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National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)

Deepen your knowledge of Headship.

About the programme


Who are you?

For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.


Why join UCL?

The UCL Centre for Educational Leadership looks forward to working with you on their newly designed NPQ supporting you to deepen your knowledge of Headship within a collaborative and open learning environment.

Based on the latest research and evidence this new programme will enable you to take your new learning and develop your skills and put them into practice.

Our programmes put you and your school at the heart of the programme through a professional learning group approach that helps you to share your thinking and understanding within a well-planned framework. You will experience a blended approach of face to face, self-directed study materials and in school support to enable you to progress professionally and develop networks to enhance your career.


What will you learn?

  • School Culture - you will establish and sustain an effective school culture by setting the strategic direction, managing human and financial resources and fulfilling all statutory duties to enable a sustainable and thriving school community.
  • Teaching - you will learn how to establish and support effective teaching across your school to develop and embed your teacher’s pedagogical knowledge and classroom skills to enable the best outcomes for all children and young people no matter what their starting point is.
  • Curriculum and Assessment - you will learn how to support and sustain high quality planning, teaching, learning and assessment by ensuring the implementation of effective and coherent policies. Appropriate and well-designed professional development for the teachers in your school will align with these priorities.
  • Behaviour and Support - you will be able to establish and sustain high standards of behaviour and learning across the whole school community, including liaising with and training key stakeholders to ensure a safe, inclusive learning environment for all.
  • Implementation - you will learn how to implement change successfully within your context by understanding the stages of implementation and aligning it with wider school improvement priorities.

What are the benefits for your school?

We know that our children and young people need teachers who are committed to their education and are confident learners themselves. Our programmes have been developed with teachers and leaders to:

  • Create professionally confident teachers and leaders.
  • Grow the next generation of leaders with the skills and knowledge to use the evidence-base for the benefit of their children and young people.
  • Retain the best teachers who are excellent, collaborative role models for their schools and communities.
  • Inspire leaders who can harness the power of rich learning environments for their children and young people no matter the current circumstances.

Is this programme for me?

Yes, if you aspire to leading a school as a head of school or headteacher.


How long will it take?

18 months followed by an 8 day open book summative case study task.

Summary of programme and learning hours

NPQH summary of programme and learning hours.

Summary of programme and learning hours - text version

Audit before start of the programme

Total hours in year one/two: 2 hours.

Online induction conference at the beginning of year one

Total hours in year one/two: 4 hours.

Face to face events – terms two, three and four

Total hours in year one/two: 15 hours.

Self-directed learning, learning journal and implementation project

Every term year one/two: 13 hours per term (minimum).
Total hours in year one/two: 39 hours.

Online learning community: discussion session

Every term year one/two: 1 hour each term (minimum).
Total hours in year one/two: 3 hours.

Peer learning group

Every term year one/two: 2 hours each term.
Total hours in year one/two: 8 hours.

Line manager sessions

Every term year one/two: Termly 1-hour meeting.
Total hours in year one/two: 4 hours.

Total programme hours

Total hours in year one/two: 75 hours.


When will it start and how much will it cost?

The programme will start in February 2022 with inductions in March 2022 (dates tbc).

The cost is £1885 for those in independent schools. British International Schools, contact us directly for prices. The programme is fully funded in English state schools (read more below).


Are scholarships available for this programme?

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Headship is available for those who meet the following criteria: 

  • Are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
  • Work in a state funded school and state funded organisations that offer 16-19 places in England.

Or

  • Are a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
  • Are in the first 2 academic years of headship.
  • Work in a state funded school and state funded organisations that offer 16-19 places in England.

Programme route map

NPQH route map.

Programme route map text version

Term one
  1. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Leadership audit for 1 hour - initial audit of learning shaping the learning to the needs of participants and reflective of their contexts.
  2. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Online induction conference for 4 hours - induction event designed to provide an overview of the programme, supported by expert input, an introduction to Peer Learning Groups and specialist community networking.
  3. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Peer Learning Group for 2 hours - facilitated online event to challenge and support domain learning and translate research into practice linked to implementation project.

  4. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Online self-directed study for 8 hours - integrated online programme of self-study covering NPQ domain framework content.

  5. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Learning journal for 2 hours - reflection on learning from induction conference, self-directed learning, formative assessment tasks, work-based learning and Peer Learning Groups.

  6. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Mentor check-in for 1 hour - line manager/SIP check-in on progress.

Term two
  1. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Face to face event for 5 hours - knowledge exchange events providing access to expert research, programme leaders and networking opportunities.
  2. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Online self-directed study for 8 hours - integrated online programme of self-study covering NPQ domain framework content.
  3. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Learning journal for 3 hours - reflection on learning from induction conference, self-directed learning, formative assessment tasks, work-based learning and Peer Learning Groups.
  4. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Mentor check-in for 1 hour - line manager/SIP check-in on progress.
  5. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Peer Learning Group for 2 hours - facilitated online event to challenge and support domain learning and translate research into practice linked to implementation project.
Term three
  1. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Online self-directed study for 8 hours - integrated online programme of self-study covering NPQ domain framework content.
  2. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Learning journal for 3 hours - reflection on learning from induction conference, self-directed learning, formative assessment tasks, work-based learning and Peer Learning Groups.
  3. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Peer Learning Group for 2 hours - facilitated online event to challenge and support domain learning and translate research into practice linked to implementation project.
  4. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Face to face event for 5 hours - knowledge exchange events providing access to expert research, programme leaders and networking opportunities.
  5. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Mentor check-in for 1 hour - line manager/SIP check-in on progress.
Term four
  1. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Online self-directed study for 8 hours - integrated online programme of self-study covering NPQ domain framework content.
  2. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Learning journal for 3 hours - reflection on learning from induction conference, self-directed learning, formative assessment tasks, work-based learning and Peer Learning Groups.
  3. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Peer Learning Group for 2 hours - facilitated online event to challenge and support domain learning and translate research into practice linked to implementation project.
  4. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Face to face event for 5 hours - knowledge exchange events providing access to expert research, programme leaders and networking opportunities.
  5. Synchronous, facilitated activity:
    Mentor check-in for 1 hour - line manager/SIP check-in on progress.
Term five
  1. Asynchronous, self-directed study:
    Assessment briefing (recording) - overview of readiness for final assessment.

Runs across all terms over the 18 months: Implementation project - work-based reflective learning integrating research with practice and aligned to the EEF process model for school improvement. 

After the 18 months: Final summative assessment.


What do participants say?

I started my journey into leadership by completing the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders (NPQML). This gave me much improved confidence and made me think more as a leader. The course really inspired me and allowed me to develop and grow into an effective leader. The face-to-face sessions, delivered by inspirational leaders, truly gave me the drive to improve, take risks and reflect on my own practice. I then completed the NPQSL and began to focus on impact and improving standards for the whole school. Again, this was a fantastic course with excellent content. Being able to think strategically and meet like-minded leaders was a fantastic opportunity. 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