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National Professional Qualifications for School Leaders with Milton Keynes Education Trust and UCL’s Institute of Education Leadership CoLab


Gain a qualification that gives you national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement within a school setting with this range of MKET led Leadership Colab programmes for school leaders.

Through studying with Leadership CoLab at MKET you'll get the opportunity to build and develop lifelong networks with colleagues across all phases and settings.  With a proven history of delivering exceptional context-based and school-led leadership, CoLab provides world-class support at every stage of your leadership development.

Programmes available and who they are suited for:

There are three Leadership Colab qualifications available.

1.    National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

This qualification provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a middle leader in a school.

You should have responsibility for leading a team, e.g. as a:

  • key stage leader
  • curriculum area leader
  • subject leader
  • head of development

2.    National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

This qualification provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a senior leader in a school. 

It's expected that you not only have responsibility for leading a team, but you're also involved in a range of activities that affect the whole school organisation.

This programme is for:

  • senior leaders or those about to take on a substantive senior leader role with whole-school responsibilities
  • deputy/assistant heads who aren't aspiring to headship at this stage of their career
  • special education needs coordinators (SENCOs) and Leading Practitioners who are looking for professional development, but not aspiring to headship at this stage

3.    National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)

This qualification develops talented leaders from all backgrounds who can deliver educational excellence in a self-improving system, and high-quality outcomes for pupils and students.

NPQH will give you the confidence, skills and professional knowledge you need to deliver the best for pupils and all members of the school community in preparation for your first headship post.

It's for those who are:

  • aspiring Headteachers or principals in a school or academy
  • no more than 18 months away from being credibly able to apply for a headship post

Please note: newly appointed principals or Headteachers in their first two years of post may want to take the Exploring Headship Colab programme.

The Benefits of taking a Leadership CoLab programme are:

  • national recognition for your work
  • networking with colleagues from a diverse partnership of over 200 schools across all phases (both primary and secondary teaching schools) including mainstream, academies, grammar, special, urban, rural, faith and federated
  • tuition by serving Headteachers or senior school leaders, experienced facilitators, and contributions from world-renowned academics at IOE
  • the chance to develop your knowledge, understanding, skills and awareness of the role within the context in which you work and in other settings
  • blended learning: face-to-face (F2F), online and application in school. It's a contextualised research-informed modular programme with flexible F2F session choice (including twilights, weekdays and Saturdays in prime locations around the regions)
  • unrestricted access to all elective modules as part of the principal offer
  • school-based project(s), enabling you to apply your  leadership skills and impact pupil outcomes in your setting (evidence suggests that outcomes from projects have been recognised in Ofsted reports)
  • face-to-face sessions provided at MKET schools (NPQSL and NPQML only)
  • Masters accreditation and access to post-graduate provision
  • access to world-class research by leading academics from UCL IOE as part of Leadership CoLab - IOE has been ranked number 1 in the world for education (2015 QS World University Rankings)
  • engagement with the London Centre for Leadership in Learning (LCLL) resources and programmes
  • access to bespoke 360 diagnostic survey: a peer-led analysis of your leadership style and objectives providing the foundations for your targeted leadership development

By the end of these programmes, you'll have: 

  • increased your professional knowledge and understanding of leadership to benefit your school and leadership team
  • enhanced your practical leadership skills
  • developed a network of like-minded colleagues
  • gained a qualification showing national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement within a school setting

For further information and details on how to apply etc:

Full details of the programme content, structure, cost, entry requirements and application procedure on the Leadership CoLab website.

Various school leaders from the MKET facilitate the delivery of these programmes.