National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)

We are pleased to announce that we are partnering with education charity Ambition Institute to deliver the NPQ for Headship. In 18 months, you will develop the knowledge that underpins expert school leadership and apply it to becoming an outstanding headteacher. This NPQ will help you to put evidence-based school leadership methods into practice and focus on specific headship challenges in your school or trust.

With no project work and minimal time out of school, the NPQH is designed to fit around your busy timetable.


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


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

  • Have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development for other teachers in their school
  • Work in a state-funded school or organisation that offers education to 16-19-year-olds in England
From September 2022, eligible organisations now 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


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

Over 18 months, 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.

How you’ll learn
The content is delivered through blended learning. This includes real-time, interactive online sessions, 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.


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

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

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

We offer a live clinic in advance of the assessment window to support you.