Build your expertise with the NPQ in Leading Teaching

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Date published 16 February 2023

Since September 2021 Ambition Institute has welcomed teachers and school leaders from across the country onto our National Professional Qualification (NPQ) programmes.

This article outlines the National Professional Qualification in Leading Teaching (NPQLT) , and how it equips teachers and leaders to develop expertise in teaching and leading teams of teachers across a year, phase, or subject.

The impact of teachers and leaders

When it comes to pupil achievement, no single factor is as influential as improving the quality of teaching and school leadership (Sutton Trust, 2011). By building the right knowledge and understanding, teachers and leaders can make a real difference to young people’s lives.

Even experienced teachers can develop their practice. Research tells us, while most teachers’ improvement slows in the first five to ten years of their career, effective professional development has been shown to help teachers keep getting better throughout their careers (Kraft & Papay 2014).

In fact, teachers who are engaged in high-quality professional development have a significant effect on their pupils’ learning outcomes (Zuccollo & Fletcher-Wood, 2020). The most expert teachers cover twice as much content over the same period of time as the least expert teachers, leading to better results and life chances for the young people they teach, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds (Cambridge Assessment, 2006).

There’s no doubting the impact of an expert teacher. So how do you become an expert? And how do you transfer this knowledge to your colleagues? Our NPQ in Leading Teaching addresses these questions and more.

How can the NPQ in Leading Teaching help?

The NPQ in Leading Teaching is designed to help teachers develop knowledge and understanding of what excellent classroom teaching looks like. It also gives participants the tools to develop the skills to become a high performing leader of teaching.

During the course, participants develop their expertise in areas including instruction, curriculum, assessment, classroom culture and adaptive teaching.

This NPQ also teaches participants how to help their colleagues adapt their teaching to different needs, design and deliver effective professional development, and align colleagues’ learning with wider school priorities.

Our 'little and often' approach uses the latest evidence to help teachers put their learning into practice in their school setting. Participants connect with other teachers with similar roles and responsibilities, training alongside each other to build on their shared knowledge and experiences.

The NPQ for Leading Teaching programme is suitable for any teacher who wants to develop their leadership skills and classroom expertise, no matter their seniority or responsibilities.

The programme’s depth and specific focus mean it could also be a developmental opportunity for senior leaders to deepen their expertise, as we discuss in this blog.

Randal Cremer_child at desk studying with teacher1

What does the NPQ in Leading Teaching contain?

  • Culture and Learning
  • Assessment
  • Instruction
  • Subject and Curriculum
  • Professional Development
  • Implementation

What does this mean in practice?

  • It means understanding important ideas about the science of learning
  • It means knowing what good teaching practice is and how to implement it
  • It means planning effective lessons and stimulating your pupils’ thinking
  • It means helping colleagues to adapt their teaching to different needs
  • It means developing curriculum with clear purpose, aims and sequencing
  • It means understanding how to lead purposeful and responsive assessment
  • It means supporting teachers to keep getting better

Most of all, it means building the skills and confidence to excel in your practice and improve outcomes for your pupils.

Randal Cremer_leaders talking sharing notes

How is the programme delivered?

Our NPQ in Leading Teaching is designed to be flexible to fit alongside your schedule. Training is delivered with a little and often approach to support knowledge retention, and you will have the opportunity to learn at a time and pace which supports you.

During the 12 month programme, you will benefit from:

  • One full day conference.
  • Six courses (each course lasts six weeks), each including six modules.
  • Five two-hour clinics (facilitated sessions).
  • One two-hour assessment clinic.
  • Six communities (one-hour group sessions).

The programme is delivered through a carefully sequenced blend of content. This includes a mix of real-time interactive sessions, face-to-face training, peer-led sessions and self-guided modules you complete in your own time.

You will have access to Steplab, the innovative learning platform specifically designed for teacher education. Watch the video below to see how it works. You can find out more about Steplab in this blog.

Who is eligible?

To apply, you must be a teacher who has, or is aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage or phase.

Suitable roles include:

  • Classroom teacher
  • Head of department, phase, key stage or subject
  • Head of teaching development or CPD lead
  • Deputy or assistant headteacher
  • Headteacher or principal

Visit our NPQ in Leading Teaching page for more information.

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