We are delighted to announce that the IOE has opened one final application window for the January 2021 NPQH, NPQSL and NPQML cohorts. This final Application Window will be open on Friday 9th October 2020.

For further information about our Virtual NPQ courses, please visit here.


To all potential participants – NPQ Cohort 8 – January 2021 to January 2022 – Dubai   

Before you apply you need to be aware that this is the final cohort of the current NPQ Programme, which closes in August 2022. You need to know that there is no possibility of deferring once the programme has started. There are compulsory school-based tasks (2 for NPQH) and these will need to be completed and presented for assessment by January 2022, at the latest. If a resubmission is needed, then this will need to be presented by April 2022. This allows for the 15 weeks marking and moderation before the end of all activities in August 2022.  In your induction in January 2021 and in your F2F sessions, the facilitation team will explore the implications of this timescale and assist you in developing a timeline for completion.


Infinite Learning NPQ Programme Cohort Timelines 2020-21

Please download the Infinite Learning NPQ Programme Cohort Timelines 2020-21 document for an overview of all the dates

Why a blended learning model?

“The F2F sessions are great and really worthwhile – lots of delegates, like me, have expressed today how they’ve felt a little lost with the ‘online only’ approach.  Online alone is not sufficient.  These sessions, whether delivered F2F or virtually, are essential.”

January 2021 Cohorts 


NPQ Programme January 2021 cohorts – live facilitated online delivery of F2F sessions

It seems likely that delivery of the F2F sessions for the NPQ cohorts January 2021 will take place online.  For all 3 programmes, these sessions will take place on the same dates as have been previously advertised. For some of you across the region who may have had concerns about travel restrictions at this time, this might well come as welcome news and enable you to participate in your NPQ of choice. If you are interested in applying, please see below for further information.

For the NPQML and the NPQSL, participants will use the newly developed UCL eXtend platform which allows for the F2F element to be delivered as blended learning, using self-directed and live facilitated online sessions.  For ML and SL, each module will be delivered across a 3-hour live online session. (Timings TBC). Further information will be sent directly to successful applicants.

For the NPQH, participants will continue to work with the Leadership CoLab Moodle Platform. Each module will be delivered across a 4-hour live online session, as 2 blocks of 2 hours: 1100 -1300 and 1400 to 1600 (UAE time). Further information will be sent directly to successful applicants.

What is UCL eXtend?  (for NPQML and NPQSL only)

UCL IOE has developed UCL eXtend in response to Covid-19 and the need to have a more flexible ‘future-proof’ NPQML and NPQSL programme delivery model moving forwards. The preference will always be a F2F model where participants and facilitators can physically meet in the same room. However, where this is not possible, this model allows for the F2F element to be delivered as blended learning, using self-directed and live online session.  This model has been carefully designed to split the content of the modules into 2 sections: Self-directed sessions (asynchronous) and Live Facilitated Sessions (synchronous).

What does this model look like and how will it work?

UCL eXtend Self-directed sessions – 3 per module

  • Participants should work though the sessions, in line with their online or F2F live sessions
  • These sessions form a compulsory part of the programme. Participants must complete all sessions in order to successfully complete the programme.

UCL eXtend Live sessions

Approx. 3 hours per module

  • Where F2F sessions are not possible, the sessions will be delivered online using a platform of your facilitators’ choice. (TEAMS, Zoom, Google etc.)
  • The sessions are designed to encourage breakout/group work/discussion rooms etc so that where F2F delivery is not possible, the chosen platform will allow for that.
  • These sessions are monitored and form a compulsory part of the programme. Participants must complete all sessions in order to successfully complete the programme.

UCL Extend Self-directed sessions – Discussion Forum

  • Within the UCLeXtend module areas, there will be bespoke discussion forums for your particular cohort. There are prompt questions within the self-directed area and participants are expected to respond to these prompts in the discussion area.
  • Your facilitators can also contribute and pose questions in this bespoke area.
  • The discussion forums are monitored and there is an expectation that participants will contribute. It should replace, in some part, the professional dialogue that would have taken place around group tables at F2F sessions.

UCLeXtend Self-directed sessions – Learning Journals

  • There is also a Learning Journal for each module of the NPQ programmes. Please ensure you have access to these and use them during both the self-directed and the live sessions.


STAGE 1 – Registration with Infinite Learning – OPEN October 2020!

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Wednesday 18th November 2020

You must register with Infinite Learning or your application will not be processed by the IOE

After we receive your on-line registration, you will be invoiced for the Registration Fee of AED525 (including VAT) which requires immediate payment so that your application can be assessed.  The Registration Fee is deducted from the programme fees when you are accepted onto your chosen programme but is non-refundable if you are not accepted or you fail to upload your application in time.

