The NPQH application round is now closed. It will reopen in the Autumn term for a February start.
Details about how to apply are available in our "Booking" section below when the window opens.
The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is the nationally accepted route into headship and the content of this qualification has been developed in partnership with some of the best school leaders in the country.
Inspiring leaders aims to develop and deliver the best possible route into headship by utilising the content combined with input, inspiration and expertise from experienced, outstanding headteachers, providing participants with a gold standard route into headship. It is expected participants will complete the programme within 12-18 months.
Our Delivery Model
Our delivery model adopts a blended learning approach providing a mix of self directed learning with face to face input, further reading, experience in school and exposure to outstanding practise via our school based facilitators. Inspiring Leaders recommends for NPQH that the guided learning hours are between 210 - 240 hours for the programme.
NPQH has been designed to support the participant as you progress through your leadership development journey, aligning your practice in school with the assessment task.
The following content learning areas are covered over the course of the programme:
- Teaching & Curriculum Excellence
- Strategy & Improvement
- Leading with Impact
- Working in Partnership
- Managing Risks
- Increasing Capability
All participants are required to complete a self review form based on our Leadership Behaviours. This is designed to highlight strengths and areas for development for you to consider and focus on that will enable you to develop and grow as a leader. You are encouraged to complete the form with your sponsor before attending the induction and to review this at least twice throughout the programme.
Face to Face Days
Face to Face Days
Participants are required to attend 9 face to face days over the course of the programme which cover the 6 content areas
Each day has been specifically designed with an effective headteacher in mind, using a variety of types of study including theory, models, case studies and accounts of practise to enable each participant to determine and develop their own learning and leadership style.
Emphasis is placed on collaboration, strategic thinking, coaching and reflection to ultimately empower the participant to build trust and credibility and develop vision, confidence and skills as a leader.
The programme begins with a two day residential and ends with a leadership celebration delivered as a whole regional intake. The rest of the days will be cluster based, delivered in cohorts that are local to you.
Where possible face to face days will be hosted within school settings, so that we can take advantage of the learning environments they provide including learning walks, lesson observations and staff/pupil input.
The programme begins with a residential induction and second day of the programme for the entire intake. This ever popular element of the programme allows participants to step away from school life to immerse themselves in the programme, meet the facilitators and, vitally, build strong professional networks that will support them through and beyond life on the course.
Prior to dinner in the evening, we offer the opportunity to hear two inspirational headteachers tell their story to motivate and inspire you as you start your NPQH journey.
All face to face sessions will be delivered by one of our lead facilitators, who are experienced course leaders with a track record of delivering successful leadership development programmes, combined with a nationally recognised inspirational headteacher or system leader.
The sponsor is an important element of the NPQH programme. Each participant is required to identify a sponsor in their own school who will support, challenge and enable them to maximise their leadership development experience back in school. This is usually the participants’ Headteacher. If the participant is already a Head, an executive Head or senior member of their multi-academy trust (if part of one) will be suitable for this role.
The sponsor has a key role throughout NPQH including:
- Providing a brief supporting statement of commitment on the application form.
- Completing the self review with the participant prior to induction.
- Enabling the participant with opportunity in school to put their learning on NPQH into practice.
- Ensuring the participant identifies a suitable assessment task that will meet the criteria and provides stretch and challenge.
- Verification of the participant’s assessment at the end of the programme.
Inspiring Leaders will provide participants with a log in to access the leadership library online. This is an online platform that will allow you to access a range of case studies, up to date national and international research and other high quality resources and activities to support your learning.
In order to gain the NPQH qualification, participants are required to complete two assessment tasks, one in their own school and one in a placement school.
Participants must complete the following tasks:
- Lead a change programme at whole-school level, lasting at least 2 terms to improve pupil progress and attainment. Present to governing board prior to implementation and gather feedback.
- Submit a written account of the project for assessment which aims to evidence an indicated set of criteria. This should not exceed 4000 words excluding supporting documents and annexes.
- Undertake a placement in a contrasting school lasting at least 9 working days.
