Fully funded NPQ deadline approaching. Apply by 16 January 2024.

Five things every school leader needs to know about the NPQs

Sept. 1, 2023
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Ambition Institute

You can transform the quality of teaching and leadership in your school, and the professional development of your staff, with National Professional Qualifications (NPQs).

There are eight fully funded National Professional Qualifications available to teachers and school leaders in England.

For teachers and school leaders who want to deepen their specialist knowledge there are National Professional Qualifications in leading teacher development, leading teaching, leading literacy and leading behaviour and culture. For those wanting to develop their leadership skills, there are National Professional Qualifications in senior leadership, headship, executive leadership and early years leadership.

All the National Professional Qualifications are informed by the best research and evidence on what works in teaching and school leadership. They focus on what teachers and school leaders need to build their expertise so that they can have an even bigger impact on school improvement and pupil outcomes.

Here’s what you need to know about the National Professional Qualifications to make the most of them for your school or trust.

1. This could be the last time NPQs are fully funded for all schools

NPQs are currently fully funded for people who meet the eligibility criteria and work in state-funded schools, academies and organisations that offer age 16 to 19 places in England. The 2023/24 academic year is currently the last time this funding is guaranteed by the Department for Education (DfE). This follows their commitment to fully fund all state schools for the first three years of the NPQs. Make the most of this opportunity to get high quality, career defining development for your staff at no cost to them or your organisation.

Other settings eligible to access scholarships include:

> independent special schools.

> virtual schools (local authority run organisations that support the education of children in care).

> hospital schools not already included in other categories of eligible organisations.

> young offender institutions.

2. Almost all roles are eligible

There’s a National Professional Qualification option for almost all teachers and leaders working in your school(s). All four specialist NPQs are open to everyone from classroom teachers to heads of department, phase or subject to the senior leadership team. The leadership NPQs are available to current or aspiring leaders.

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3. Multiple people can do NPQs at the same time

As many teachers and leaders as you like from your school or trust can take a National Professional Qualification at the same time. There’s no limit to the number of staff any organisation can have doing an NPQ, and they can be the same NPQ or different ones. Learning together will increase the impact of professional development in your team.

4. Teachers and leaders can do a second (or third) NPQ

If someone has completed a National Professional Qualification (old or reformed) they can do another, so long as they have completed any previous NPQ before starting their next one. Perfect for anyone looking to move into the next stage of their career or who wants to deepen a specialism.

5. Small schools benefit from extra grant funding for classroom cover

Schools with between one and 600 pupils will get a grant payment of £200 per participant for every teacher or leader they employ who does a National Professional Qualification. This is provided through the Department for Education’s Targeted Support Fund for small schools, and schools don’t need to apply for it. This per teacher payment rises to £800 where the employing organisation is a primary school with between one and 150 pupils.

Apply by 19 September for NPQs starting in October 2023. Sign up on our programme page.

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