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National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

Reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

In September 2021, a reformed suite of national professional qualifications (NPQs) became available for teachers and leaders who want to develop their knowledge and skills in school leadership and specialist areas of teaching practice, underpinned by the latest evidence.

NPQ Scholarship Funding for Autumn 2024

Funding for autumn 2024 will target those teachers and leaders who work in the most challenging schools or educational settings, serving more disadvantaged communities. 

Scholarship funding to cover the full NPQ course cost will be available to teachers and leaders from: 

  • the 50% of schools with the highest proportion of students who attract pupil premium funding 
  • 16 to 19 educational settings identified as having high disadvantage 

For the early years leadership NPQ, highly disadvantaged early years settings will also be eligible.    

Scholarships will continue to be available to all teachers and leaders from publicly funded schools and 16 to 19 educational organisations for the following NPQs: 

  • leading primary mathematics  
  • SENCO  
  • headship  

ITT Lead Mentors will continue to be in scope for scholarship funding for the NPQ for Leading Teacher Development for the Autumn 2024 cohort. This includes ITT Lead Mentors working in non-school settings and in school settings that are not eligible for funding for other NPQs. To be eligible, the applicant must hold the role of ITT Lead Mentor and work with an accredited ITT Provider.

For the early headship coaching offer, funding to cover the course fees will be available if you are in your first 5 years of headship in England in a state-funded school or state-funded 16 to 19 organisation. You should also be doing or have done the headship NPQ.  

The NPQs are in important aspect of the government's golden thread of teacher and leader development:

SFET Teaching School Hub is delighted to deliver all 10 specialist and leadership NPQs in partnership with STSN and Teach First. This partnership brings together the best local knowledge and context with the experience and programmes of Teach First.

Click here to see our latest NPQ brochure. 

How are NPQs Delivered?

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.

We currently have over 1400 teachers and leaders participating across all NPQs and making a positive impact on children's outcomes straight away. Join them by applying for our Autumn or Spring/Summer cohorts here.

Our NPQs support teachers and leaders who want to take the next step on their leadership journey and are motivated to make a difference in their school. Participants will develop core knowledge and skills to prepare them for the long term, as well as gaining the tools, examples and practice to start making a positive impact in their school straight away. 

Our programmes are underpinned by some key factors:

  •  High-quality, evidence-led training designed by experts
  •  Strengthening leadership and culture in your school
  •  Broadening and deepening expertise in your specialist area
  •  Flexible training that fits around your schedule and prior knowledge
  •  Free one-to-one support and coaching
  •  Joining a passionate network striving for educational equality

Specialist and Leadership NPQs

Specialist NPQs cover:

  1. National Professional Qualification for Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD): Supporting the training and development of others, including early career teachers.
  2. National Professional Qualification for Leading Teaching (NPQLT): Developing teachers who are subject leads or responsible for improving teaching practice in a subject or phase.
  3. National Professional Qualification for Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC): Developing teachers who have responsibilities for leading behaviour and culture.
  4. National Professional Qualification in Leading Literacy (NPQLL): Developing teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage or phase.
  5. National Professional Qualification in Leading Primary Mathematics (NPQLPM): for Primary teachers and leaders with responsibility for leading mathematics across a key-stage or school, or those who want to have this responsibility. 

Leadership NPQs cover:

  1. National Professional Qualification in Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL): Supporting EY leaders to develop expertise in leading high-quality education and care, so that every child gets the best start in life. 
  2. National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership (NPQSL): designed for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.
  3. National Professional Qualification in Headship (NPQH): 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).
  4. National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership (NPQEL): designed for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, an executive headteacher or have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.
  5. National Professional Qualification for SENCOs (NPQSENCO): The leadership level national professional qualification for SENCOs will become the mandatory qualification for SENCOs from September 2024, replacing the NASENCO qualification. This NPQ is mandatory for SENCOs but also suitable for school leaders and teachers interested in developing expertise in SEND or undertaking a SENCO role in future.