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National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)


The revised and updated National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) qualification is for those who are, or are aspiring to become, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school, including a head or head of school with cross-school responsibilities.

Our next course will be in Halesowen, starting in October 2018.  The application gateway closes on July 27th, please contact us for an application form.


"Excellent and knowledgeable presenters/facilitators."

"Lots of thinking points to take back to school - great to have lots of discussion."

"It was valuable to have the opportunity to speak to colleagues in other settings who are encountering similar issues and challenges."

(NPQH delegates, Jan 2018)



How is the course structured?

All candidates will study six modules. 

The course consists of:

  • 30 hours of face-to-face learning
  • Regular sessions with your own coach
  • Self-directed study prior to each face to face session
  • Online learning
  • Work on an in-school development project for an additional minimum two hours a week
  • A placement in a contrasting school lasting at least nine working days

Our course includes a 360° diagnostic test. The diagnostic tool is based around the seven leadership behaviours on which you will be focusing during the programme:

Commitment; Collaboration; Personal Drive; Resilience; Awareness; Integrity; Respect

It is designed to enable you to collect the views of your colleagues (peers, team members, line managers, governors) so you are able to analyse your specific needs and leadership competency areas to target, using the programme and your leadership in school to develop and extend areas of knowledge, understanding and competence.

You will have the opportunity to complete the diagnostic at the start and again at the end of the programme and so judge and reflect on the progress you have made.

  • International research into teaching excellence and improvement
  • Partnerships driving improvement
  • Operational versus strategic
  • Working strategically with governors
  • Leading change
  • National Leader of Governance
  • Effective working with headteachers
  • Theoretical models for performance management
  • Using Performance Management and Continuing Professional Development to raise standards
  • Managing capability processes
  • Leadership styles applied to 360° diagnostic
  • Distributed leadership
  • Communicating vision
  • Contrasting leadership styles
  • Session hosted by a Specialist Leader of Education who is a School Business Manager
  • Income generation
  • Statutory requirements for School Business Managers
  • Constructing three and five year budgets
  • High impact of partnerships
  • Business sponsorship
  • National Leader of Education and Specialist Leader of Education partnerships
  • Leading within and across Multi Academy Trusts

"In applying for headship and through the interview process I drew on so many aspects of learning from the NPQH and our final session has given me a great toolkit for the start of September."

"The real strength of this course is taking away practical ideas - and implementing." (NPQH participant April 2018)


The course will takes between 12 and 18 months.

The cost for the NPQH course from September 2017 is £1,800 including externally verified final assessment and 360° diagnostic.

Our face to face sessions are generally delivered in school settings, location dependent on the delivery partner. Sessions are facilitated by experienced teachers and headteachers, with a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge.

These face to face sessions are supported by online learning. With our online system you will be able to access all course materials and final assessment information and track your progress.

We have facilitators across the Midlands – check our course calendar and delivery partners pages for more details. All our partners are serving or former school leaders, with a great track record of delivering quality training. 

You will complete two end of course tasks. Participants must:

Task 1

  • Lead a change programme at whole-school level, lasting at least two terms, to improve pupil progress and attainment.
  • Present the plan to the Governing board prior to implementation and gather their feedback.
  • Submit a 4,000 word written account of the project for assessment.

Task 2

  • Undertake a placement in a contrasting school, lasting at least 9 working days.
  • Design an action plan to address the school's current or projected resource and capability challenges.
  • Present the plan to the placement school's governing board and gather their feedback.
  • Submit a 2,500 word written account of the project for assessment.


The course was very insightful and helped me to secure my first headship for September. I feel the NPQH process is very valuable and has impacted my leadership skills significantly.


To register your interest in one of our courses please complete the form