National Professional Qualification
for Headship (NPQH)
For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
Develop Your Understanding of the Key Concepts Underpinning Successful Headship
Awards 60 Master's Credits
Set an Ambitious School Vision and Establish a Culture in Which Staff and Pupils are Able to Thrive
Register Your Interest for Spring 2024
The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is for those who are or are aspiring to become, a Headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school. This includes those with cross-school responsibilities such as a National Leader of Education (NLE).
We were recently rated ‘Exceptional’ by the DfE’s quality assurance agent and voted ‘Company of the Year’ at the BETT Awards. We are the market leader, and to date have supported over 1500 candidates from 75+ countries to access and complete an NPQ.
National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Headship
NPQH gives candidates all of the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful headship with candidates learning how to:
- Establish and sustain the school’s strategic direction, with those responsible for governance
- Establish and sustain an effective culture across the school
- Establish and sustain effective planning and preparation across the school
- Ensure teaching across the school includes effective explanations and modelling
- Ensure teaching across the school stimulates pupil thinking and understanding
- See the NPQH programme tab for full programme content
What are the benefits?In recent years, Best Practice Network has grown into a nationwide network of 165 schools, multi-school organisations, dioceses and university partners. The extensive expertise and diversity of our partner network allows us to develop rich, phase-specific, programme content which is delivered and facilitated by local experts in local schools.
Benefits for candidates
- Focus on and develop the key skills needed for headship
- Internationally recognised, high standard for leadership development
- Challenge and development to deliver educational excellence in a self-improving system which will enable high-quality outcomes for pupils and students
- Time to reflect on leadership practice and to network with a wide range of school leaders
- Increased awareness and understanding of self and of the behaviours needed to lead a school
- Increased confidence to drive the vision and improve standards
- Increased capability and capacity to take on whole-school responsibility and a strengthened ability to hold others to account
Benefits for schools
- Support succession of school leaders and build a cohesive, impact-focused school leadership team
- A professionally aware and informed leader who can make evidence-based decisions and approach new challenges in an effective and efficient manner
- The ability to delegate responsibility effectively empowering staff to lead on whole-school improvement
- The ability to review and evaluate practice in order to bring about change and get the best for young people and staff within the organisation
National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) for International Schools
Outstanding Leaders Partnership began delivering National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) to international schools in 2018. Since then, thousands of international schools colleagues have completed our prestigious qualifications, helping them to become more effective school leaders.
The majority of our international NPQ candidates complete the qualifications through our remote online delivery model where the face-to-face elements are delivered via interactive facilitated webinars. International face-to-face NPQ delivery is also available, please contact us for your nearest group. If you would like to host NPQs in your school or schools group then please visit our partnerships page.
Remote Online Delivery for International Schools
For colleagues working in international schools, we are able to deliver the National Professional Qualification for Leading Teaching (NPQLT) entirely online.
Participants access the qualification resources through our award winning Virtual Learning Environment, Canvas, where they engage with international schools colleagues from around the world to discuss the resources and collaborate to complete the various tasks.
NPQLT candidates will attend 3 face-to-face events if they choose to complete the programme via the blended delivery model. Our international delivery network allows us to bring face-to-face training to a school near you and facilitated by local school leaders (please contact us for international locations).
Candidates access online learning and support via our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas. Through Canvas, candidates are able to engage with their peers, access multimedia content and submit work for assessment.
NPQH Qualification Structure
National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Headship Framework
The NPQ frameworks are based on a robust method of design and development, building on the evidence base and expert guidance already established in the ECF and the ITT Core Content Framework. The NPQ frameworks reflect the Teachers’ Standards and Headteachers' Standards to ensure coherency with the requirements already used by the teaching profession.
Please see the National Professional Qualification for Headship Framework below. If your computer or device does not support the Adobe plugin you can download the framework pdf here.
Who is this for?
National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) – for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
The role of a headteacher is complex. Although some headteachers and principals still teach, the role is primarily a strategic and operational one and relies on working with and through their colleagues (in particular, through the leadership team) to ensure every pupil gets an excellent education.
Applicants must have full support from their school/organisation. A head teacher, member of the SLT, line manager or Chair of Governors (or similar authoritative role) must confirm their support and that all information submitted is true and correct. This is a Department for Education mandatory requirement.
To apply for NPQH, applicants must have the following:
- Teacher Reference Number (TRN)
- 2 years teaching experience
- Leadership aspiration/experience
- Be 18-36 months from applying for a headship role
If you are unsure if you meet the above requirements or have other relevant experience then please contact our team who will be able to support your application.
What does it cost?
The cost of NPQH International is £2500 plus VAT where applicable. VAT is chargeable on courses funded by private individuals.
We are now accepting applications for the Spring 2024 NPQH Cohort. Click below to apply.