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National Professional Qualifications

The new NPQ framework

The National Professional Qualifications are accredited by the Department for Education. The 2021 qualifications have been redesigned and will be delivered in collaborative partnership between national providers and Teaching School Hubs and other Delivery Partners.

TSH Berkshire is working with UCL Institute of Education to offer the full suite of NPQs across our designated area. 

The NPQs will be delivered through a cluster model. Participants will register for the programmes directly with the DfE, but will be grouped together to work with other leaders in their area in a local cluster.  Facilitators will be recruited by TSH Berkshire and will be experienced leaders or programme deliverers.  

What NPQs are available?

The programmes below are available in 2021-22.  In addition, for Autumn 2022, two new NPQs will be offered - NPQ in Early Years Leadership and NPQ in Leading Literacy

Specialist Programmes Duration: 12 Months plus assessment time.

NPQ for Leading Teaching (NPQLT)is designed for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage or phase.

NPQ for Leading Teacher Development (NPQLDT) is designed for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school. They may have responsibilities for the development of all teachers across a school or specifically trainees or teachers who are early in their career.

NPQ for Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC) is designed for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in their school

Leadership Programmes Duration: 18 Months plus assessment time.

NPQ for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) is designed for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.

NPQ for Headship (NPQH) is designed for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.

NPQH Additional Support Offer: Head teachers new to role will also be eligible for a flexible, 6-month, extension programme which combines local peer-to-peer support and mentoring with centrally managed coaching and online resources.

NPQ for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) is designed for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, an executive headteacher or have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.

The diagram below shows the key elements which underpin all NPQs. Each of the three content modules has sequenced the domains described in the NPQ framework. The leadership NPQs will include all domains whereas the specialist NPQs will include only those described in the appropriate framework.

All the modules will be underpinned by content that encourages participants to develop their own equitable approach to leadership. The Implementation Project provides an opportunity for participants to apply their learning to their role and is integrated with the final assessment case study.

Why UCL Institute of Education?

UCL Institute of Education was recently ranked Number 1 for Education in the QS World University Rankings for the 8th year running. We are a world-leading centre for research and teaching in education and ranked outstanding by Ofsted in every criterion for our Initial Teacher Education programmes.

Supporting the DfE’s ambition that every child in every classroom in every school gets a world class start in life and creating inspiring career pathways, UCL's ECF and NPQ programmes provide a continuous 'golden thread' of teacher training and development. The programmes are built on a consistent, evidence informed understanding of what works and are delivered by experienced leaders from across the school system. 

A particular strength of the UCL model is the commitment to building leadership development capacity across the system.

Application Process

Applications are made directly to the Department for Education

Step 1: Explore the information about the programmes on the UCL Institute of Education website here:

Step 2: Register

Register with the DfE using the link below and choose UCL Institute of Education as the Lead Provider. Once registration is complete the DFE will send the details to UCL Institute of Education.

Step 3: Apply

This step involves each prospective participant completing the UCL Institute of Education application form. A link to this will be sent once the details of their registration are received by UCL Institute of Education from the DfE. 

UCL will pass the details to TSH Berkshire who will contact participants with final details of the course.

NPQ costs and funding

All NPQs are now free of charge to state funded schools and colleges. 

For more information about funding for NPQ programmes, see the DfE website via the link below:

The programme costs for those not eligible for DfE funding are as follows:

NPQ for Leading Teaching (NPQLT) £885
NPQ for Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQBC) £885
NPQ for Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD)  £885
NPQ for Senior Leadership  (NPQSL) £1,055
NPQ for Headship  (NPQH) £1,885
NPQ for Executive Leadership  (NPQEL) £4,099

Additional Support Offer for New Head Teachers


Are there alternative providers?

Other organisations are offering NPQs with other lead providers in the TSH Berkshire Area:

Forest Learning Alliance working with the Education Development Trust

The Downland Alliance working with the Best Practice Network

The Keys Academy Trust working with the Church of England