Build your knowledge with the NPQ for Leading Behaviour and Culture

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Date published 23 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 Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC) and how it equips you with the tools to lead in creating a school culture where staff and pupils thrive.

The importance of school culture

A growing body of evidence tells us that school culture, particularly the context in which teaching and learning occurs, can have important consequences for pupils. Ambition’s Senior Dean of Learning Design, Jennifer Barker, describes school culture as: “the shared beliefs, values and attitudes and resulting thoughts, behaviours and actions of a school community.” (Expert Edit: Building School Culture)

Conditions that increase pupils’ opportunities to learn have been linked to positive impacts on pupil outcomes. Research shows that school safety, order and academic expectations affect both teachers’ work and their pupils’ learning. A culture of high expectations for pupils, combined with the relevant support, is another factor that enables pupils to succeed. (Kraft & Falken, 2020)

The evidence tells us that better school environments can mean greater success for teachers and their pupils. So, what is it that creates these conditions? How can we put new approaches into practice to drive meaningful change? That’s where the NPQ for Leading Behaviour and Culture comes in.

How can the NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture help?

The NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture is designed to support educators to develop their knowledge in leading behaviour and culture and improve the quality of practices across their school.

The programme helps participants to develop informed and intentional approaches to engage and motivate staff and pupils and to create a safe and positive school-wide culture that effectively supports everyone.

Participants develop their knowledge and skills in areas including setting conditions for learning, motivating classrooms, and working in partnership with colleagues and families.

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

The NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture programme is suitable for teachers, leaders and non-teaching specialists who want to develop their skills and knowledge in leading behaviour and culture across their school.

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.

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What does the NPQ for Leading Behaviour and Culture cover?

  • Teaching and learning
  • Enabling conditions
  • Culture
  • Supporting all pupils
  • Professional development
  • Implementation

What does this mean in practice?

  • It means creating a culture of high expectations.
  • It means supporting the development of a positive, predictable and safe environment for pupils.
  • It means understanding how to ensure that pupils with additional support needs get the right support.
  • It means nurturing improvement through evidence-based professional development.
  • It means putting new approaches to leading behaviour and culture into practice.
  • It means driving meaningful change across your school to support teachers to engage and motivate pupils, to learn.

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


How will I learn?

Our NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture 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 can learn at a time and pace which suits you.

During the 12-month programme, you will benefit from:

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

The content is delivered through a carefully sequenced blended learning approach. 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 have, or be aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in your school.

Suitable roles include:

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

DfE-funded scholarships are available for those who work in a state-funded school or organisations, including those that offer 16-19 places, in England.

Visit the National Professional Qualification in Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC) page to find out more.

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