 STAGE 2 – Application with the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) – OPEN Friday 9th October 2020!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday 4th December  2020

Once you have  registered with Infinite Learning, we will send you the link to the UCL-IOE CoLab Moodle Application Window. 

  • Applications, at all levels, consist of a Part A and Part B form.
  • The Part A word document should be completed and uploaded to the Part B online data collection form.
  • The ‘Application Form’ links which will be sent to you, are to the Part B online application form, which contains a copy of the Part A form.
  • For ‘Cluster Selection’. Please choose ‘Infinite Learning (UAE)’

If you have any queries with regards to your application, please direct them to the following people at their email addresses:

NPQML: Samin Shirazi-Kia –

NPQSL: Sharmin Haque –

NPQH: Kim Leathem –

IOE NOTIFICATION OF APPLICATION OUTCOME: Week commencing 11th January 2021

We wish you the best of luck in your application and look forward to welcoming you onto the programmes next academic year!


NPQ PROGRMAMES – DfE approval for International Delivery!

We are delighted to announce that the DfE has given full permissions for all providers to deliver the NPQ programmes overseas and award the full National Professional Qualification, at all 4 levels (NPQEL, NPQH, NPQSL & NPQML), on successful completion of the programme and its assessments.

Infinite Learning is delighted to confirm that we will be working with Leadership Colab, UCL Institute of Education, to deliver these programmes in the Middle East and Asia. Through the IOE Facilitation Programme, Infinite Learning will enable and support local school leaders to be trained to deliver the NPQSL and NPQML, using IOE materials, in their own regions. The NPQEL and the NPQH will continue to be delivered by IOE facilitators.

In addition to our own QA processes, there is a robust QA process led by  the DfE appointed regulators, Tribal Education.

The New Programmes

All four programmes have been re-written. The content is very similar to the previous programmes but the structure and delivery has slightly changed.

The Structure

All four programmes have the same 6 content areas and the same seven leadership behaviours.

The six content areas set out what a leader should know or be able to do:

  • Managing Resources and Risks
  • Teaching and Curriculum Excellence
  • Strategy and Improvement
  • Leading with Impact
  • Working in Partnership
  • Increasing Capability

The seven leadership behaviours focus on how the best leaders operate:

  • Commitment
  • Collaboration
  • Resilience
  • Integrity
  • Personal Drive
  • Awareness
  • Respect

The Delivery

  • The NPQEL has 6 Face to Face days. They will be delivered in Dubai as a 3-day and then a 3-day block.
  • The NPQH has 5 Face to Face days. They will be delivered in Dubai as a 2-day and then a 3-day block.
  • The NPQSL has 5 Face to Face days. They will be delivered in Dubai as blocks of 2 days, 2 days and 1 day.
  • The NPQML has 4 Face to Face days. They will be delivered in Dubai as blocks of 2 days and 2 days.


All 2020 – 2021 Cohort dates are available on the ‘Infinite Learning NPQ Programme Cohort Timelines 2020-21’ document, as well as on the website and the Calendar of Events 2020-21. Programme flyers can be downloaded from the website.


NPQML           AED 4,770

NPQSL            AED 7,950

NPQH              AED 23,850

All costs are subject to 5% VAT.

Why Infinite Learning has chosen to work with Leadership CoLab, UCL Institute of Education:

  • Leadership CoLab is the largest provider of the National Professional Qualifications
  • Internationally and in the UK. (Consequently, you will have the opportunity to work and build lifelong networks with a wide range of colleagues across setting, context and phase.)
  • Licenses for the NPQ programmes are not ‘bought’; rather Leadership CoLab (UCL IOE) had to tender and put in a full presentation to win the bid.
  • Participants undertaking the NPQH with Infinite Learning /Leadership CoLab (UCL IOE) will have access to all 9 modules which will be delivered by highly experienced, quality assured IOE facilitators.
  • NCTL continue to quality assure both the licenses and the delivery of these NPQ programmes. (Indeed the UK government is currently considering re-establishing the role NCTL will play in UK Leadership Development Programmes).
  • UCL is in the top 5 universities in the world and IOE is number 1 for education research.

About UCL IOE:

The UCL Institute of Education is a world-leading school for education and social science. Founded in 1902, we currently have over 7,000 students and 1,000 staff. We are active in every continent.

In the 2014 QS World University Rankings, we were ranked number one for education worldwide. We were shortlisted in the ‘University of the Year’ category of the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) awards.

