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National Professional Qualifications

Our programmes support educational leaders to develop their leadership practice.

Autumn 2024 admissions

UCL deliver all National Professional Qualifications and will offer the new NPQ for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators from Autumn 2024 cohort.

The DfE registration portal will open on 1 July 2024. However, the DfE have significantly reduced the availability of scholarship places by approximately 50% for most Autumn 2024 specialist and leadership programmes, and early application is advised. 

Eligibility for scholarships depends on the programme and/or the school pupil premium data. Full scholarships may be available for NPQH, EHCO, NPQLPM (Leading Primary Maths), and NPQSENCO for all maintained schools and early years settings in England.

Full scholarships for all other programmes may be available for teachers and leaders working in the "top 50% of schools that attract pupil premium funding." Find out more in the scholarship funding section, where you will also find a list of schools that are eligible for full scholarship. However, eligibility does not guarantee a place because of the scholarship caps that have been applied. UCL will strictly allocate places based on the order we receive a completed UCL application form, see Step 2.

If you are not eligible for a scholarship or a scholarship isn’t available, you could choose to self-fund or ask your school to fund the programme.

Register for a national professional qualification (NPQ)

About the programmes


Why choose a UCL NPQ?

UCL IOE is ranked number one globally for Education in the QS World University Rankings. We have been designing and delivering NPQs since their inception 30 years ago. 

The new NPQs are designed and delivered with national partners who share our belief in equity and research-informed professional development that supports educational leaders to develop their leadership practice.

In a recent inspection we are proud that Ofsted judged that 'leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action towards ensuring that the ECF training & NPQ professional development is of a high standard' - see news and Ofsted report.

Our programmes are designed to grow 'Learning Leaders' who question, reflect, learn and " apply their learning to improvements that lead to desired outcomes" (Stoll 2020). All our NPQs, uniquely, include an implementation project that allows this new leadership learning to be applied in the workplace.

Informed by research and practice the qualifications are designed and delivered through collaborative partnerships between UCL, regional, national and international educational delivery partners.


Our NPQ programmes


Applying for a UCL NPQ

Applications are now open for the Autumn 2024 cohort.

A guide for applicants

The UCL IOE's NPQs are delivered in partnership with regional Delivery Partners. The UCL application form lists our partners and the qualifications that are available through them.

Select your preferred Delivery Partner and check that the programme of your choice is available.

Step 1

Register with the DfE and choose the UCL IOE as your Lead Provider. 

This is done through the DfE NPQ Registration Service platform and requires the following information:

  • Teacher Registration Number (TRN) if applicable. If you do not have a TRN you can apply for one at this stage. 
  • Name as recorded by the Teacher Regulation Agency (TRA) 
  • Choice of NPQ  
  • Choice of Lead Provider i.e. UCL IOE 

The registration service will confirm if you are entitled to a scholarship based on your school details. Entitlement to a scholarship does not guarantee a funded programme place.

If you are not entitled to a scholarship place, you may decide to pay (or your school may pay on your behalf). There is a schedule of fees here.

Once registration is complete, the DFE will confirm the details with UCL IOE, usually within three days although this can take longer if you are waiting for a TRN.

Step 2

Once registered you will receive an email from UCL within 48 hours asking you to complete a short UCL IOE enrolment form. This starts your enrolment and gives you access to key information for the start of your programme.

UCL will confirm whether you have been awarded a scholarship place or not. Regarding the awarding of scholarship places, UCL will operate a strict ‘first come-first served’ approach to applications for Autumn 2024.

Similarly, self/ school-funded places for those not eligible for a scholarship will be confirmed as soon as possible.

The form requires headteacher/principal's and line manager details. For early years colleagues where this is not possible, please secure verification of your role, this could be from a local network manager or colleague - verification is required to ensure that the funding is being allocated to the correct recipient. Line manager details may be a colleague in your setting or network who you have a professional relationship with.


Funding and fees

DfE have changed the scholarship criteria for the Autumn 2024 cohort. See Funding for national professional qualifications (NPQs).

Scholarships may be available to all teachers and leaders from state-funded schools and settings for the following NPQs: 

  • NPQ for Headship
  • Early Headship Coaching Offer (EHCO) 
  • NPQ in Leading Primary Mathematics  
  • NPQ for SENCOs

Funded NPQ Scholarships may be available for all programmes for teachers and leaders working in the "top 50% of schools as defined by the proportion of students that attract pupil premium funding":

Comparative disadvantage criteria will be applied to both Further Education and Early Years settings.

From October 2024, charges will apply for applicants who are not eligible for scholarships. The fees for each NPQ can be found on their individual pages and are summarised in the table below.

