Our NPQML: Delivered in partnership with Ambition Institute


Programme structure and components:

  • Six face-to-face (online during the pandemic) sessions from December 2020 to September 2021
  • School improvement project
  • Support from an in-school sponsor and a coach/mentor
  • Support from a lead facilitator
  • Networking with other participants
  • An assignment, in the form of a project write-up, submitted in November 2021

Between Session 1 and Session 2, participants will have the opportunity to complete an Ambition ‘360’ Review. Participants provide a self-evaluation against key leadership competencies as well as nominating others to provide feedback against the same competencies. A comprehensive report is then created which identifies key areas of strength and potential development.

Programme duration:

  • 12 months

Course leader:

  • Alex Clark, Director of Education in The Good Shepherd Trust (CPD lead) and Head Teacher at Ashley C of E Primary School.

Type and hours of study:

  • 18 hours of face-to-face/online sessions with pre and post-session reading
  • The candidate must lead an improvement project in their team, lasting at least two terms, aimed at improving pupil progress and attainment and the capability of their team
  • Write up the project (4,500 words)

Eligibility and application process and timelines:

Teachers who are aspiring to middle leadership and who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Likely to be in a middle leadership role in the next 12-18 months
  • Have completed at least one year of full-time teaching
  • Those currently in middle leadership roles who fit within the guidance below:
  • In secondary schools, middle leaders will have roles such as head of department, head of year or a whole-school lead role (for example, SEN), or second in charge of a department or pastoral area
  • In primary schools, middle leaders will have roles such as phase leaders; key stage leaders or a whole-school lead role (for example, literacy)

Applications open 2nd November 2020

Applications close 22nd November 2020

Please apply online using this link.

You will be asked some basic information and contact details. We will ask you about your current role and how long you have been in that role. We will ask you to confirm that the cost of the programme has been approved (or that you are self-funding) and that you understand and agree to the commitment of the programme as outlined above.

You are asked to name your ‘sponsor’ – this is the person in your school who is in a position (in terms of your work/professional relationship) to provide comments about you relating to the competencies. In order to do so we recommend that the Sponsor is:

  • The regular point of contact and support for you throughout your completion of the NPQML;
  • Senior in position to you.

We recommend that the Sponsor and Participant meet regularly throughout the design, implementation and evaluation stages of their project to discuss approach, progress, successes and challenges. This will help ensure that the Sponsor can gather evidence relating to the key competencies. We also recommend that the Participant and Sponsor identify other key interaction points e.g. meetings which the Participant is leading as part of their project, which will further support the Sponsor to gather the required evidence.

Participants should also be supported a coach or mentor. This person can also act as their Sponsor. This is the ensure that, as they complete their NPQML, they have access to a range of leadership and instructional support.

Before you apply, please write a Statement of Application (you will be asked to paste this into the final section of the online form) – this should be around 400-500 words, explaining:

  • Why you feel this is the right leadership course for you; 
  • Why you feel this is the right time to apply; 
  • How your current role has prepared you to consider this course; 
  • How your current teaching and/or leadership experiences have helped you to develop as a leader; 
  • What your leadership strengths are and in which areas you would like to develop further; 
  • What you hope to gain from the course.

To complete your application your head teacher or Sponsor should email the course leader, Alex Clark ( to confirm that they support your application. They should explain:

  • Why they think this is the right course for you.
  • The leadership experiences you have had so far. 
  • Your strengths as an applicant.
  • Which areas they think this course will help you to develop further

Interviews will be held for those candidates whose eligibility we are unsure of, to gain further information.

We will contact you by the end of November to confirm your place on the course.

Cost of programme including assessment:

Participants from The Good Shepherd Trust £500

External participants £800

Cohort size:

20 participants

Dates, times and locations of training sessions:

It is anticipated that all sessions will be online. If the cohort is able to have a face-to-face session later in the programme, this will be at Academies Office, Larch Avenue, Guildford.

Session 1: Wednesday 9th December 2020    15.00 – 18.00

Session 2: Wednesday 10th February 2020    15:00 - 18:00

Session 3: Wednesday 28th April 2021              15.00 – 18.00

Session 4: Wednesday 19th May 2021               15.00 – 18.00

Session 5: Wednesday 7th July 2021                 15.00 – 18.00

Session 6: Wednesday 8th September 2021   15.00 – 18.00


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