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Specialist and Leadership NPQs

What are National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)?

National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are trusted, transferable qualifications accredited by the Department for Education. They are designed to help you hone and develop the skills you already have, helping you become a more effective leader inside and outside the classroom. 


How are NPQs being reformed?

From September 2021, reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) will offer teachers and leaders clearer development opportunities and career progression. These qualifications will build on key areas of the Early Career Framework (ECF), allowing for further specialisation and development of expertise and help prepare teachers and leaders the next step in their careers. 

The reformed qualifications aim to:

  • help teachers hone and develop the skills they already have, helping them to become more effective leaders inside and outside the classroom and improving overall teaching quality
  • retain high-calibre teachers by offering clearer development opportunities and career progression

To best address the broad range of responsibilities of current and aspiring middle leaders the Middle Leadership NPQ has been replaced with four new specialist NPQs. These specialist areas cover:

  • supporting the training and development of others, including early career teachers
  • developing teachers who are subject leads or responsible for improving teaching practice in a subject or phase
  • developing teachers who have responsibilities for leading behaviour and culture

These new and updated NPQs will ensure these qualifications continue to offer the best possible support to teachers and leaders wanting to expand their knowledge and skills, and can help them in taking the next step in their careers. 

How do I apply? 

For more information and to register for a National Professional Qualification (NPQ) please visit the DFE's portal:

Which NPQs do you offer?

The 4 NPQs in specialist areas of teaching have been designed with both classroom teachers and leaders in mind. They are:

  • Leading teacher development – learn how to become a teacher educator and successfully support teachers in your school to expand their skills (Best Practice)

  • Leading teaching – learn how to lead the teaching and learning of a subject, year group or phase (Best Practice)

  • Leading behaviour and culture – learn how to create a culture of good behaviour and high expectations in which staff and pupils can thrive (Best Practice)

  • Leading literacy – learn how to effectively teach and promote literacy across the whole school, year group, key stage or phase (UCL)

The leadership NPQs are:

  • Senior leadership – develop your leadership knowledge and expertise to improve outcomes for teachers and pupils in your school (Best Practice)

  • Headship – develop the knowledge that underpins expert school leadership and apply it to become an outstanding headteacher (Best Practice)

  • Executive leadership – develop the expertise you need to become an outstanding executive leader, leading change and improvement across your group of schools or multi-academy trust (Best Practice)

  • Early years leadership – develop expertise in leading high-quality early years education and care, as well as effective staff and organisational management (UCL)

Each NPQ is underpinned by a new content framework. These frameworks set out what participants should know and be able to do after completing an NPQ. Providers have used these to design their courses.

As well as the reformed NPQs, we have introduced an early headship coaching offer for new headteachers. This is a package of structured support and networking opportunities for teachers early on in their headship role.

Scholarship funding is available. For more information please contact us. 


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