Middle Leadership

Become an SSAT approved middle leadership delivery partner

SSAT is an approved provider of the Department for Education (DfE) National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML). We work with schools to deliver DfE NPQML training: eligible schools can apply to become delivery partners of the:

You will receive all the training and tools you need, with the flexibility to decide which route you wish to pursue each year.

Funded DfE NPQML places – an update

There has been high demand from teachers and school leaders to access NPQ scholarships in recent months. As a result, access to Department for Education (DfE) scholarships for new applicants for NPQs is currently suspended. This is to allow the DfE to fully assess demand against available funding for those who have already applied.

If you started your course prior to 24 July 2020, you will receive funding for the full course fee if you continue to meet the eligibility criteria below and have not previously been enrolled on an NPQ course of the same level.

The DfE is now working with providers to understand what funding can be made available for eligible participants who registered for a future course before 24 July 2020. It is doing this as quickly as possible. In the meantime, your chosen NPQ provider is best placed to confirm the position with you in respect of your course, financial arrangements, and their specific terms and conditions.

Eligibility for funding required a teacher or school leader to be working in opportunity areas or areas defined in Achieving excellence areas as categories 5 and 6, or employed at a school which is subject to the oversight of a multi-academy trust or diocese which also includes other schools in those areas.

Access to funding remains conditional on successful verification of participants’ registration information against the database of qualified teachers (DQT), so you must ensure that the information supplied to your NPQ provider matches your DQT record. You can check and update your DQT record via the Teaching Regulation Agency.

The DfE NPQML route

When entering participants for the NPQML accreditation, you will need to deliver all 12 modules and support participants to submit their assessment within 18 months of the cohort starting. All participants seeking accreditation must attend all 12 modules and successfully meet all the course and assessment requirements. Each module is approximately two hours in length.

Find out more about the NPQML, including module descriptions, assessment and guided learning hours

Apply to become a DfE NPQML delivery partner

Train the trainer event

This training is currently being provided virtually on demand. Please contact us via RMTeam@ssatuk.co.uk to find out more.

The middle leadership training route

If you decide that you do not wish to deliver the NPQML accreditation route for any participants in the given year, you must deliver a minimum of 6 Middle Leadership modules across 12 months.

In becoming a delivery partner, you will be committed to working with us for three years. This will be subject to annual review.

Apply to become an SSAT Middle Leadership modules delivery partner


Find out more about the Middle Leadership modules

What is required to be a delivery partner?

A delivery partner school must be rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and you must be confident that you have the infrastructure and capacity to deliver the training and comply with the administration and reporting expectations as detailed in the delivery partner agreement. This agreement will be sent to you to review once we have approved your application. We welcome applications from all schools who fulfil these requirements. The delivery partner must be a school but they can hold the agreement on behalf of a multi-academy trust (MAT) or teaching school alliance (TSA).

How much does it cost to run the programme?

The annual cost to be a middle leadership delivery partner is £1580 +VAT per year. This cost includes access to all the resources and for two school-based trainers to be trained for delivery.  One of these trainers must be the nominated ‘lead’ for the delivery partner school. For this cost you can do either or both of the routes.

If you wish to have participants complete the NPQML accreditation you will need to pay to deliver the 12 NPQML modules per cohort of participants. Each cohort may have up to 20 participants.

For each participant working towards the NPQML accreditation there is an assessment fee of £275+VAT charged at the point of enrolment.

If you wish to deliver a selection of the middle leadership modules you must pay to deliver a minimum of six. These can be any combination of the modules available.

Each module costs £210+VAT to deliver.

The assessment fee for the NPQML award is £275+VAT per participant.

Who can be approved as trainers?

As part of the application form you will be asked to provide us with details of the lead trainer and second trainer who will be your nominated middle leadership trainers. They must be either designated Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) or members of the leadership team in a school (this can be from another school in the MAT or TSA) paid on the leadership pay scale. Each school delivery partner must have one lead trainer and at least one second trainer. If a delivery partner wishes to train additional trainers to assist this may be possible depending on the capacity of our train-the-trainer event and will be subject to additional charge.  Only approved trainers will be allowed to deliver SSAT’s middle leadership training or the NPQML.  All trainers must attend the training by SSAT.

How is the NPQML route governed?

We are delighted to be working in partnership with schools to run NPQML. We have two levels of governance; our strategic board – who are responsible for the programme, its quality assurance and success – and our advisory board who ensure that we have local, contextual knowledge across different types of school.

Our lead school who sits on the strategic board with SSAT is:

Shenley Brook End School


How does this training route meet the requirements of the NPQML content framework?

We have mapped the NPQML content framework to our twelve modules.

Download the content framework overview