They have trained more than 10,000 teachers over the past decade and in January 2014, we were recognised by Ofsted for our ‘outstanding’ initial teacher training across primary, secondary and further education. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, half our research was judged to be world-leading (i.e., awarded the highest grade of 4*) and we were ranked 1st for research strength in the field of education, across all UK universities. The findings of our high-quality research have influenced government activity and policy in areas from early years to higher education and workplace learning.

UCL also specialise in study and research in health, psychology and longitudinal studies, among other areas of social science. Our three birth cohort studies have had a major impact over many years on policy for health, gender equality and young people.

The National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders (NPQEL)

The shift from leading one school to leading a group of schools represents an exciting opportunity to make a difference across a wider canvass, but it also requires new skill sets and new approaches to leadership. This exciting programme has been designed for aspirant and serving Executive Head teachers and Leaders .

UCL Institute of Education has developed this programme, which reflects their extensive work and research in this area as well as our learning from the Trust-ED MAT Team Leadership programme. It forms part of the Leadership CoLab partnership’s suite of accredited NPQ programmes. The integrated programme includes three residential modules which will include inputs from leading experts from UCL as well as policy makers, experienced Executive Leaders and leaders from other sectors.

The National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH)  

NPQH is still the first-choice qualification for anyone aspiring to become a headteacher or principal. In the UK around 87% of governors still insist on NPQH for headship appointments and the UK Government has committed to continuing with the qualification in the future.

The National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders (NPQML) and Senior Leaders (NPQSL)

The NPQML and NPQSL form the first 2 steps in a four-stage leadership development programme culminating in the revered NPQH and  NPQEL.

Why choose these qualifications for my staff or myself?

The National Qualification ensures high quality of delivery and assessment. Due to the range of self-directed learning it shows employers that the person is highly motivated and willing to engage in their own learning to develop themselves in or for a role as a leader. Participants grow and develop on these programmes and show impact and sustainability through the work they need to undertake. High quality leaders improve the life chances for children and young people in our schools. Delegates have the opportunity to get 30 Masters Level Credits (at an additional cost) by writing a reflective 5000 word essay around leadership.

How will my school benefit from sending staff on these programmes?

Perhaps the greatest strength of these programmes (other than that delegates will leave with an Accredited National Qualification at the end) is the blended learning approach. The programmes demand that delegates engage in a mixture of workplace learning, face-to-face activity, including peer and facilitated learning, reading, reflection and online learning.

It is notoriously difficult to assess the value and impact of any Professional Development upon improved student learning outcomes. With the NPQ programmes, participants, as an integral part of their assessment, have to demonstrate, via their School Based Project, that they can deliver a successful and sustainable school improvement project in their school setting. They have to allow a minimum of two full terms to show the impact and sustainability of their leadership initiatives. This in turn increases their understanding of, and confidence in working with, data (both qualitative and quantitative) and in researching and recording their findings. As schools witness very real and tangible results and ‘gaps’ being closed, the impact of these programmes becomes clear.

Why work with Leadership CoLab (UCL IOE) and Infinite Learning cluster model?

Delegates will:

  • work with the top university in the world for education
  • leave with an Accredited National Qualification at a highly competitive rate
  • be part of a more sustainable and collaborative approach to Professional Learning and collaboration amongst a group of like-minded schools in the region. (Consider David H Hargreaves’ Self-Improving School System’)
  • experience a highly effective blended-learning approach. The programmes demand that delegates engage in a mixture of workplace learning, face-to-face activity, including peer and facilitated learning, reading, reflection and online learning
  • have access to a very intuitive online learning system that has a wealth of resources, think-pieces and access to some of the top educationalists and their work
  • through this on-line platform delegates will also be able to engage in professional dialogue with a diverse range of leaders both locally and internationally across all phases and contexts: inner city, urban, rural, coastal, state, independent, academies, free schools
  • enjoy high-quality, flexible face-to-face sessions, facilitated by Infinite Learning Partner School Principals, Headteachers and Senior Leaders who have been trained by Leadership CoLab (UCL IOE) programme leaders
  • enjoy the opportunity of learning from these senior leaders who are currently working in the Middle East, and thereby benefit from their international experience and their understanding of the context and culture in which we educate
  • have the opportunity to develop, within their own cohorts, their own unique aspects to the programme to fit their context and the context of their school
  • experience networking opportunities and be part of the region’s ‘succession planning’ for the future leadership pipeline enjoy Quality Assurance through Leadership CoLab (UCL IOE)