National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are trusted, transferable qualifications accredited by the Department for Education. They are designed to help teachers hone and develop the skills they already have, helping them become a more effective leader inside and outside the classroom and to facilitate excellence across a range of contexts. We are committed to ensuring that NPQs continue to offer the best possible support to teachers and leaders wanting to expand their knowledge and skills.

We are excited to be delivering the new reformed suite of NPQs from November 2021. The three existing NPQs in Senior Leadership, Headship and Executive Leadership have been refreshed, ensuring that they are underpinned by the latest evidence of what works in schools to deliver the highest quality of education of young people. The current middle leader NPQ has been replaced with three new specialist NPQs.

John Winter
Pathfinder NPQ Lead

“Following on from the successful delivery of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) in the Yorkshire-Humber region over the last 4 years, I am delighted to be involved in the leading and delivery of the new reformed NPQ’s on behalf of Pathfinder Teaching School Hub and in collaboration with a range of regional partners. These new NPQs offer an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate across the region to further improve teaching and leadership in our schools so that pupils can be taught by an expert teacher and led by expert leaders.”

NPQs for Autumn 2022 include the new NPQ for Early Years Leadership and NPQ for Leading Literacy – express your interest now

NPQ Expression of Interest

We are currently recruiting Facilitators (Visiting Fellows) for the delivery of NPQs starting in Autumn 2022.  If you would like to nominate colleagues, please complete this short form.  For further information and a job description please click here.

NPQ in Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL)

To apply, you need to be an early years practitioner who is qualified to at least level three, with a full and relevant early years or teaching qualification.

You will be, or will be aspiring to be:

  • A manager of a private, voluntary or independent early years setting
  • A headteacher of a school-based or maintained early years setting
  • An early years foundation stage leader in a state funded school
  • A childminder with leadership responsibilities.

This programme follows the Department for Education’s National Professional Qualification: Early Years Leadership Framework.

You will learn how to:

  • Set a strategic direction for your early years setting and apply ambitious standards for all children
  • Champion evidence-based practice
  • Plan and deliver care and a high-quality curriculum to support children’s development
  • Establish communication, language and literacy approaches to support children’s learning
  • Make sure all children experience success
  • Identify children who need support and make appropriate referrals
  • Create an environment for all children and colleagues where everyone feels welcome and safe.

Note: programme content is subject to change.

The programme is delivered through blended learning. This includes a mix of real-time interactive online sessions, face-to-face training, peer-led sessions and self-guided modules which you complete in your own time.

The programmes are designed so you can engage in live, facilitated sessions alongside modules you can complete at any time.

Over 18 months, this includes:

  • Two live conferences (each lasting six hours)
  • Nine courses (each course lasts six weeks)
  • Each course includes six modules
  • 54 insight and practice modules (completed at a time that suits you)
  • Seven two-hour online clinics (facilitated sessions)
  • One two-hour assessment clinic
  • Nine online communities (one-hour group sessions)

Note: programme content is subject to change.

NPQ in Leading Literacy (NPQLL)

To apply, you must be leading, or aspiring to lead, literacy in any phase of education. For example, you might be a head of literacy or literacy coordinator at your school or multi-academy trust.

This programme follows the Department for Education’s National Professional Qualification: Leading Literacy Framework.

You will:

  • Learn how to support staff, of all subject specialisms, to develop pupils’ language and literacy skills
  • Learn how pupils develop aspects of literacy, including:

understanding how children learn to talk, and how developing effective spoken language supports literacy
development at every age and stage

understanding how children learn to become fluent readers and how teachers can help with this, from primary
all the way through to secondary

exploring the importance of subject-specific vocabulary and different strategies to teaching this

knowing how to support pupils’ writing – whether learning to write in primary school, through to writing
academically at key stage five

  • Learn how to support, develop and teach pupils literacy using evidence-informed approaches
  • Learn how to lead literacy through curriculum, culture and motivation
  • Understand how effective literacy education can support your school
  • Contribute to effective professional development for literacy, linking it to teaching, the curriculum and assessment across the school.

Note: programme content is subject to change.

The programmes are designed so you can engage in live, facilitated sessions alongside modules you can complete at any time.

Over 12 months, this includes:

  • One full day conference.
  • Six courses (each course lasts six weeks).
  • Each course includes six modules.
  • Five two-hour clinics (facilitated sessions).
  • One two-hour assessment clinic.
  • Six communities (one-hour group sessions).

Each of the six courses within the programme is taught through a combination of independent self-study modules, a facilitated live clinic, and a peer-led community session. The programme starts with a one-day live conference.

Note: programme content is subject to change.

Specialist NPQs

Leading Teacher Development

Course begins
TBC Autumn 2022

Length of programme
12 months

Cost
£900 plus VAT*

Who is it for?
To apply, you must be a teacher who has, or is aspiring to have, responsibility for leading other educators to develop. You might support all teachers in your school, trainees or those early in their career.

Example roles could include: Head of Teacher Development/CPD, Year Leader, Subject Leader, Key Stage/Phase Leader/HoD, Assistant Head, Aspirant Middle Leaders etc

Leading Teaching

Course begins
TBC Autumn 2022

Length of programme
12 months

Cost
£900 plus VAT*

Who is it for?
To apply, you must be a teacher who has, or is aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage or phase.

