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Use of NPQs at South Kilvington for sustainable growth and continuous improvement

by Stephen Butterworth, Headteacher at South Kilvington C of E Academy


I became Headteacher in 2021, as we went through a period of change we soon appointed an established and committed Senior Leadership Team. Each member of the Senior Leadership Team is focused on delivering high standards through their leadership. All staff at school have a commitment to deliver high expectations and nurturing relationships. Standards were significantly improving quickly due to the professional culture within school that was soon becoming established.

To support these leaders in developing, we invested time in the NPQs. We saw this as an opportunity to train the Senior Leadership Team in different NPQs so we had a wealth of knowledge to help improve and sustain high standards in school. Continuous Professional Development was invested in for all staff through Trust wide Middle and Senior Leadership programmes as well as support staff training.


South Kilvington Logo Centered


  • To invest time, money and effort into creating leaders at all levels. Our drive was to create a professional culture where learning is at our core, for children and staff.
  • The staff wanted to develop so it was important we created opportunities for them and support for them through this.


  1. Outline a leadership structure in school that would benefit the school long term. Invest this structure in excellent leaders willing to seek further development and make a positive impact on not just their classroom but the wider aspects of leadership within school and the Trust.
  2. I firstly appointed an Assistant Headteacher who had my shared vision for education at South Kilvington, someone who mirrored my standards and expectations but someone who would challenge me on strategic decisions for the school. We then looked together to strengthen our Senior Leadership team by making one more appointment to form a strong SLT.
  3. We then distributed areas of leadership between the SLT. I was keen to know what each Senior Leader would like to develop and which areas they would like to have an expertise in. We were able to separate the curriculum to one Senior Leader and Teaching and Learning to the other adult with myself having oversight of both offering coaching opportunities to support them. This enabled us to have strength in depth with excellent expertise shared across the team. CPD would then be outlined to support them develop in these areas.
  4. NPQ opportunities were discussed with the Senior Leaders and together we agreed on NPQs that we would seek to complete.
  5. My Assistant Headteacher completed the NPQTL and is keen to develop further so is currently completing the NPQH as she looks to take on more responsibility within school. My second Senior Leader is currently completing the NPQEY and is looking to complete the NPQSEND as she has taken on more SEND responsibility within school. I am currently completing the NPQEL course.

Excellent leadership at all levels will allow for sustainable growth and continuous improvement.


The Senior Leadership Team has a wealth of knowledge that is well dispersed across the school through training. Training delivered by the senior leadership team links to best practice and recent research. This has resulted in confident implementation of the curriculum and high expectations running through the newly established teaching and learning principles.

The additional middle and senior leader training has helped develop non SLT members into becoming stronger leaders as well as the support staff who have taken part in professional development and again dispersed this across the school through professional development meetings. We now have a culture within school where learning is at our core and we have leaders at all levels delivering the highest standards. 

Click to explore NPQs

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