At a glance


Course duration
Course duration
18 months

Face-to-face events
Virtual Face-to-Face Events

Online learning
Online learning
38 hours

6 hours

Total learning hours
Total Learning Hours
104 hours


National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Headship

NPQH gives candidates all of the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful headship with candidates learning how to:

  • Establish and sustain the school’s strategic direction, with those responsible for governance
  • Establish and sustain an effective culture across the school
  • Establish and sustain effective planning and preparation across the school
  • Ensure teaching across the school includes effective explanations and modelling
  • Ensure teaching across the school stimulates pupil thinking and understanding
  • See the NPQH Framework tab for full programme content


    What are the benefits?

    The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is accredited by the UK Department for Education (DfE). The qualification is delivered by Best Practice Network, a provider of UK accredited qualifications for education professionals worldwide.

    The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is for those who are or are aspiring to become, a Headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school. This includes those with cross-school responsibilities such as a National Leader of Education (NLE).

    We were recently rated ‘Exceptional’ by the DfE’s quality assurance agent and voted ‘Company of the Year’ at the BETT Awards. We are the market leader, and to date have supported over 1500 candidates from 75+ countries to access and complete an NPQ.

    Benefits for participants

    • Focus on and develop the key skills needed for headship
    • Internationally recognised, high standard 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 for young people and staff within the organisation

    "I speak very highly about the programme because of its practicality and the fact that I’m working with principals around the world. For me it’s really refreshing to know that someone else is in a similar position to me and that we can easily share ideas"

    Bev Ross, NPQH, Deputy Principal, International School, Guandong Province, China


    Who is it for?

    National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) – for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.

    The role of a headteacher is complex. 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.

    How is NPQH delivered?

    NPQH makes use of a blended delivery model consisting of virtual Face-to-Face events, online study, webinars and coaching.

    NPQH candidates can choose to complete the programme via our online delivery model. This delivery model replaces the face-to-face events with facilitated webinars as well as extra tutor support and study packs.



    NPQH participants will attend 5 Virtual Face-to-Face events via the blended delivery model. These events give participants the opportunity to learn from exceptional facilitators while fostering valuable connections with peers in the teaching community.

    Our international delivery network allows us to bring in-person events to select countries, facilitated by local school leaders (please contact us for international locations).

    Online Learning

    Candidates access online learning and support via our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas. Through Canvas, candidates are able to engage with their peers, access multimedia content and submit work for assessment.


    Delivery Outline


    NPQSL Framework


    Applicants must have full support from their school/organisation. A head teacher, member of the SLT, line manager or Chair of Governors (or similar authoritative role) must confirm their support and that all information submitted is true and correct. This is a Department for Education mandatory requirement.

    To apply for NPQH, applicants must have the following:

    • Teacher Reference Number (TRN) - see TRN Support Guide 
    • 2 years teaching experience
    • Leadership aspiration/experience
    • Be 18-36 months from applying for a headship role

      If you are unsure if you meet the above requirements or have other relevant experience then please contact our team who will be able to support your application.

      NPQH International costs £2750 plus VAT where applicable. VAT is chargeable on courses funded by private individuals.

      Please refer to our NPQ programme funding guidance document for more information.

      How to apply

      We are now accepting applications for the NPQH. Click below to apply.

      Apply Now


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