Resource: Information pack for NPQH host schools

NPQH placement school learning

Work based learning is a core element within the modular curriculum. In NPQH this learning takes place in both the home school and placement school. For final assessment participants are expected to complete two school based improvement tasks - one each school.

"The partnership with our trainee head is working very well. She is dedicated to our school as well as her own and is an asset to leadership.The development project is progressing really well and clear aims for the future set… I’m very pleased with the process so far."
Matthew, NPQH graduate and placement school headteacher

Which trainee head outcomes are NPQH placements supporting?

Every trainee head will complete at least nine days in a placement school. The days will allow time to:

  • Lead an actual school improvement task working closely with placement school staff and the school leadership team for a minimum of five days. The school improvement priority selected should be in the school improvement plan or similar whole school plan. The task to be self-contained and achievable within the timescale but be sufficiently challenging to enable leadership development and to provide evidence of the competencies being successfully applied within the task work area.
  • Work with the headteacher as a role model to observe and participate in key strategic leadership activities undertaken by the head during the course of a school year for a minimum of 4 days.

The placement school head will be asked to judge their trainee head on the following 3 competencies:

  1. Impact and influence: Is this person able to inspire, influence and unite stakeholders effectively and appropriately using their understanding of others to influence their style of engagement?
  2. Delivering continuous improvement: Does this person have clarity of vision and understand school performance in order to provide strategic direction and to plan and lead the delivery of strategies to secure sustainable improvement?
  3. Partnership and collaboration: Is this person able to collaborate with a range of people and organisations to agree common purposes and to secure collective action which will benefit the school and the wider community?

To demonstrate these competencies NPQH trainee heads need to establish contact with the placement head and build a relationship with them over the whole period of the NPQH qualification.

This process will enable trainee heads to be able to:

  • understand and use their leadership skills in a new and different context
  • reflect on key leadership behaviours of highly effective leaders and identify how to develop their own leadership
  • develop their leadership skills through leading a strategic improvement task for final assessment

Is my school eligible to be a placement school?

Placements must be at schools that have either:

  • An overall Ofsted rating of outstanding/good and good/outstanding for leadership and management, or;
  • Be receiving support from a National Leader of Education (and, in this case, the trainee headteacher must work on a project under the direction of the National Leader of Education)

What will the commitment be if I decide to be a placement school?

Through NPQH our aim is to raise the aspirations of trainee heads, enable them to experience excellence, encourage them to be influenced by our very best school leaders and to make a direct impact on school improvement. As the headteacher of a placement school you will be making a significant contribution to this aspiration.

It is important for the placement school headteacher to play an active part in the process and commit to:

  • negotiating and agreeing the purpose and format of the leadership learning development programme and school improvement area of leadership with the trainee head
  • working with the course provider to ensure the placement programme works effectively
  • acting as a role model for the trainee head during the placement
  • engaging with the trainee head in their reflection, evaluation and feedback about their leadership

What will I gain from becoming an NPQH placement school?

Host an additional senior leader in school, contributing to sustainable improvement and identifying next steps. Secure a pool of colleagues ready for school leadership, locally, by developing training heads, their credibility, capability and competence.

In recognition of the generosity and will of schools to support leadership development we offer discounted rates for placement schools on our qualifications including the National Professional Qualifications for both Middle and Senior Leadership.

How will placement schools be allocated to trainee heads?

Following discussion with trainee heads about the type, size, phase and location that best suits their needs we will allocate schools and confirm with the placement school the name and contact details of the trainee head. The trainee will contact their school following agreement of the placement match.

We support all placements to ensure a good match and mutual benefit from the experience.

What do I do if I want to be a placement school?

Please complete the NPQH placement school registration form.

If you have any questions please call us on 0117 920 9424 or use our contact form.

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