The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is the first choice qualification for anyone aspiring to be a Headteacher.

This qualification has a flexible, modular structure that combines core modules with the freedom to specialise or develop your own professional areas of interest through the choice of elective modules.

Who is this for?

NPQH is for highly motivated senior leaders ready to be a headteacher, who are no more than 12–18 months from applying for headship posts and ready to take up a headship as soon as they graduate.

What are the benefits?

  • Benefit from facilitation and mentoring from outstanding leaders across all phase including LLEs and NLEs and accredited Ofsted Inspectors
  • Face to face sessions will take place across the North West, at venues centred around applicant locations
  • Opt to accrue Credits and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points to contribute towards a Master’s degree through the University of Chester

How is it delivered?

The Leading Schools Alliance offers a flexible combination of blended learning and support opportunities that includes face to face sessions, online learning, leadership learning groups, personal tutor and peer support.

  • Follow a flexible modular structure with the freedom to specialise or develop your own professional areas of interest.
  • You will be supported through the programme by a tutor. Your tutor will provide a mixture of learning facilitation, coaching and pastoral support. Contact with the tutor will be face to face, by telephone and online.
  • You will attend six face-to face sessions.
  • To achieve NPQH you will need to successfully complete three essential and two elective modules. 
  • Participants will complete and action a research project in their own school which must have a demonstrable impact.
  • You will take part in a nine day school placement which will shape your final project.

Essential modules:

Leading and improving teaching- Through this module you’ll learn how to develop, improve and sustain high-quality teaching across a school. You’ll also develop your knowledge and understanding of the importance of teachers’ subject knowledge, effective planning and accurate pupil assessment.

Leading an effective school - This module explores the key management systems required in an effective school, particularly teacher performance, pupil behaviour and financial management. This includes legislation linked to these systems, and how to implement a consistent and effective staff performance management system to quickly tackle staff underperformance and address capability across the whole school. Human resources are also addressed.

Succeeding in headship- This module will prepare you for your first headship. You’ll learn about the essential legal and accountability components of headship and governance, with a focus on how successful heads operate in practice. You’ll also build the knowledge needed to achieve a successful strategic relationship with the governing body, and consider relationships with other key groups within and beyond the school.

Elective modules:

Curriculum development - In this module, NPQH participants will be taught how to lead the development and implementation of a broad, flexible curriculum that includes the national curriculum and is appropriate to context and needs. The curriculum should ensure all pupils achieve their full academic potential and improve their spiritual, moral, social and culture development. The module covers curriculum design, development and delivery, including use of effective assessment to monitor, support and improve pupils’ progress.

Using data and evidence to improve performance - This module teaches participants how to analyse and interpret a range of quantitative and qualitative data to monitor and evaluate progress, identify strengths and weaknesses and set school improvement priorities. School evaluation and working with key groups (governors, teachers, parents, pupils) to consider evidence will be included in this module. Participants will learn how to interrogate research evidence and use it discerningly.

Leading staff and effective teams - This module will enable NPQH participants to know how to work with staff to establish and implement effective professional development that improves teaching and pupil attainment. Participants will be taught about delegation, talent development, succession planning and teamwork that is characterised by high expectations and collective responsibility for school improvement.

School improvement through effective partnerships - This module will teach participants how to work successfully with different partners to address school improvement priorities. Using international research evidence drawn from a range of sectors, participants will consider how to establish both formal and informal partnerships that benefit pupils. Participants will know how to secure more effective links with the school’s existing partners and be taught about the range of school improvement partnerships with, for example, chains of academies, voluntary and business organisations.

Leadership in diverse contexts - This module will give NPQH participants access to a range of half modules created by the National College, academy and school leaders and other organisations which will emphasise the unique features of specific education contexts. Selection of half modules will reflect the diverse and changing nature of schools and contexts where headship recruitment can be a challenge. Participants will consider the leadership implications of these contexts.

