National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)

Image of Headteacher consulting his staff
ForThose who are, or aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school 
Length18 months
Study Time60hrs online study; four 4hr in-person sessions; four 1.5hr national seminars; nine 1.5hr local seminars; four 1hr specialist webinars; four 1.5hr case studies
Programme Start OptionsFebruary 2023
CostFully funded for all staff in state-funded schools and state-funded organisations that offer 16 to 19 places in England
£1,899 for all othersmore information here

Lead sustainable improvement and meaningful change

A completely updated NPQH for those who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school

  • Gain a nationally recognised, prestigious, government-backed qualification and make progress in your career
  • Strengthen your expertise as both a strategic and operational leader, helping you to create a culture where pupils and staff can thrive, and learn how to bring others with you on the journey
  • Learn flexibly around your job with a blend of online learning, virtual sessions and local face to face workshops

Benefits for you

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of how to apply the evidence on school improvement through people development, working with staff, pupils, governors and the wider community to create lasting change
  • A blended learning experience which fits around your role where you learn and discuss key content online delivered in a way that suits the busy working lives of teachers and school leaders
  • Local virtual and face to face sessions that focus on real problem-solving, creating understanding, connecting with your peers and gaining depth of knowledge
  • Ongoing preparation to give you confidence to pass the final assessment
  • Facilitation and support from serving school leaders in excellent schools and delivery at local venues
  • An additional programme of online support and group coaching aimed exclusively at new headteachers

Benefits for your school or trust

  • A skilful and research-informed organisational leader with the capability to lead school in conjunction with a motivated and coherent senior leadership team
  • Practical capability to get on with the job of developing others with the skills to lead with people and teams, creating change and impact
  • A professionally aware and informed leader who can make evidence-based decisions and approach headship in an effective and efficient manner
  • The ability to review and evaluate practice in order to bring about change and get the best outcomes for young people and staff within the organisation

A blend of flexible online learning, online discussion, virtual workshops and face to face workshops, for a few hours study each week over 18 months. This is followed by an assessment window where you will complete a 1500-word case study assessment to demonstrate your understanding of real leadership and change.

In addition, new headteachers will be eligible for an exclusive programme of free on-the-job additional support, through group coaching and online support.

TDT NPQH Programme overview graphic

Our online modules guide you and your colleagues through understanding and implementing effective approaches to people-powered school improvement.

This completely reformed NPQH has an evidence-informed curriculum design, connecting you to the latest research and best practice. Our research-rich course covers all of the core content in the government’s Framework for this qualification. It will help you to:

  • Provide the strategic lead of effective teaching, curriculum, assessment and culture within your school
  • Lead effective professional development, change and implementation
  • Manage a school’s systems and processes, working with parents and governors
  • Build a stronger understanding of your own strengths and areas for development, helping to create a more sustainable and resilient approach to leadership

Funding and Cost

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Headship is available to all teachers who meet the following criteria:

  • are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school
  • are employed in state-funded schools, as well as those employed in state-funded organisations that offer 16 to 19 places in England

The course fee is £1,899 for all others  – more information here

Start your application

Register your interest in the box below

More information

The Teacher Development Trust is an internationally leading charity in the fields of staff development and school improvement through people development. Founded by practising teachers and leaders in 2012, we’ve helped hundreds of schools and leaders to create lasting improvement.



Register now for our NPQs starting in Autumn 2023:

Register Now for our NPQs starting in 2023-24

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Find your local partner

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Our network of UK and international delivery partners will be happy to support you along your learning journey with exceptional facilitators who have a strong track record of leadership and supporting other leaders.

If you may be interested in becoming a facilitator, please click here.

“The course had a huge impact on my professional life this year […] it reignited my desire to learn in an academic sense”

“The course material is utterly brilliant. Such high quality and carefully crafted. The spirit and ethos of TDT is forefront.”

Key Dates

Autumn 2022 Cohorts

QualificationStart DateFinal Delivery SessionAssessment window startAssessment window end
NPQH17th October 2022w/c 25th March 2024Monday 15th April 2024Monday 22nd April 2024

National Seminars

National Seminar 1Tuesday 18th October 2022 (1.30pm – 3pm)
National Seminar 2Wednesday 25th January 2023 (10am – 11.30pm)
National Seminar 3Wednesday 3rd May 2023 (10am – 11.30am)
National Seminar 4Thursday 9th November 2023 (3.30pm – 5pm)

NPQH Specialist Seminars

These run nationally as part of Theme 4 for NPQH

Specialist SeminarDate
Specialist Seminar 1Monday 4th December 2023 (3pm – 4pm)
Specialist Seminar 2Tuesday 9th January 2024 (1.30pm – 2.30pm)
Specialist Seminar 3Wednesday 31st January 2024 (2pm – 3pm)
Specialist Seminar 4Thursday 22nd February 2024 (10am – 11am)

Spring 2023 Cohorts

QualificationStart DateFinal Delivery SessionAssessment window startAssessment window end
NPQHMonday 6th February 2023w/c 15th  July 2024Monday 2nd September 2024Monday 9th September 2024
Download our NPQH brochure