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Mastering Senior Leadership Qualification (MSLQ)


Senior Leadership (NPQSL)“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” John F Kennedy

Real Training’s brand new Mastering Senior Leadership Qualification (MSLQ) ‘Leading across an education setting’ is  now available for current or aspiring senior leaders in education settings who want to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence in leading change across their setting. Taking the best of the content from our acclaimed DfE-accredited NPQSL, we have listened to schools and educators and adapted and improved our course even further. 

Having delivered our NPQSL to hundreds and hundreds of teachers across the UK and the world, we have been striving for continuous improvement. Listening to educators, we realised that for some people the DfE-accredited leadership courses didn’t precisely meet their needs. To ensure that we give schools and teachers the options they need to make the right choice for their career, their school and most importantly the students in their care, we have decided to create a bespoke senior leadership course led by educator feedback rather than DfE requirements. 

Real Training are the acknowledged experts in masters-level online professional development. It is who we are and what we do, and always has been.

Our leadership courses were designed from day one to be delivered fully online, with our unique practice-led model informed by evidence-based online pedagogy, positive psychology and inclusive practice. Our courses are online by design, and not adapted to fit around current circumstances. Studying online with Real Training means you can develop your skills and expertise with confidence – and without compromise.

The first available cohort start date for the MSLQ is 15 September , so book your place now.


Module Leader – Annie Grant

Annie Grant is a writer and film-maker specialising in education. She was previously a teacher and a Local Authority adviser before moving to the University of North London (now London Metropolitan University) where she became Head of School of Teaching Studies. Before leaving to become self-employed, Annie was Head of Initial Teacher Training at the Teacher Training Agency, overseeing, among other things, the first QTS Standards.

Why take this course with us?

Real Training’s Senior Leadership (MSLQ) course:

  • Is developed by education practitioners for education practitioners with a strong focus on personal development, inclusion and improving outcomes for all
  • Includes Positive Psychology and strengths-based approaches to leadership and change management
  • Can lead to the award of 60 M-level credit points by Middlesex University. This course does not result in the award of a Middlesex qualification. These credits can be used towards further Masters level qualifications with Real Group or Middlesex University
  • Is based on Real Training’s practice-led learning model, which means you receive the content and theory you need, along with opportunities to make a difference to your setting through putting theory into practice and reflecting on the process. This means the programme will positively impact your practice whatever your school type, anywhere in the world
  • Is aligned with the DfE’s learning outcomes and golden thread, so educators in England, or planning to return in the future, will stay in the know with current English schools’ practice
  • Starts with a leadership behaviour assessment, which will help to establish your strengths, and identify behaviours to work on to improve your effectiveness, and
  • Is flexible, with core content delivered online, so you can study at a pace that complements your professional and personal commitments.

You’ll never feel isolated on a Real Training MSLQ course because a sense of community is developed through:

  • Online interaction with tutors
  • In-school support from a mentor, and
  • Peer support, through interaction and collaboration with colleagues in your setting and with fellow participants from across the country, via a lively online forum.  

The MSLQ is based on an acclaimed, independently-audited platform

A review of our National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) by the Department for Education’s National Quality Assurance Agent (NQAA), Tribal Education, has found our courses “exceed expectations”, awarding us an overall score of 8.8 out of 10.

The comprehensive report covers all areas of the course delivery, from recruitment and admission to design of content. Tribal highlighted a number of areas in which Real Training excelled, with 11 of the 15 performance criteria achieving a score of 9 out of 10, and one scoring top marks.

Tribal were particularly impressed by our approach to ‘practice-led learning”; a philosophy we stand by as a way to allow our delegates to make an immediate impact in their educational setting:

“The ‘practice-led learning’ approach which underpins the design of the programmes is a key strength. The provider has used its expertise in online professional development to devise an approach which engages participants in practical school-based activities, which are reinforced through the online platform with structured learning experiences.”

The report also focused on our delegate’s feedback to Tribal about their experience studying their NPQ with Real Training. They note that:

“Participants are highly positive about the level of support they receive, with some saying that it was ‘above and beyond’ what they had expected from an online provider… Tutors have recent experience as senior school leaders relevant to the programme they are supporting and are from schools deemed to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED. The engagement of professional partners who are serving headteachers, and leadership coaches with high levels of expertise, is noted to be of significant support by NPQH participants.”

This is borne out in our own delegate feedback analysis, where 93% of NPQ delegates rated the tutor support as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

They go on to detail the key factors that led to the decision to study with us:

“Participants report that the key factors in choosing Real Group as their NPQ provider are the ability to choose a programme which is delivered online and which is flexible in its approach and the reputation of Real Group as a training provider.”

