About the National Professional Qualifications (NPQ)

We offer three National Professional Qualifications (NPQ) in partnership with Real Training.

  • National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) – Leading a team

  • National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) – Leading across an education setting

  • National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) – Leading a school

These three DfE-recognised qualifications in leadership have been designed by education practitioners and educational psychologists to provide flexible, current, innovative and practice-focused online training that will help you to gain the knowledge, skills and leadership behaviours to become a highly effective leader.

The NPQs cover six key areas: leading with impact, strategy and improvement, teaching and curriculum excellence, working in partnership, managing resources and risks, and increasing capability.

DfE funding now available

Scholarship funding from the Department for Education will be available from 1 April 2020. Existing scholarship criteria surrounding schools in Category 5 & 6 areas will continue to apply for anyone starting an NPQ up to the end of the current academic year. To check whether your school fits into a Category 5 or 6 area, visit the government website and enter the school’s postcode.

Who are they for?

These masters-level courses are designed for current and aspiring leaders working in education settings, anywhere in the world.

NPQML is for educators who are currently, or are aspiring to become, middle leaders with responsibility for leading a team. You might be a key stage leader, a curriculum leader, a subject leader, a head of department or a pastoral services leader.

NPQSL is for experienced middle leaders, current or aspiring deputy or assistant headteachers and other senior staff, such as a Senco or an advanced skills teacher. You’ll be looking for professional development, but not aspiring to headship at this point.

NPQH is for senior staff in education settings who want to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence to lead education settings successfully. You should, normally, be no more than 12 to 18 months from applying for headship posts and ready to take up a headship as soon as you complete the course.

What are the outcomes?

Your NPQ will help you to develop the range of leadership behaviours identified by the DfE: commitment, collaboration, personal drive, resilience, awareness, integrity and respect, and give you the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to lead an education setting successfully, using evidence-informed approaches

  • Develop your leadership and management skills, and your ability to work in partnership with colleagues, professionals from outside your setting, and parents and carers

  • Lead and evaluate an intervention to improve outcomes for pupils and staff

  • Gain a highly valued, internationally respected, DfE accredited professional qualification

  • Be awarded 60 accredited masters-level credits from Middlesex University for NPQSL and NPQH

  • Enhance your own and others’ personal and professional development

  • Gain a professional network of colleagues beyond your own setting

How are they delivered?

Your course will be delivered through an interactive learning platform, Campus Online™. You’ll be supported by experienced online tutors with recent or current leadership experience in schools. You’ll also be able to share practice and discuss issues with other educators working towards their NPQ in the online forum.

During your course you’ll lead your team to design, implement and evaluate an improvement project in your setting, lasting at least two terms. For the NPQH you’ll also undertake a placement in another school, lasting at least nine days, where you’ll design and present an action plan to address the school’s resource and capability challenges.

Entry criteria

To join an NPQ programme you must:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree

  • Be working in an education setting

To join the NPQH programme you’ll also need to have the full support and endorsement of a sponsor. Usually, this will be your head teacher or line manager.

NPQs fees

National Professional Qualification Total fee Fee without VAT
National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership £1,380 £1,150
National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership £2,100 £1,750
National Professional Qualification for Headship £3,300 £2,750

Fees need to be paid in one single payment.

NPQs and COVID-19

In response to a number of queries about the implications of the Corona virus and school closures on the NPQ course, this FAQ has been developed with the advice that we currently have to share. We will update and reshare in light of further information that becomes available.

Start dates

Courses begin in January, March, May and September.

How to apply

You can book your place on the next course online now.

Please note: as it takes time to process your application and payment, we strongly recommend that you register as soon as possible to ensure that you can start your programme on the next available date.

 

What are the outcomes?

Your NPQ will help you to develop the range of leadership behaviours identified by the DfE: commitment, collaboration, personal drive, resilience, awareness, integrity and respect, and give you the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to lead an education setting successfully, using evidence-informed approaches

  • Develop your leadership and management skills, and your ability to work in partnership with colleagues, professionals from outside your setting, and parents and carers

  • Lead and evaluate an intervention to improve outcomes for pupils and staff

  • Gain a highly valued, internationally respected, DfE accredited professional qualification

  • Be awarded 60 accredited masters-level credits from Middlesex University for NPQSL and NPQH

  • Enhance your own and others’ personal and professional development

  • Gain a professional network of colleagues beyond your own setting

How are they delivered?

Your course will be delivered through an interactive learning platform, Campus Online™. You’ll be supported by experienced online tutors with recent or current leadership experience in schools. You’ll also be able to share practice and discuss issues with other educators working towards their NPQ in the online forum.

During your course you’ll lead your team to design, implement and evaluate an improvement project in your setting, lasting at least two terms. For the NPQH you’ll also undertake a placement in another school, lasting at least nine days, where you’ll design and present an action plan to address the school’s resource and capability challenges.

Entry criteria

To join an NPQ programme you must:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree

  • Be working in an education setting

To join the NPQH programme you’ll also need to have the full support and endorsement of a sponsor. Usually, this will be your head teacher or line manager.

Start dates

Courses begin in January, March, May and September.

NPQs fees and funding

Fees can be paid in one, three or 10 instalments. If you’re studying outside the UK, you can get advice on payment options and other information here.

National Professional Qualification Total fee Fee without VAT
National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership £1,380 £1,150
National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership £2,100 £1,750
National Professional Qualification for Headship £3,300 £2,750

 

If you’re studying in the UK, you may be eligible for DfE funding if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re enrolled on an NPQ course

  • You work in a school in a Category 5 or 6 area (you can check this on the DfE website)

  • You don’t already hold the NPQ for which you have enrolled

  • You haven’t previously enrolled with an NPQ provider for the same NPQ course and dropped out before completing it

  • The DfE hasn’t previously paid for your NPQ course