Example roles could include: Subject Leader, Key Stage/Phase Leader, HoD, Assistant Head, Aspirant Middle Leaders etc

Leading Behaviour and Culture

Course begins
TBC Autumn 2022

Length of programme
12 months

Cost
£900 plus VAT*

Who is it for?
To apply, you must be a teacher or non-teacher who has, or is aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in your school.

Example roles could include: Pastoral Lead, Head of Behaviour, Assistant Head, SENDCo, HoY, Safeguarding Lead, Head of House, Pastoral Support Worker, Chaplains, Aspirant Middle Leaders etc.

Leadership NPQs

Alongside the specialist NPQs we will offer the Senior Leadership, Headship and Executive Leadership NPQs.

Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

Course begins
TBC Autumn 2022

Length of programme
18 months

Cost
£1,140 plus VAT*

Who is it for?
To apply, you must be, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities. For example, you might be an assistant or deputy headteacher, or a head of department or faculty.

Example roles could include: Assistant Head, Associate Assistant Head, Deputy Head, Head of Faculty, HoY, HoD, Head or Phase or Key Stage, SENDCo, Aspirant Senior Leaders etc.

Headship (NPQH)

Course begins
TBC Autumn 2022

Length of programme
18 months

Cost
£1,980 plus VAT*

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

Additional Support Offer for New Headteachers

Course begins
TBC

Length of programme
12 months

Cost
£800 plus VAT*

Who is it for?
New headteachers are eligible for this targeted support package if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They are in their first two years of headship.
  • They have either completed the NPQH before taking up their first headship post or are currently taking the NPQH.
  • They have not withdrawn from or failed the same programme previously.
  • They are employed by a state funded school in England upon starting the training.

Executive Leadership

Course begins
TBC Autumn 2022

Length of programme
18 months

Cost
£4,099 plus VAT*

Who is it for?
To apply, you must be a school leader who is, or is aspiring to be, an executive headteacher or have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.

* Fully funded for all state funded schools / state funded organisations offering 16-19 education in England.

Delivery partner

We are proud to be working in partnership with Ambition Institute to deliver the full range of Specialist and Leadership NPQs. We believe that Ambition’s system-led leadership programme offers the best experience for colleagues embarking on these qualifications. The blend of clinics, conferences and communities offers a high-quality CPD experience across all NPQs.

“As a leader of a large multi academy trust, I see first hand the value of these qualifications. The NPQs provide the opportunity to drive staff development, leadership and progression locally within individual schools and also across the wider trust. Most importantly, these qualifications all support the improvement of provision and practice in the classroom and thus improving outcomes for the children in our care.”

Gail Brown, CEO Ebor Academy Trust

Frequently Asked Questions

For all programmes the time commitment for a participant is at least 50 minutes per week.  The 50 minutes study each week is made up of a combination of Insight and Application modules.

Insight modules: Weeks 1, 3 and 5 are independent and can be accessed whenever you want during the week through an online platform.  Through accessing the Insight modules, you will engage with new learning linked to your NPQ programme at your own pace.

Application modules: Weeks 2, 4 and 6 are completed with a `buddy’ so you will pair up and spend those 50 minutes (max) together either virtually or in person.  Your buddy will provide support throughout the programme.

In addition to the Insight and Application modules, there will be scheduled Clinics (2hr) and Communities (1hr).  As a rough guide, you will have a Clinic and a Community each half-term.

NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC: The only time out of school required is for the one-day launch Conference and one of the twilight Clinics (which is scheduled approximately halfway through the Programme).

All other Clinics are run virtually (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The Programme lasts for 12 months, comprising six six-week courses).

NPQSL: Two days out of school, the launch Conference and a second Conference at the 3/4 point of the Programme.  All Clinics are run inside the working day but outside of teaching time (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The Programme lasts for 18 months, comprising nine six-week courses.

NPQH: Three days out of school, the launch Conference and a Conference at the 3/4 point of the programme.  You will also be required to do a school visit to another school and can timetable that yourself.  All Clinics are run inside the working day but outside of teaching time (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The programme lasts for 18 months, comprising nine six-week courses.

The Assessment is a case study of 2000 words, which you read, and have 7 days to respond to in no more than 1500 words (essay style, continuous prose).  The Clinics that you will attend every 6 weeks take you through problem-solving/scenario based approaches to problem-solving, so this is great preparation for the Assessment.  The Assessment Clinic at the end of the programme will also prepare you for your 1500 word response.  You must also engage with at least 90% of the Course Content/Clinics/Conferences/Communities throughout your course to pass.

At present, teachers and school leaders in all state schools in England (including Post-16 organisations) are now entitled to free places for all six NPQs.  In addition to this, the NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture is free to non-teaching staff.

Access to funding remains conditional upon successful validation of participant registration information against Teaching Regulation Agency records, so you must ensure that the information supplied to your NPQ provider matches your teacher record.  You can check and update your record via the Teaching Regulation Agency Teacher Self-Service Portal.

If you are not eligible for scholarship funding (eg work in an Independent school), you can still undertake an NPQ.  Please contact us for further information.

Clinics are two-hour, facilitated sessions that aim to check participant understanding of the content delivered through the Insight and Application modules in previous six-week course, address common misconceptions, further contextualise the content and support the building of a community/network.

Communities are structured, peer-led sessions focussing on solving problems, applying the theory in context and supporting with network building.  The aim of your Community sessions is to help you to:

  • Identify your trickiest professional problems and explore ways to address them;
  • Learn from one another’s experiences and develop a network of support;
  • Improve knowledge and practice around the NPQ framework.