NPQ Fee Schedule for non-scholarship self/school-funded programmes (England only)

Autumn 2024Price (£)
NPQLT£885
NPQLBC£885
NPQLTD£885
NPQLL£885
NPQLPM£885
NPQSL£1,055
NPQSENCO£1,265
NPQH£1,885
NPQEL£4,099
EHCO£800
NPQEYL£1,055

International Delivery Fees

Different fees apply to NPQs delivered internationally, which are paid for in local currency. More information can be found on the international delivery partner websites.


Delivery Partner network

Collaboration lies at the heart of our success, and we have developed a nationwide network of partnerships with the newly established Teaching School Hubs (TSHs) and Delivery Partners who have a deep understanding of the local context.

England

Balcarras Teaching School Hub & Odyssey Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLL, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQEYL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Cheltenham, Cotswold, Stroud, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Tewkesbury
•    Location: Google Maps

Birmingham City Council

  • NPQs delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO
  • Areas covered: Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Location: Google Maps

Camden Learning

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQSL and NPQLTD
•    Areas covered: Camden and local area
•    Location: Google Maps

CATS Global Schools, South-East UK 

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: Not delivering this cohort
•    Areas covered: South-East England
•    Location: Google Maps

Centre for Literacy in Primary Education

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: Not delivering this cohort
•    Areas covered: Kensington, Westminster, Lambeth, Barnet, Kingston Upon Thames
•    Location: Google Maps

Coventry and Central Warwickshire Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Area covered: Coventry and Central Warwickshire             
•    Location: Google Maps

East London Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Tower Hamlets, Hackney
•    Location: Google Maps

East Manchester Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Oldham, Tameside
•    Location: Google Maps

Exchange Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Barnsley, Doncaster, Selby, Wakefield
•    Location: Google Maps

Future Zone, Islington

•    Delivering the following NPQs: NPQSENCO, NPQLT, NPQSL
•    Areas covered: Islington
•    Location: Google Maps

Haringey Education Partnership

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLL, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Haringey and Waltham Forest 
•    Location: Google Maps

Inspire Learning NW Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Liverpool and Wirral
•    Location: Google Maps

Learners First School Partnership

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO
•    Areas covered: Rotherham
•    Location: Google Maps

London South Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM
•    Areas covered: Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham
•    Location: Google Maps

Milton Keynes NPQ Partners

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire    
•    Location: Google Maps

Redbridge Education Partnership

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLL, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Redbridge
•    Location: Google Maps

South Central Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQSL, NPQEYL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Bournemouth, Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset, Poole, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland
•    Location: Google Maps

South East London Partnership (Haberdashers’ and Odyssey)

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Croydon
•    Location: Google Maps

Sussex Coast Schools Alliance

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Sussex Coast and surrounding areas including Brighton & Hove, Uckfield
•    Location: Google Maps

Teach West London

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow
•    Location: Google Maps

Thames South Teaching School Hub

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM
•    Areas covered: Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich
•    Location: Google Maps

The Collegiate Trust

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: Not delivering this cohort
•    Areas covered: Croydon and Crawley

TSH Berkshire

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham
•    Location: Google Maps

Wandle Teaching School Hub, SW London

•    NPQ’s delivered this cohort: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLL, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQEYL, NPQH
•    Areas covered: Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth
•    Location: Google Maps

International

AISL (China)

  • Delivering the following NPQs: Not delivering this cohort
  • Location: Google Maps

CATS Global Schools, South-East UK (Northern Europe)

  • NPQs delivered this cohort: Not delivering this cohort
  • Location: Google Maps

Infinite Learning, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • Delivering the following NPQs: NPQLT, NPQSL

Infinite Learning, UAE

  • Delivering the following NPQs: NPQSENCO, NPQLPM, NPQLL, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC, NPQSL, NPQEYL, NPQH, NPQEL
  • Location: Google Maps

The European Hub

  • Delivering the following NPQs: NPQLT
  • Location: Google Maps

Tanglin Trust School (Kuala Lumpur / Singapore)

  • Delivering the following NPQs: Not delivering this cohort
  • Location: Google Maps

The Black Sea Group of Schools

  • Delivering the following NPQs: Not delivering this cohort
  • Location: Google Maps

Testimonials

Quotes from participants, facilitators and headteachers about their experience of working with UCL CEL and our school partners. We hope that these will inspire you and encourage you to apply to us as a National Provider for the NPQs.