We at Real Training are very proud of the reputation we have built for being ‘online by design’; our NPQs were designed from the ground up to be delivered through our Campus Online platform, not adapted in the face of external circumstances, in order to fit a square peg in a round hole. Because of this, delegates feel fully supported by tutors, administration and technical staff, while allowing full flexibility to fit around the oft-tumultuous lives of education professionals. In fact, our delegates have rated the online presentation of the NPQ courses with a score of 86%.

Tribal summarise the report by highlighting the areas of exceptional performance from Real Training:

  •  “A unique provider with a strong history of bespoke online learning to provide accessibility for participants across England.”
  • “Reflective leadership with a strong moral purpose, which ensures that the NPQ programmes are underpinned by the values of Real Group in developing future school leaders.”
  • “The ‘practice-led learning’ design of the programmes to ensure online learning is integrated with, and relevant to, real-life school environments.”

How will you benefit?

All successful Mastering Senior Leadership Qualification (MSLQ) graduates will:

  • Gain a highly valued, internationally respected professional qualification
  • Be awarded 60 M-level credits from Middlesex University 
  • Lead effectively across their setting, using evidence-informed approaches
  • Lead and evaluate an intervention across their setting to improve outcomes for children or young people and staff
  • Develop their leadership and management skills, and their ability to work in partnership with colleagues, professionals from outside the setting, and parents and carers  
  • Enhance their own and others’ personal and professional development, and
  • Gain a professional network of colleagues beyond their own setting.

What does the course cover?

Course content covers six key areas:

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

In addition, the course will help you to develop the range of leadership behaviours:

  • Commitment
  • Collaboration
  • Personal drive
  • Resilience
  • Awareness
  • Integrity, and
  • Respect.

How will you be assessed?

Each ‘Learning Experience’ you undertake on the Real Group Senior Leadership (MSLQ) course will help you work towards completing the required assignment and meet the assessment criteria.

During the courses you will lead your team to design, implement and evaluate an improvement project in your setting. Your change project must last at least two standard school terms (i.e. two-thirds of a school year). If your school follows a different system, your project must last an equivalent amount of time, e.g. if your school operates a six term year, your project will last four ‘terms’. This project is designed to:

  • Develop your leadership skills
  • Grow capacity within your setting
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching, and
  • Reduce variation in pupil progress and attainment.

You will submit a 5,000 word written account for assessment, covering the initiation, implementation and evaluation of the project.

How is the course delivered?

The module is delivered online through our interactive learning platform, Campus Online.

You will be guided through the course by a narrative that:

  • Supports your progress
  • Presents tasks clearly, and
  • Provides you with content that complements your learning every step of the way.

Experienced online tutors with recent or current leadership experience in schools will be on hand to support you through your learning journey.

An online forum gives you the opportunity to share practice and to discuss and debate issues with others working towards the Senior Leadership (NPQSL), from across the country.

Are you eligible?

Do you have an undergraduate degree?

You will need an undergraduate degree to take this course as our MSLQ qualification is accredited at Masters level.

Are you already working in an education setting?

This course is designed for professionals currently working in education settings. You will need to be in a position to lead a change project in your own setting, lasting at least two terms, aimed at improving outcomes for children or young people.

If you are unsure if this is the right course is for you, speak to our course advisers on 01273 358080.  

Are you based in an international setting?

This course is available online and can therefore be completed anywhere in the world. Please click here for advice on payment options and other information relevant to those studying outside of the UK.

How much does it cost?

  • A one-off payment of £1,750 + VAT
  • Three instalments of £609 + VAT
  • Ten instalments of £187 + VAT

Speak to us (01273 358080) or make a booking.

Are you based in an international setting?

This course is available online and can therefore be completed anywhere in the world. Please click here for advice on payment options and other information relevant to those studying outside of the UK.

When does the course start?

Book and enrol before 15 September to join our next cohort.

Please note: as it takes time to process your application and payment, we strongly recommend to register as soon as possible, so that you don’t miss the next intake.


‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my change project, it is based on teaching writing across my infant school, I have mainly looked at the consistency of attainment from the end of EYFS through years 1 and 2 and have tracked progress each term, I have also looked at children eligible for pupil premium and boys too. I have been fortunate enough to have taught in both EYFS and KS1 this last year too so that has definitely helped. I think I will reflect more as I start to write it all up but I have learnt a lot so far. The research for the NPQSL has made me think about my approach as a leader and to look at the attainment from a different point of view than that of a class teacher. I think having to set up a guiding team has been great too and I have held constant meetings throughout which has definitely helped me implement my change project.’ – Kathy Marie Muldoon



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