What Are NPQs And Who Is Eligible?
What are NPQs?
NPQs have been designed with teachers and leaders in mind using the latest evidence and can be completed flexibly around existing commitments.
During the programmes you will:
- learn from the evidence-based curriculum of your chosen qualification, drawing on effective pedagogy, current research and international best practice helping you improve in your current role, or take the next step in your career
- take part in a blend of face-to-face sessions, webinars, and self-directed study
- answer a short, assessed case study question.
Study can last between 12 and 18 months, depending on your chosen NPQ. The course structure is determined by each lead provider and delivered by a local delivery partner - e.g. Unity Teaching School Hub. See FAQs for time commitements for each NPQ.
The 4 NPQs in specialist areas of teaching have been designed with both classroom teachers and leaders in mind. They are:
Leading teacher development – learn how to become a teacher educator and successfully support teachers in your school to expand their skills - for those keen to specialise in supporting the training and development of others.
Leading teaching – learn how to lead the teaching and learning of a subject, year group or phase - for those keen to develop as subject or phase leader and be responsible for improving teaching practice.
Leading behaviour and culture – learn how to create a culture of good behaviour and high expectations in which staff and pupils can thrive - for those keen to develop expertise and responsibility for leading behaviour and culture in your school.
Leading literacy – learn how to effectively teach and promote literacy across the whole school, year group, key stage or phase - for those keen to specialist in literacy and lead and support literacy practice across your school.
The three existing NPQs have been refreshed, ensuring that they are underpinned by the latest evidence of what works:
For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities
National Professional Qualification in Headship (NPQH)
For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school
National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership (NPQEL)
For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, an executive headteacher or have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools
The leadership NPQs are:
Senior leadership – develop your leadership knowledge and expertise to improve outcomes for teachers and pupils in your school - for those who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities
Headship – develop the knowledge that underpins expert school leadership and apply it to become an outstanding headteacher - for those who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school
Executive leadership – develop the expertise you need to become an outstanding executive leader, leading change and improvement across your group of schools or multi-academy trust - for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be an executive headteacher or have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.
Early years leadership – develop expertise in leading high-quality early years education and care, as well as effective staff and organisational management - for those who are, or are aspiring be, managers of private, voluntary and independent nurseries, headteachers or leaders of school-based or maintained nurseries, childminders with leadership responsibilities
Each NPQ is underpinned by a new content framework. These frameworks set out what participants should know and be able to do after completing an NPQ. Providers have used these to design their courses.
Who is eligible to do an NPQ?
All qualified teachers and leaders are eligible to undertake an NPQ - you must have a programme sponsor.
Teachers and leaders that are employed in state funded schools, and state funded organisations that offer 16-19 places in England, are currently able to access a fully funded NPQ. See Details
In addition, for the NPQEYL (NPQ Early Years Leadership), private sector leaders that are qualified to at least Level 3 with a full and relevant qualification who are aspiring to be managers of private, voluntary and independent nurseries, and childminders with leadership responsibilities are also eligible to apply for an NPQ. These qualifications will be funded by the individual or the individual's organisation.
Speak to your employer about getting support to do an NPQ and discuss your chosen NPQ and training provider. Each participant must have an NPQ Sponsor (usually your direct line manager, head of school or another member of the senior leadership team). This is to ensure you get the most from your NPQ and you are supported for the duration of your course. You will be required to name your NPQ course sponsor on your application form. Your course sponsor will need to complete a form confirming their support of your NPQ course. Read more.