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National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)


The 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.


"A really good course with excellent resources and fantastic knowledge."

"Facilitated with knowledge and confidence which has enhanced my experience."

"An excellent course which I would recommend."


(Leadership Live NPQH delegates)



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.

  • Lead and grow excellent teaching in a school
  • Support pupils of all backgrounds, abilities and particular needs in the school to achieve high standards, including Pupil Premium, SEND, EAL or the most able pupils
  • Systematically review the cumulative impact of initiatives on teacher workload and make proportionate and pragmatic demands on staff
  • Anticipate changes in the external and strategic environment
  • Develop an evidence- based organisational strategy, in collaboration with the governing board
  • Lead a successful whole-school change programme
  • Hold all staff to account for performance using performance management, appraisal, misconduct and grievance systems
  • Create and sustain an environment where all staff are encouraged to develop their own knowledge and skills, and support each other
  • Anticipate capability requirements or gaps in the school and design strategies to fill them
  • Distribute responsibility and accountability throughout the school to improve performance
  • Be an inspiring leader in a range of different situations
  • Communicate and negotiate with different people effectively to make progress on objectives
  • Balance a school’s strategic or educational priorities with financial efficiency
  • Implement accountability arrangements to manage resources and risks effectively and in line with statutory requirements (where applicable, fulfilling the Accounting Officer role as defined in the Academies Financial Handbook)
  • Use different models of partnership working to improve educational provision, sustain a culture of mutual challenge and learn from others (including parents/carers, the wider community and other organisation)
  • Lead an effective partnership which brings benefits to the school and wider education system, particularly in their school’s area(s) of expertise or specialism

"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.


"Thank you so much. You have had such a positive impact on my career in terms of knowledge, understanding and development of my own sense of moral purpose."

"Thank you everyone for the best course I have been on in a long time."

NPQH delegates October 2018