NPQ for Headship

NPQ for Headship (NPQH)

Leading a school is complex.

Although some headteachers and principals still teach, the role is primarily a strategic and operational one and relies on working with and through their colleagues, particularly the leadership team, to ensure every pupil gets an excellent education.

Those in this role need to have a strong understanding of their context, community and the pupils and adults they work with. They also need to have a depth of expertise across several specialist areas related to their role (eg curriculum and assessment, behaviour, organisational management) and in approaches that, through working with their colleagues, enable their school to keep improving (eg professional development and implementation).

They must understand the relationship between these different domains, how they can change over time, set an ambitious vision for their school, and establish the culture and conditions in which staff and pupils can thrive. They must also maintain the highest professional conduct set out in the Teachers’ Standards and Headteachers’ Standards. That means developing expertise in school leadership is also complex.

This framework is a codification of essential knowledge, skills, and concepts that underpin a school's successful leadership.

It sets out what those leading a school should know and can do within the specialist areas related to their role and approaches that enable their school to improve.

This NPQH is fully funded by the DfE.


Who is the NPQ for Headship for?

  • The NPQH is for school leaders who are or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school. 
  • The Additional Support Offer, introduced in autumn 2021, is a support package available to any new headteacher in the first two years of appointment who has already taken NPQH or is commencing the new programme.

What does the programme include?

The key sections of the qualification are as follows:

  • School Culture 
  • Teaching 
  • Curriculum and Assessment 
  • Behaviour 
  • Additional and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • Professional Development 
  • Organisational Management 
  • Implementation 
  • Working in Partnership
  • Governance and Accountability

Download the full specification for the NPQ for Headship here

The NPQH scholarship for headteachers is accompanied by a fully funded Additional Support Offer (ASO). The aim of the ASO is to provide structured, unassessed support to new Head Teachers. The ASO will be a targeted package of support consisting of tailored mentoring and peer support activities.

Additional Support Offer

The Additional Support Offer provides targeted support for new headteachers in the first two years of appointment who are already taken NPQH or are commencing the new programme. 

You will receive five hours of one to one coaching with an experienced school leader and complementary support, which can include an online community for help and sharing ideas and guided visits to schools to explore other heads’ leadership on the ground.

Download: Additional Support Offer Information

Fully funded by the DfE

This NPQ is fully funded by the DfE as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school
  • all teachers and leaders employed in state-funded schools and state-funded organisations that offer 16 to 19 places in England

The Additional Support Offer is fully funded if you meet the following requirements:

  • are in your first 2 years of headship
  • are employed in a state-funded school, or are employed in a state-funded organisation that offers 16 to 19 places in England upon starting the training
  • have either completed a national professional qualification for headship (NPQH) before taking up your first headship post or are currently taking the NPQH
  • have not withdrawn from the additional support programme previously

If you aren't eligible for funding, the cost is £1,899.

Why Windsor Academy Trust?

99 pass rate for npqs

99% Pass Rate

99% pass rate for National Professional Qualifications.

outstanding reputation

Outstanding Reputation

We have an outstanding reputation for delivering best practice programmes that make a real difference.

a trusted partner

A Trusted Partner

We are a trusted partner working with sector-leading partners to support schools and trusts.

teacher development trust logo white

Teacher Development Trust

Our lead provider, the Teacher Development Trust, has championed school improvement, supporting hundreds of schools, publishing research and regularly advising the government.

When does the programme start?

February 2023


Apply online on the DfE website. When asked to select your training provider, select Teacher Development Trust.

Apply now

Download Programme Brochure