

The NPQML delivered by Ignite and Anglia Ruskin is done so through a blended learning method with an induction session and then one day face-to-face training per module (3 in total) at Ormiston Venture Academy and online learning through the Anglia Ruskin online portal. All modules reflect the recent and significant changes in schools and national policy and provide access to a wide set of leadership resources to challenge and inform participants. The qualification is assessed via an in school project associated with your area of leadership or whole school priorities that you develop alongside the modules you study.

The NPQML is part of a wider system of National College Leadership Curriculum courses and gives natural progression onto the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) and National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).  You can also use the qualification to contribute towards a Master’s Degree.