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National Leader of Education

The National Leader of Education programme will harness the collective knowledge of some of the highest-performing school leaders in the country, in order to help underperforming schools recognise and realise their potential.

Developed by some of the most successful executive leaders in the country, the programme will draw on the NIoT’s leading research. Because it has been designed by school leaders, there will be no time wasted: we will provide only the information essential to helping you do your job efficiently, effectively and in a way that inspires pupils to success.

Start Date:
May 2023
Programme Length:
12 months
  • Overview
  • Benefits
  • Who are the NIoT?
  • Curriculum
  • Time commitment
  • Location
  • Assessment


Those at the highest levels of education have already proven themselves leading schools or groups of schools. You are one of the most effective leaders in the school system, with a passion for transforming education. But how do you use this expertise to make the greatest impact possible, across as many schools and for as many pupils as possible?

This programme will enable you to take the skills you’ve honed in a school or academy trust and apply them to schools across different regions and in different contexts. Even a small amount of your time and knowledge can be enough to empower others to transform a struggling school.

You will learn to work with leaders who are not directly answerable to you, earning their trust and respect as quickly as possible. You will be able to assess a situation speedily, understanding what’s required. But you will also have the humility to recognise the limitations of your previous experience, and to work effectively within those constraints.

Our NLE qualification will help you to empower others, enabling them to perform to the best of their abilities. And it will bring out your best, too, ensuring your lasting legacy to English education.


  • Maximise your impact: As an NLE, you will bring your expertise and experience to the schools that need them the most, and where you can make the greatest difference.
  • Challenge yourself: The schools you’ll be working with as an NLE will be dealing with some of the most intractable problems in education – and it will be up to you to solve them.
  • People skills: As an NLE, you will not be the one leading change. You’ll learn to empower other leaders to take control of transforming their own schools.
  • Expand your experience: This is an opportunity transform schools across the country, in a variety of different communities and dealing with a range of different problems.
  • Keep learning: Becoming an NLE enables those at the top of their careers to keep growing and learning alongside their peers – you can stretch yourself and expand your impact through our Professional Learning Communities.
  • Think fast: No one, however broad their experience, can turn up at a new school knowing everything. Being an effective NLE is about knowing your own limitations, and then rising above them to assess a new situation fairly.

Who are the NIoT?

We are a new, pioneering institute, representing a diverse community of schools. We have worked with some of the leading names in education to develop an NLE programme that specifically addresses the most complex challenges of high-level work in schools.

Our blend of online and in-person learning will include masterclasses with some of the most experienced figures in education today. And we offer a chance to work with schools across a wide range of contexts, accurately reflecting the varied environments that NLEs will work in.

It is an exciting time to be a teacher right now: there is an ever-increasing body of evidence of what works in education. We will be generating our own research, and putting those findings to immediate use in the classroom. We are part of a new school-led movement to change education – if you join us, you will be helping to shape the teaching profession for the future. And you will be learning alongside some of the most talented leaders in education, building networks and forging connections.

We are rooted in schools. We know the unpredictability of school life – the day-to-day challenges that teachers face. Our time-efficient programmes have been drawn up specifically to meet the needs of busy, commitment-heavy school leaders.


What you'll learn

The NIoT’s NLE programme is split into six phases:

  1. Identify: A self-audit of precise strengths and development needs
  2. Immerse: A launch conference will break down how NLEs can act effectively as agents of school improvement
  3. Investigate: A bespoke self-study pathway will be drawn up, based on your self-audit. It will include peer learning and support and formative assessment
  4. Influence: You will be deployed to your target school, applying what you’ve learnt so far in order to initiate meaningful change
  5. Impact: An impact conference will allow course members to share their impact on – and feedback from – their target schools
  6. Improve: An opportunity to reflect on how the programme has affected your own practice.

How you'll learn

  • An in-person launch conference (five hours)
  • Self-study, covering frameworks (length of time determined by self-audit)
  • Professional development communities
  • Online learning lounge, for peer sharing (flexible)
  • Closing impact conference (five hours)

Time commitment

A common base of 16 hours’ learning, supplemented by self-study elements, tailored to match participants’ needs.




Reflection and formative assessment run throughout the NLE programme, with participants continually reflecting on their ability to adapt and solve problems in a range of contexts. This will culminate in a case study presented at the final impact conference.

Contact us

Please get in touch to find out more about our programmes and find out where we are delivering them near you.

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