Leading change for improvement - This module will teach NPQH participants the essential knowledge linked to leading change in practice. Building on Michael Fullan’s research work and using one of his analytical tools, participants will develop their own knowledge to help them lead change in their school as a senior leader.

Closing the gap - This module will teach NPQH participants how to close gaps in achievement and attainment that can occur across specific groups of pupils, particularly addressing the needs of disadvantaged pupils, including those entitled to free school meals. The module considers how to identify gaps, diagnose causes and address within-school variation (eg differences in performance by teachers with similar groups of pupils). Evidence drawn from research will be used to demonstrate which pupils perform least well nationally and why.

Leading inclusion: achievement for all - This module teaches aspiring heads how to improve practice and raise expectations so that all pupils, but particularly those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, can achieve. Participants will be taught how to implement the key strategies from the Department for Education project, Achievement for All - improving assessment, tracking and intervention; working more effectively with parents; and improving wider outcomes for children and young people.

Leading professional development - This module focuses on how leaders develop successful partnerships with pupils, parents, governors, other schools and the wider school community and how to capitalise on these partnerships to improve outcomes for pupils.

Freedoms and constraints -This module is about using the autonomy of free school status to create a successful, innovative and resilient school. Participants will explore successful school systems in other parts of the world, and projects that have benefited from using creative, alternative approaches to raising achievement and standards. They will consider the importance of their vision and strategic planning for long-term sustainability.

The module will cover how to create the conditions for innovation, using the freedoms of a free school to develop new ways of working. The challenges of getting the right people on board in a start-up setting, ensuring a high performance culture, developing leadership capability and effective team work will also be included. Participants will have the opportunity to think about and compare their experience with examples from inside and outside education in this country and internationally

Relationships and reputation - The participants will learn about the ways in which free schools connect with, and act as expressions of, community aspiration. With significant levels of autonomy, free schools have the potential to engage with local communities in a powerful way to meet their needs.

The module will cover the added value which active community engagement can bring to a school’s work and to the social health of the community. Participants will explore characteristics of community-led developments and examine factors that contribute to success. They will understand how successful organisations build and manage their reputations and brands by taking a strategic approach to communication. They will also consider what success, accountability and self-evaluation mean in the free school context.

Leading professional development - This module focuses on how leaders develop successful partnerships with pupils, parents, governors, other schools and the wider school community and how to capitalise on these partnerships to improve outcomes for pupils.

Candidates can opt to complete the NPQH programme in 6-18 months. Our typical delivery model covers a 12 month period. A distance learning model is available for candidates dependent on their location and circumstances. There is also the opportunity to study individual elective units, please contact us to learn more.

What does it cost?

  • The subsidised fee payable for teachers in state schools in England is £1357 inclusive of assessment.
  • For schools in England with less than 100 pupils there is no fee for training or assessment.
  • The fee for teachers in independent schools is £2557. Assessment fees are £1500.
  • Overseas fees vary – please contact us for details.

How do I apply/find out more?

The National College application window for NPQH intake 7, is open between 6th April and 22nd May 2015. Applications must be made to the National College for Teaching and Leadership, details of how the apply can be found on the DfE website.If your application form provides sufficient evidence that you meet the competency requirements for NPQH, you will be invited to attend the second stage of the application process: a one-day assessment event.

If you have successfully completed your NPQH gateway assessment, the next step is to apply with a licensee.  Applicants awaiting the outcome of  their gateway assessment are required to register with a licensee between 22 June 2015 and 10 July 2015 (intake 6). Successful applicants from intake 7 are required to select their licensee between 23 November 2015 and 18 December 2015.

Applicants successful at the gateway stage will receive a Unique Reference Number from the National College. Once they receive  this, they can apply for a NPQH place with us via our online online application form matching skills and experience against the competencies within the NPQH assessment framework. Your sponsor (usually your line manager) will need to endorse your application form to confirm your suitability and readiness for headship and NPQH.

To register for NPQH with the Leading Schools Alliance please use the link below, or for more information please contact our Teaching School office on (0151) 645 5049 or email enquiries@sjptsa.com.