National Professional Qualification
Full NPQ scholarships are available for candidates from eligible schools - see NPQ Scholarship Update for more information.
National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Headship
NPQH gives participants all of the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful headship. Participants will cover ‘learn that’ and ‘learn how to’ statements in ten areas:
- 1 – School Culture
- 2 – Teaching
- 3 – Curriculum and Assessment
- 4 – Behaviour
- 5 – Additional and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
- 6 – Professional Development
- 7 – Organisational Management
- 8 – Implementation
- 9 – Working in Partnership
- 10 – Governance and Accountability
- See NPQH Framework tab for full programme content.
What are the benefits?
The fully blended learning approach combined with performance coaching and enrichment activities make this an exciting and valuable opportunity for current and aspiring headteachers.
The NPQH qualification is aligned to Masters credits and can act as a springboard on to Liverpool Hope University’s MA in Leading in Education or the MBA in Educational Leadership.
Benefits for Participants
- Focus on and develop the key skills needed for headship
- Internationally recognised, high standard organisation for leadership development
- Challenge and development to deliver educational excellence in a self-improving system which will enable high-quality outcomes for pupils and students
- Time to reflect on leadership practice and to network with a wide range of school leaders
- Increased awareness and understanding of self and of the behaviours needed to lead a school
- Increased confidence to drive the vision and improve standards
- Increased capability and capacity to take on whole-school responsibility and a strengthened ability to hold others to account
Benefits for Schools
- Support succession of school leaders and build a cohesive, impact-focused school leadership team
- A professionally aware and informed leader who can make evidence-based decisions and approach new challenges in an effective and efficient manner
- The ability to delegate responsibility effectively empowering staff to lead on whole-school improvement
- The ability to review and evaluate practice in order to bring about change and get the best outcomes for young people and staff within the organisation
How is NPQH delivered?
NPQH makes use of a blended delivery model consisting of face-to-face events, online study, webinars and coaching.
NPQH participants will attend 5 face-to-face events via the blended delivery model. Our nationwide delivery partnership network allows us to bring face-to-face training to a training centre in your region and facilitated by experienced school leaders and facilitators.
Participants access online learning and support via our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas. Through Canvas, participants are able to engage with their learning communities of peers and access multimedia content. They can also access research and expert-led school practice aligned to the curriculum content for the qualification and receive high-quality feedback from experienced performance coaches.
NPQH Qualification Structure
Who is this for?
NPQH is suitable for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a head teacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
Although some headteachers and principals still teach, the role is primarily a strategic and operational one and relies on working with and through their colleagues (in particular, through the leadership team) to ensure every pupil gets an excellent education.
Applicants must be in a current headteacher, deputy headteacher, vice principal or equivalent role and about 18 months away from applying for Headship (if not already in post).
All applicants must have either QTS, QTLS, a Level 5 (or higher) qualification (any subject), or an international equivalent (see below). You must be able to evidence this with a copy of your certificate.
For those with QTS, you can download a copy of your certificate here https://teacherservices.education.gov.uk/SelfService/Login.
For those with QTLS, you can download a copy of your certificate here https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/my-set/my-profile. If for any reason you are unable to provide a copy of your certificate, you will need to ask a representative from the school where you are teaching to contact Capita Teachers' Pensions. Your employer should know how to do this via the Capita employer portal https://www.teacherspensions.co.uk/.
If do not have QTS or QTLS, you will need evidence completion of a Level 5 qualification (any subject). For International applicants, you will need to apply for a UK ENIC Statement of Comparability https://enic.org.uk/Qualifications/SOC/Default.aspx to demonstrate your Level 5 qualification is comparable to UK qualifications.
What does it cost?
Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Headship is available for those who meet the following criteria:
- are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school
- work in a state-funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year
- are a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school
- are in the first 24 months of headship
- work in a state-funded school in England
To view the full range of NPQ scholarships and funding pathways available please visit NPQ Funding 2021.
Access to funding remains conditional on successful verification of participants’ registration information against Teaching Regulation Agency records, so you must ensure that the information supplied to your NPQ provider matches your teacher record. You can check and update your record via the Teaching Regulation Agency’ Teacher Self-Service Portal.
Headteacher Apprenticeship with NPQH
The Headteacher Apprenticeship with NPQH offers a funded route to NPQH along with extended leadership training and additional support. Funding comes by way of the Apprenticeship Levy or Co-Investment. Please visit www.bestpracticenet.co.uk/headteacher-apprenticeship-npqh or contact us for more information.
National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Headship Framework
Please see the Naitional Professional Qualification for Headship Framework below. If your computer or device does not support the Adobe plugin you can download the framework pdf here.
When you are ready to apply please visit the Online Application Form.
As part of the application process, you will need to identify and nominate a sponsor. This should be someone with a detailed and professional knowledge of the applicant’s work, impact, professional characteristics, and leadership behaviours. Your sponsor will be expected to confirm your commitment and readiness to complete the NPQ, discuss progress and in-school practice at appropriate intervals alongside providing evidence and verification of completed assigned modules and activities where required.