SEND Leadership Programme

nasen’s SEND Leadership Programme – gain a National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

Why take the SEND Leadership Programme?
In conjuction with Ambition Institute, the SEND Leadership Programme (SLP) is designed to support your professional progression by enabling you to complete a National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) which focuses specifically upon SEND. 
All leaders are leaders for children and young people with SEND. The SEND Leadership Programme (SLP) enables you to explore what this means in the context of your school or group of schools. Whether you have a particular interest in SEND and want to develop the understanding about senior leadership in this area or whether you are keen to expand your general leadership effectiveness for SEND, nasen’s SLP can support you.

Course Features

  • 4 face-to-face training sessions spread across a year
  • Leadership development including a focus on SEND
  • Course reading
  • Assessment through an in-school impact project
Register an interest

If you are interested in the SEND Leadership programme, please let us know:


Learn More about the SEND Leadership Programme

nasen is committed to supporting the development of the best possible leadership in schools for SEND. One important route to this has been designed specifically for teachers who are currently or who would like to become leaders for SEND within schools and across multi-academy trusts (MATs).

Study can last between 2 academic terms and 12 months, during which time you will:

  • develop knowledge and skills across 6 content areas, which set out what an effective senior leader should know and be able to do
  • have the opportunity to develop up to 7 key leadership behaviours, which set out how an effective leader should operate
  • complete a final assessment that evaluates your capability against the knowledge and skills set out in the 6 content areas

nasen’s SEND Leadership Programme (SLP), examines aspects of leadership across six content areas:

  • Strategy and improvement
  • Teaching and curriculum excellence
  • Leading with impact
  • Working in partnership
  • Managing resources and risks
  • Increasing capability

and through the development of 7 leadership behaviours:

  • commitment
  • collaboration
  • personal drive
  • resilience
  • awareness
  • integrity
  • respect
Integrating the 6 content areas and 7 leadership behaviours, the programme includes sessions focusing on:
Leading change: sustainable change management 
Leading data: data informed leadership 
Leading teaching and Learning: Improving classroom practice 
Leading curriculum: delivering curriculum excellence 
Leading a school for all: inclusion and effective pastoral support 
Leading teams and people: delivering through others 
Leading staff development: Professional development and talent management 
Leading school improvement: self-evaluation and strategic planning 
nasen’s programme enables you to consider these aspects of leadership with a particular focus on SEND and in addition supports you in establishing a useful professional network. 

SEND Leadership Programme FAQs

Who is this course suitable for?


You would be, or aspire to be, a senior leader with responsibilities for SEND in one school or across a group of schools.

This programme is suitable for:

  • Middle leaders who are aspiring to senior leadership and meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Likely to be in a senior leadership role in the next 12-18 months
  • Have completed at least one year at a middle leadership level
  • May have served on an extended SLT


  • Those currently in senior leadership roles who fit within the guidance below:
    • Senior leaders should have responsibility for the results of a team, and line manage at least one middle leader
    • Will serve on the senior leadership of the school, and attend SLT meetings
    • In secondary schools, senior leaders will have roles such as assistant headteacher or assistant/vice-principals
    • In large secondary schools, heads of large departments and faculties, leaders may have responsibility commensurate with that of senior leaders
    • In primary schools, senior leaders will have roles such as assistant/associate headteacher or assistant/vice-principals as well as substantive whole-school responsibilities


For both aspiring and serving senior leaders to receive their qualification, they will need to lead an improvement project across their school, lasting at least two terms, to reduce variation in pupil progress and attainment and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching.  Therefore, it is essential that this is something your school understands and will support when placing you on the programme.

How is it structured?

You will attend four face-to-face training days across a year and work on a school improvement project lasting at least 2 terms. To achieve the NPQSL, you will be assessed through a 5000 word written account of the project.

How is it assessed?

During the course you will lead an improvement project across your setting, lasting at least two terms, to reduce variation in pupil progress and attainment and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching. Therefore, it is essential that this is something your school understands and will support when placing you on the programme.

If you choose to use your study to achieve the NPQSL, you will submit a 5,000 word written account for assessment, covering the initiation, implementation and evaluation of the project

How much does it cost?


Subject to confirmation by DfE, there is the possibility that funding for this programme will be available through the Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund. This applies to delegates from schools in a category 5 or 6 area, including schools in a MAT which has a school in one of these areas. 

Provisional Dates & Venue

Future dates and cohorts are being planned. Please keep checking back for updated details. If you are a current member, you will be updated on any new dates through the member newsletters.

To express an interest in this programme, or to ask any other questions please  email the Education Team.