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NPQ scholarship funding announced!

Most teachers and leaders will be able to access fully funded National Professional Qualification for Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD). The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is funded for those within their first two years of headship. Also, there will be targeted funding for schools within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium. 

Funding and eligibility criteria 

As part of the government’s long-term education recovery plan, £184 million of new funding for NPQs was announced on 2nd June 2021 to be spent over the course of this parliament.

DfE have announced the criteria for accessing NPQ scholarships. 

NPQ in Leading Teacher Development. Find out more about this NPQ here.

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

  • Have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school.
  • Work in a state funded school in England.

NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture. Find out more about this NPQ here.

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

  • Have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in their school.
  • Work in a state funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year (The list can be downloaded here).

NPQ in Leading Teaching. Find out more about this NPQ here.

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

  • Have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage, or phase.
  • Work in a state funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year (The list can be downloaded here). 

NPQ in Senior Leadership. Find out more about this NPQ here.

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Senior Leadership is available to those who meet the following criteria:

  • Are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.
  • Work in a state funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year (The list can be downloaded here).

NPQ in Headship. Find out more about this NPQ here.

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

  • Are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
  • Work in a state funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year (The list can be downloaded here). 

OR

  • Are a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
  • Are in the first 2 academic years of headship.
  • Work in a state funded school in England.

NPQ in Executive Leadership. Find out more about this NPQ here.

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Executive Leadership is available to those who meet the following criteria:

  • Are, or are aspiring to be, an executive headteacher or have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.
  • Work in a state funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year (The list can be downloaded here).
Frequently asked questions
  • The published list of schools eligible for scholarships is final. The list can be downloaded here.

  • Schools without Pupil Premium data (new schools) are not eligible for scholarships.

  • Current and prospective executive leaders working across multiple schools in a trust are eligible for an NPQEL scholarship if at least one of the schools in their trust meets the Pupil Premium criterion.

  • There is no NPQ cap per school.

  • Whilst there is an overall cap on the number of scholarships, the supply of funded places is very generous and expected to be able to meet demand.

Next steps for potential applicants

If an applicant is interested in a particular NPQ programme, their first step will be to sign up with a provider. Information about the selected NPQ providers can be found on GOV.UK.

The easiest way to do this is to contact their local teaching school hub. They can also contact Lead Providers, or other known delivery partners, directly. 

Once they have selected their course and provider, they will need to register for their programme using the DfE’s Online service.

Additional support offer for the National Professional Qualification in Headship

In addition to the reformed suite of NPQs, the department is introducing additional support for new headteachers from Autumn 2021. This is a targeted support package for teachers new to the role of headship.

New headteachers are eligible for this targeted support package if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They are in their first 2 years of headship.
  • They have either completed the reformed NPQH before taking up their first headship post or are currently taking the NPQH.
  • They have not withdrawn from or failed the same programme previously.
  • They are employed by a state funded school in England upon starting the training.

The offer provides structured, unassessed face-to-face support based on the best available evidence about what makes an effective headteacher. While the exact content of this support will depend on the provider chosen, activities could include a combination of group coaching, one-to-one support discussions and peer network support. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if I work in a school that is within the top 30th percentile? 

A: The Department will shortly be publishing a list of schools that are eligible on the NPQ gov.uk page to ensure it is clear who is eligible under these criteria.

Q: When can I access these qualifications? 

A: NPQs in Leading Teaching, Leading Behaviour and Culture, Leading Teacher Development, Senior Leadership, Headship and Executive Leadership are available from November 2021. 

We have also announced that we are currently consulting with sector representatives and other experts on the value of developing additional qualifications in early years education and teaching literacy, among other potential areas to ensure national professional qualifications continue to offer the best possible support to teachers and leaders wanting to expand their knowledge and skills.

Q: What is the role of the online service?

A: Using the online service (NPQ registration) is the second step of the NPQ application journey. Participants should liaise directly with their chosen provider to establish the course that best suits them prior to accessing the service. Participants may complete an initial ‘expression of interest’/preliminary application form with the Provider directly. Providers will then direct participants to the service to register their details.

Q: What are the reformed NPQs?

A: National professional qualifications (NPQs) are a national, voluntary suite of qualifications designed to support the professional development of teachers and leaders. We’re committed to ensuring that NPQs continue to offer the best support to teachers and leaders wanting to expand their knowledge and skills.

Three existing NPQs in Senior LeadershipHeadship and Executive Leadership have been refreshed, ensuring that they are underpinned by the latest evidence of what works to ensure that National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) continue to offer the best possible support to teachers and leaders. 

The existing Middle Leadership NPQ has also been replaced with three new specialist NPQs to best address the broad range of responsibilities of current and aspiring middle leaders. These specialist areas cover: