National Professional Qualification for Headship


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.

NPQH is for those who are, or are aspiring to become, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school. This includes those who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with cross-school responsibilities such as a National Leader of Education (NLE).

The programme will develop talented leaders from all backgrounds who can deliver educational excellence in a self-improving system, and high quality outcomes for pupils and students. The support of a ‘sponsor’ from your school, usually your line manager or headteacher, is essential to enable you to make the most of the programme.

It is expected that participants will complete the programme within 12-18 months.

This year we have over 80 participants on our NPQH programme. We plan for two cohorts each year but due to popular demand added an additional cohort for 2018 – 2019. NPQH places are taken very quickly and we generate waiting lists. For 2019 – 2020 we already have limited remaining places and cannot guarantee an additional third cohort. We advise you register and complete the application form as a real priority if you want to secure a place on the programme.

PLEASE NOTE: There is currently no guarantee from the DfE that the NPQs will be continued under licence post-2020 or that fully funded scholarships will be available in the future.

APPLICATION WINDOW FOR NPQH 2019 – 2020 IS NOW OPEN – Deadline for applications: Window remains open until 14th October – places limited so register and complete your application as soon as possible.  

For further venue information and delivery dates please click here.

To register for a future cohort, please click here.

Our Delivery Model

Our delivery model adopts a blended learning approach – prioritising learning through face to face sessions with expert facilitators, who are practising educational leaders,  supported by self-directed learning through think pieces, current cutting edge research, work based practice, placement in school and exposure to outstanding practice through optional school visits.


£1950    *There may be cheaper options from alternative providers. However, your value for money is for proven reputation and quality – with measured impact on school improvement.

** Department for Education Scholarship Funding for all NPQs –  go to our Registration page now to find out more about taking up one of these FREE places.

The Alliance of Leading Learning NPQH Package Includes: 

  • 360 Diagnostic on entry and exit
  • A Launch Day Induction
  • 2 all-inclusive residentials in 4* quality hotel (Thursday / Friday) led by exemplary headteachers and professional learning experts.
  • Support with self-directed school-based tasks
  • Opportunity to shadow a Headteacher for a day and see modelled good practice
  • Support for your 10-day placement in another school
  • Access to an external coach, if required
  • Final assessment support throughout the course
  • Access to the Alliance of Leading Learning national and international Professional Learning Community.
  • Admin support and customer care throughout the course

*Investing in our leaders: The launches and residential for our NPQH are delivered at quality hotels with full conferencing facilities, full board and access to Leisure facilities – at no extra cost.







NPQH Study Modules

Leading with Impact:

  • Distribute responsibility and accountability throughout the school to improve performance.
  • Be an inspiring leader in a range of different situations.
  • Communicate and negotiate with different people effectively to make progress objectives.

Teaching and Curriculum Excellence:

  • Lead and grow excellent teaching in a school.
  • Support pupils of all backgrounds, abilities and particular needs in the school to achieve high standards, including Pupil Premium, SEND, EAL or the most able pupils.
  • Systematically review the cumulative impact of initiatives on teacher workload and make proportionate and pragmatic demands on staff.

Increasing Capability:

  • Hold all staff to account for performance using performance management, appraisal, misconduct and grievance systems.
  • Create and sustain an environment where all staff are encouraged to develop their own knowledge and skills, and support each other.
  • Anticipate capability requirements or gaps in the school and design strategies to fill them.

School Strategy and Improvement:

  • Anticipate changes in the external and strategic environment.
  • Develop an evidence based organisational strategy, in collaboration with the governing board.
  • Lead a successful whole-school change programme.

Working in Partnership:

  • Use different models of partnership working to improve educational provision, sustain a culture of mutual challenge and learn from others (including parents/carers, the wider community and other organisations).
  • Lead an effective partnership which brings benefits to the school and wider education system, particularly in their school’s area(s) of expertise or specialism.

Managing Resources and Risks:

  • Balance a school’s strategic or educational priorities with financial efficiency.
  • Implement accountability arrangements to manage resources and risks effectively and in line with statutory requirements (where applicable, fulfilling the Accountability Officer role as defined in the Academies Financial Handbook).

Final Assessment

The final assessment comprises of 2 sections:

  • A project style submission detailing your development as a leader throughout the programme. You will create a 4,000 word report based on your school project.
  • Design an action plan of 2,500 words to meet your placement school’s resourcing and capability needs.  You will be able to choose a window for your assessment within an 18 month timescale.

To register, please click here.