National Professional Qualifications Frequently Asked Questions

Can a member of staff without QTS sign on for an NPQ and get DfE funding?

Yes, the DfE has confirmed that QTS is not a requirement for NPQs. This is most likely relevant to participants on the NPQLBC. There will be some academic reading (not an extensive amount) so suitability of candidates without a degree level qualification would be considered on a case by case basis. Applicants without QTS can apply for a TRN (Teacher Reference Number) by following the steps outlined here.

Can I take an NPQ if I am not a UK trained teacher?

Yes, and if you are employed by a school in England you may also be eligible for full funding. You will need to apply for a TRN (Teacher Reference Number) by following the steps outlined here.

I have previously completed an NPQ in the old framework, can I do the same course again?

Yes. The specialist NPQs are completely distinct from the old NPQML and the TDT NPQSL and NPQH have been designed from scratch, so you will have a different experience doing the same course again.

I am currently on the SLT in my school, can I do the NPQH?

The NPQs are designed to help you do your job better, rather than as a prerequisite for a new role. The real question is how soon do you see yourself in a headship role. If you will be taking on a headship before the end of the 18 month course, then the NPQH will be a good fit for you. At this point you would also be eligible for the Additional Support Offer (ASO) as this is designed for headteachers in their first 2 years of headship.

Who is eligible for the Additional Support Offer

The support offer is available to those in their first 2 years of headship, who have either completed the new/reformed NPQ before becoming a head OR are currently taking the existing NPQH. The ASO will be a targeted package of support aimed at new headteachers, and based on the content of the new NPQH, which has been reformed to ensure it is underpinned by the latest and best evidence. Those teachers who are currently taking the existing NPQH, and are due to finish this qualification in 2021 or 2022 will also be eligible for the ASO (if they are in their first 2 years of headship).

Can I take an NPQ if I am based abroad?

Our NPQ programmes are blended – both online and in person. If you can come to England to attend the compulsory face to face sessions then you can sign up for an NPQ with any of our local delivery partners. Full prices will apply as you will not be eligible for scholarship funding. 

Our international delivery network is expanding and we expect to be delivering in the UAE from November with the Zen Professional Development / UAE Research Schools Network based in Abu Dhabi. Register your interest on our NPQ web page and we will keep you updated as more partners are added to our network.

What if I move school during the course?

If you commence an NPQ and then move school, you would be able to continue your study. If you are taking the NPQH and become a headteacher in the new school you would then be eligible for the fully funded Additional Support Offer element.

Who is eligible for full scholarship funding?

We’re pleased to confirm that all NPQs are fully funded for any staff in state-funded schools in England. More information is available from the government, here.

What if my school is not eligible for funding?

You will need to speak to the relevant senior lead at your school to find out if your school/trust will support you with the cost of your NPQ. You also have the option of self funding or coming to a part-payment arrangement with your school or trust.