National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) for UK Schools
Meet your leadership challenges with National Professional Qualifications
Our qualifications are all designed by serving school leaders and subject matter experts to form a coherent learning pathway. The combination of online courses, face-to-face events and enrichment practice activity create a truly blended learning experience.
The qualifications are structured in such a way as to give candidates the option of moving on to the next qualification after completing their first, or simply completing one qualification if preferred.
Which NPQ is right for me?
|Who's it for?||Aspiring or current middle leaders leading across a team||Aspiring or current senior leaders leading across a school||Aspiring or current headteachers leading a school||Aspiring or current executive leaders with responsibility across more than one school|
|Who can apply?||
|Intakes||Autumn & Spring||Autumn & Spring||Autumn & Spring||Autumn & Spring|
|Duration||12–18 months||12–18 months||12–18 months||12–18 months|
|DfE funding available||✓ *||✓ *||✓ *||✓ *|
|No. of face-to-face days||3||3||5||6 incl two 2-day residentials|
|No. of online courses||3||3||3||3|
|Personal online tutor||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Guided learning hours||84||84||106||115|
|Assessment||School improvement project across a team - see examples||School improvement project across whole school - see examples||Two school improvement projects in own school and placement school - see examples||Design improvement strategy for own school and lead a project to improve progress and attainment across several schools - see examples|
|Master's credits||Up to 40**||Up to 60**||Up to 100**||Up to 60**|
* applicable for schools in category 5 & 6 areas and MATs or Dioceses with 1 school in category 5 or 6 area
** number of credits awarded is at the discretion of universities
Why take an NPQ?
NPQs can have a measurable impact on schools and pupils.
As part of their final assessment, NPQ candidates complete a School Improvement Project. These projects have a real and lasting impact on pupils, schools and colleagues. Take a look at our School Improvement Library and see how completing an NPQ will impact on you and those around you.
NPQs are suitable for school leaders at each stage of their career, starting with Middle Leadership and progressing to Senior Leadership, Headship and Executive Leadership. Benefits for schools include:
- Increased workforce capacity, capability and confidence
- Staff retention and succession
- Research-based improvement activity addressing priority needs
Why choose OLP?
The Outstanding Leaders Partnership is a national, school-led partnership recently rated as ‘exceptional’ by the DfE Quality Assurance Agent.
The quality review was based on the DfE National Professional Qualification (NPQ) Quality Framework. The reviewers examined leadership and governance, face-to-face delivery, online courses, candidate, facilitator and tutor support, assessment, organisation, quality control, marketing and recruitment, as well as the DfE metrics and impact. The reviewers identified exceptional performance in most areas of the Quality Framework.
"I got the headship! The course was absolutely instrumental in my success at interview – I felt so confident because of my reading and the work we’ve done on the face-to-face days and projects. Thank you for your support and encouragement – it really helped.”"
Take a Qualification
Watch the video below to learn more about Outstanding Leaders Partnership and hear how our qualifications have impacted the careers of teachers and the attainment of pupils.