National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)

Within 18 months, you will develop the knowledge that underpins expert school leadership and apply it to become an outstanding headteacher.

  • One of a series of new, evidence-informed NPQs
  • Flexible learning to suit your timetable
  • Combine insight and practice to drive change
  • Gain an NPQ Headship accreditation

Why us?

Ambition Institute’s new National Professional Qualification (NPQ) for Headship gives you the chance to put evidence-based school leadership methods into practice and drive change in your school setting. It also offers the opportunity to focus on specific headship challenges in your school or trust.

The programme uses the latest evidence-based learning and shows you how to put your findings into practice in your school setting. You will train alongside other leaders with similar responsibilities with content organised around the key challenges that you face in your role.

Our NPQs are designed to be highly flexible to fit around your day job. Our ‘little and often’ approach to how the curriculum is delivered will support you to see and feel that you are continually getting better.

Throughout your NPQ, you will have access to Steplab, the market leading professional development platform, built by teachers, for teachers. It has been designed to aid teacher education and maximise the impact of deliberate practice, with practice activities to help you get better faster.

Benefits for you

Enjoy flexible learning
This programme is designed to fit around your timetable and most of the work can be completed at times that suit you.

Learn crucial skills and sector knowledge
All the knowledge you’ll learn on this programme is drawn from a single, evidence-based framework shared by other educators across England.

Learning that sticks
Training is delivered little and often, in regular bite-sized chunks, so there are no long days of training that take you away from your day job. Learning in short, sharp bursts also helps you to retain knowledge.

Thrive in your school setting
Develop the knowledge and skills to work to the best of your ability and tackle the complexities and challenges of your daily role.

Drive habit change
Embedding new habits can be tricky. Our dual modules help you to apply what you learn, connecting theory to practice, to help those habits stick. Insight modules capture the very best the sector has to contribute on a given topic. Application modules help you to use the ideas in context, with support from peers.

Benefits for your school or trust

Create confident school leaders
Headteachers are equipped with school-focused leadership knowledge, which they can use to establish a culture and conditions where staff and pupils can thrive.

Underpinned by the latest evidence
The framework for the new NPQ for Headship was developed using the latest evidence on effective professional development for teachers and leaders, approved by the Education Endowment Fund (EFF).

Shared learning
Participants learn alongside colleagues whose context is similar, facilitated by delivery partners who know and understand your needs.

Create a common knowledge base
All our NPQs are aligned, meaning teachers and leaders share a common language and framework to drive improvement in their school.

Transform pupil outcomes
Education Policy Institute research shows that high quality professional development can improve pupil outcomes almost as effectively as having a teacher with 10 years’ experience in the classroom.*

Evidence-informed

This is one of six new and reformed NPQs that have been developed as a series. They share the same common language and framework to help drive improvement across schools.

Curriculum

Our programmes are designed for participants to engage in both live, facilitated sessions and modules that you can complete at any time.

Over 18 months, this includes:

  • A school visit.
  • Two full day conferences (6hrs each).
  • Nine courses (each course lasts six weeks).
  • Each course includes six modules.
  • Six two-hour clinics (facilitated sessions).
  • One two-hour assessment clinic.
  • Nine communities (one-hour group sessions).

What you'll learn

This programme develops your knowledge and skills in the 10 areas listed in the Department for Education’s NPQ Headship Framework.

You will learn how to:

  • set clear goals and communicate shared values that improve classroom and school culture
  • transform pupils’ knowledge, capabilities and beliefs about learning
  • create a fair and structured approach to learning and testing
  • establish a safe and positive environment for pupils
  • support colleagues to meet individual needs and make sure all pupils have access to a rich curriculum
  • lead school-wide professional development for staff
  • establish good financial, human and educational resource management
  • make and act on evidence-informed decisions
  • work well with parents, carers, other schools and the wider community
  • lead by example, be accountable for decisions and make sure staff know their professional responsibilities.

Note: programme content is subject to change.

How you'll learn

The content is delivered through blended learning. This includes real-time, interactive online sessions, Covid-safe face-to-face conferences and self-guided modules you can fit around your timetable. You will put what you learn into practice in your school and be able to track your progress and get feedback as you go. The programme also includes coaching and peer learning.

Note: programme content is subject to change.

Partners

You can join our central cohort for this programme, or work with a delivery partner in your region for an experience that’s more tailored to your local context. Either way, we work to give you the best possible experience.

You can find a list of our partners here.

What our partners can do for you

Ambition Institute provides high-quality content and materials, built on our experience in schools and our deep knowledge of the evidence and practice.

Our partner in your region will contextualise this knowledge and manage your experience on the programme, from high-quality facilitation to day-to-day support.

Tailored approaches

Our partner in your region will provide more information on how your NPQ will be delivered. The timings and methods of activity, sizes of cohorts and the cost of the programme may vary across delivery partners.

Contacting partners

Contact local delivery partners in your area for more information.

Assessment

The assessment window starts at the end of the 18-month programme and runs for three months. During this time, participants will be given an eight-day window to sit an ‘open book’ style assessment in which they respond to a short case study.

There are two assessment windows every year, and participants can sit the assessment two times, if they need to.

You need to complete the course to qualify for the NPQ accreditation.

We will offer a webinar and live clinic in advance of the assessment window to support participants.

Testimonials

Cost

The National Professional Qualification for Headship costs £1,980 plus VAT.

DfE-funded scholarships are available for this NPQ. They are available to those who meet the following criteria:

  • Are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
  • Work in a state funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year.

OR

  • Are a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
  • Are in the first 2 academic years of headship.
  • Work in a state funded school in England.

Contact us to find out if you are eligible.

Apply

Applications are now open for our November cohort. Fill out this quick enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch with next steps.

To apply, you must be or aspire to be a headteacher or head of school with a responsibility for leading a school.

Interested in the programme?