- Research on and design an action plan to address the school’s current and/or projected resource and capability challenges and present to the schools governing board, gathering feedback.
- Submit a written account of the project for assessment which aims to evidence an indicated set of criteria. This should not exceed 2500 words excluding supporting documents and annexes.
It is essential that participants are provided with opportunity to complete a project that will provide suitable challenge, stretch and development in their own school.
More information about the assessment including guidance and criteria will be provided at the induction day.
The cost of our NPQH is £1950 + VAT.
Fully funded scholarships are available to participants' schools which are in category 5 and 6 areas. If your school is not in a funded area, but you are part of a Multi Academy Trust which does have a school in category 5 or 6, all staff within that MAT will be automatically eligible for the funding.
- A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (60 masters level credits).
- A Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and Management (120 masters level credits).
How do I apply for NPQH?
Participants will be required to complete an application form which will require you to evidence your suitability for NPQH based on the leadership content areas. Your Headteacher will be required to provide a statement to verify your answers and readiness for headship. If your application is considered ‘borderline’, you may be required to attend a short interview to address areas the assessors feel need further clarification. You will be notified by email of the outcome of your application.
I am already the headteacher in my school. Who can verify my application?
An executive head, trust CEO or equivalent will be suitable. Contact us if you are not sure who should verify your application. You will also require an inschool coach throughout the programme who may be the same person.
What is the assessment requirement for NPQH?
You are required to complete two tasks for NPQH.
Task one is to lead a change programme at whole-school level, lasting at least 2 terms to improve pupil progress and attainment and present to governing board prior to implementation and gather feedback. You then need to submit a written account of the project for assessment which aims to evidence an indicated set of criteria. This should not exceed 4000 words excluding supporting documents and annexes.
Task 2 is your placement task, undertaken over a minimum of nine days in another school. You will be required to research on and design an action plan to address the school’s current and/or projected resource and capability challenges and present to the schools governing board, gathering feedback. You then submit a written account of the project for assessment which aims to evidence an indicated set of criteria. This should not exceed 2500 words excluding supporting documents and annexes.
How do I choose my placement school?
Placement schools can be arranged once you have started NPQH. Placement schools should be judged as good or outstanding at the last Ofsted. We have access to a wide range of primary, secondary and special schools who are willing to host you spread across the East Midlands and across a wide range of contexts. Participants can choose their own placement school, subject to our approval, or we can select an appropriate placement school for you based on the needs identified. If you are currently based in a good or outstanding school, you can complete the placement in an RI school to develop skills and experience. However, this must be arranged by Inspiring Leaders to ensure you are sufficiently supported by a Trust, NLE or outstanding headteacher.
How much does the NPQH programme cost?
The cost of NPQH for is £1950+VAT. Your school will automatically be invoiced for this approximately two weeks prior to the start of the programme. Payment plans are available if you are funding this personally or are from a small school. If you are a member of a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) and on our preferred supplier list or your school is one of our partner teaching school alliance schools, you may be eligible for a 10% discount. Please contact us on 0115 989 1913 for more information.
How long do I have to complete the NPQH qualification?
We aim to ensure that you complete the programme between 12 and 18 months which is in line with DfE guidelines.
Where is programme delivered?
NPQH is delivered throughout the East Midlands region via external venues and schools within our Teaching School Alliances. This includes venues in North and South Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. The induction day and second day will take place as part of a two day residential at Yew Tree Lodge Hotel, Kegworth.
Can I study towards my masters qualification too?
Yes you can. Nottingham Trent University, in partnership with Inspiring Leaders, offers a unique opportunity to maximise your NPQH experience. (You can study in your locality: attendance at Nottingham Trent University is not required). Two national award options are available:
Please note completing NPQH itself does not carry masters points. Work towards masters credits is undertaken as a separate piece of work that links to the NPQH assessment tasks.
How much do it cost to study towards Masters level credits?
We are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity at a significantly reduced price if completed within 3 years of your NPQ qualification. Please contact us for current costs.
When is the next intake of NPQH with Inspiring Leaders?
We currently run two intakes a year. Specific dates for the next intake will be published on this page.