It was always a high priority, as a headteacher, to provide my staff with a career pathway which focused on leadership from their early career. Every teacher is a leader from day one and needs support in learning how to grow and develop their teams to enable successful school improvement to take place for the benefit of the children. In a small school, teachers, will after their first year of teaching, become subject leaders requiring another set of leadership skills. The NPQs provided my staff with an opportunity to: explore leadership strategies, which developed their ability to communicate their vision more effectively with other stakeholders and to plan for change ; to recognise their own leadership traits, how these might impact on others and how they can build an ethos of trust and collaboration; to consider ways of managing their time more effectively; to look at change models and how others might react to change; and to explore the benefits of working in partnership.

I found that staff completing the NPQs grew in confidence as leaders, cultivated enthusiastic teams within their classes, and the school, that achieved successful school improvement."

Claire Rivers FFCCT, Women in Education Coach, Ex Headteacher of St Mark’s CEP School, Teaching School Director and Chair of the Sussex and East Sussex Teaching School Network.
The NPQ courses linked theory and practice perfectly. It gave me the confidence to lead a team of professionals and gave me the skills to reflect and monitor impact. I could not recommend the programmes highly enough working with my local cluster and UCL the support given at all levels is fantastic. I am now Deputy Head teacher and leading the school for two days a week. Without completing these courses, I would not be in this privileged position where I get to support, develop and lead a fantastic team. I will be continuing my NPQ journey and will be completing the NPQH this year."

Simon Page, Deputy Head at Stonegate School, East Sussex
 As a federation of schools, the NPQs have been a focussed part of our leadership continuum. The impact is very clear. Four secured Headship and the others have moved to senior positions within and outside of our federation. Many of them have been involved in supporting other schools in school development. We were also able to shift our Ofsted grading to good with outstanding leadership in a short space of time. More importantly, the impact on our children is clear to see. Our leaders have the understanding and ability to respond to change and lead developments for our pupils resulting in much better progress for our children."

Helen Horsley, Head of South Coast Alliance, member of the NPQ Governance group.
I love facilitating the NPQ programmes, not only is it a joy to work with so many great teacher leaders but it is a privilege to see the depth of learning that is experienced when teachers from different phases come together to learn. These programmes have an impact on participants professionally and personally and as a result benefit the pupils that they are working with."

Facilitator at St. Richard’s Catholic College
Great to meet other practitioners and share our experiences, challenges and successes with a view to self-developing. The course has made me consider other perspectives on features of teaching practice which I just took for granted. Leadership accreditation will look brilliant on your C.V. and the expert course leaders are welcoming, engaging and entertaining."

Participant at Beacon Community College
The NPQSL programme has allowed me dedicated time and space to work on key leadership skills and to explore research led material to drive forward specific change in my school. This change project, as part of our SDP, has had a direct impact on pupil progress for all pupils from 3-19, across three phases and is now going to be embedded into the continuous cycle within the school as it is effective and sustainable."

Participant
More than anything, completing the NPQSL helped restore my confidence in my abilities following a challenging period in my life, and restored my ambition to become a senior leader. During the course I was appointed SENDCo, an SLT level role, and since then I have been promoted to Assistant Head for Inclusion, so I have successfully realised my ambitions since undertaking the course. It’s hard work, sometimes challenging but very rewarding and I am glad of the skills and knowledge I gained from the NPQSL."

Participant 
I would highly recommend the NPQSL for anyone looking to make the transition from Middle to Senior Leadership. One of the key strengths of the programme was that it guided and gave me space (with excellent literature and skilled facilitators) to be reflective about the type of senior leader I wished to become. I now feel much more confident in 'sharing a vision' and 'implementing change'. As a result of the 'Leading Effective Partnerships' module I now have a greater understanding of the importance of developing relationships with stakeholders beyond the immediate school community. Investing in this programme at the start of anyone's senior leadership journey will not only help you to lead with impact and maybe avoid some of those new role pitfalls but will also mean that the staff and students you work with in your school community will flourish under your leadership." 

Participant 
The UCL IOE NPQSL was a very important stage in my career development. The reading material was excellent and the workshop sessions were lively and provocative. The school project that I organised gave me enormous insight into successful leadership. Completing an NPQSL gave me the confidence to apply for and be offered a senior leadership post. Highly recommended."

Participant
We’ve all gained such a lot from participating in this NPQ particularly through: collaboration with peers, reading research and applying it, structured reflection, case studies, agency and autonomy with the implementation project."

NPQLTD Participant
It was wonderful to be with like minded colleagues, away from work and being looked after! To be able to focus on being a better leader for both myself and my school was so useful and has rejuvenated me a little!  I enjoyed the mix of presentations and group/pair activities/discussions.  It was all really well organised and a lovely venue. Thank you so much for the opportunity."

NPQEL Participant