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National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

NPQH - Headship

NPQH: Headship is for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school (including a new programme of support for newly appointed Headteachers). Participants will deliver meaningful change in their schools and join a network of like-minded leaders.


All NPQs are taught through a blended balance of online individual learning, online seminars and face-to-face meetings and a simplified end-of-course assessment. There are two cohorts annually, starting in Autumn and Spring.

This programme last for 18 months.

We have an additional support offer for colleagues new to Headship within the NPQH programme. This slightly longer course provides access to free one-to-one support and coaching as well as ongoing support for the first year of headship. Eligibility criteria for this additional support offer:

  • Working in the first 24 months of headship
  • Employed by a state funded school in England (upon starting the training)
  • Have either completed an NPQH before taking up your first post or are currently taking the NPQH
  • Have not withdrawn from the additional support programme previously


The assessment process has been refreshed to reduce the workload burden on teachers while still providing an opportunity for them to apply their knowledge.

To pass an NPQ, teachers will need to engage with at least 90% of the course and complete a final assessment.


Scholarships are available to all teachers and leaders from publicly funded schools and 16 to 19 educational organisations for NPQH. 

Please see the 'NPQ Scholarship Funding for Autumn 2024' tab.