NPQ in Executive Leadership

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Become a confident leader of a multi-school organisation.

  • Gain a prestigious qualification to take your career to the next level.
  • Develop specialist expertise in running a multi-school organisation.
  • Connect with and learn from other executive leaders in the field.
  • Free one-to-one support and coaching.
  • Join a passionate network striving for educational equality.
  • DfE funding available to all state school teachers and leaders.
Apply for our February 2022 cohort

Lead your trust towards a brighter future.

Benefits

Gain a prestigious qualification to take your career to the next level

Get the tools you need to establish and sustain your trust’s strategic direction and culture.

Develop specialist expertise in running a multi-school organisation

Learn how to develop processes and systems that enable and encourage collaboration between staff within and across your schools. You’ll gain practical skills in effectively managing resources and establishing sustainable policies.

Connect with and learn from other executive leaders in the field

Build and expand your network across the country. Gain valuable fresh perspectives from other leaders in similar roles.

Free one-to-one support and coaching

If you work in a school serving disadvantaged communities, you can apply for our free one-to-one support which runs alongside the NPQ in Executive Leadership (NPQEL). You’ll be supported by an experienced former school leader who will coach and guide you throughout the programme. You can apply for this additional support in your application.

Join a passionate network striving for educational equality

Share experiences with other school leaders, learn how they’ve faced similar challenges and build a professional network that will support you throughout your career.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Programme

Is the NPQEL programme for me?

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

How does the NPQEL work?

This 21-month programme (18 months’ delivery and up to three months for assessment) consists of a series of courses based on the DfE’s NPQ frameworks. Each course cycle features:

  • evidence-based online content to refresh and build knowledge, as well as exemplify what this looks like for your role and level of leadership
  • a formative assessment task to support your learning
  • a face-to-face seminar with a group of peers, facilitated by a serving school leader or Teach First Development Lead – you’ll analyse and reflect on the task and hear further examples of good practice
  • the opportunity to record reflections and consolidate learning

This cycle repeats throughout the programme, with implementation a consideration in every course. Towards the end of the programme, you’ll also take a course focused specifically on effective implementation. This provides an opportunity to complete a significant but manageable change project as part of your role. There will be ongoing support through a seminar group and discussion forum.

What will I learn?

You’ll develop expertise in the knowledge, skills and concepts for areas of trust-level responsibility related to your role. These include trust culture, working in partnership and organisational management. Our content is informed by the best and most recent evidence and developed with input from school leaders and subject matter experts.

Our programmes have a practical focus. You’ll be supported to make small but important changes to your and others’ practice throughout the programme. This will conclude with the implementation module and practical implementation cycle of the programme. 

Find out more about the DfE’s NPQEL content framework:

Download framework

What are the training commitments?

The programme is designed to fit around your other school commitments. Over the course of the whole programme (spread over five terms), you’ll undertake 80 hours of learning, including 43 synchronous and 12 in-person. This includes a combination of seminars, learning modules, conferences and a practical learning cycle.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment takes place within three months of you completing your NPQEL. Detailed dates will be shared with you before the start of the programme.

The assessment process for all NPQs has been refreshed to reduce the workload burden on teachers while still providing an opportunity to apply their knowledge. To pass the programme, you’ll need to engage with at least 90% of the course and pass one summative assessment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Cost

Cost: £3,245

DfE funding  

Full DfE funding, with no cost to the participant, 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.

Need more information?

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

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Is my school eligible?

While NPQs are open to all teachers and leaders in schools in England and Wales, we prioritise supporting schools that teach a high number of pupils from low-income backgrounds.

We use the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Achieving Excellence Areas (AEA) measures to identify this. We focus on schools that meet one of these criteria:

  • An IDACI of 40 or greater (40% of pupils live in the three most deprived deciles).
  • An IDACI of 35 to 40 and an AEA score of 4 to 6.
  • An IDACI of 30 to 35 and an AEA score of 5 or 6.
  • An IDACI of 25 to 30 and an AEA score of 6.
  • All schools in the top 30 percentile for pupil premium.

If your school is affiliated to one of our NPQ Delivery Partners, your school is automatically eligible to take part. Contact the relevant Delivery Partner for further information.

If you’re not sure whether your school is eligible, please complete our expression of interest form.

What are the programme start dates?

Our next cohort starts in February 2022.

How to apply

There are several routes to apply for our NPQ programmes depending on your circumstances, so carefully read the information below to find which one best suits you.

1. If you want to apply directly with Teach First, please read the application guidance and then complete the application form below as soon as possible:

Apply now

Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. 

2. If you are: 

  • an individual who has some questions for us before completing the application form / who wants to register your interest for a future start date
  • OR a school that wants to register its interest in our NPQ programmes for several members of staff

please complete our expression of interest form.

3. If you are a current Teach First partner school, you can nominate your teachers on the School Portal

4. If your school is affiliated to one of our NPQ Delivery Partners, your school is automatically eligible to take part. Contact the relevant Delivery Partner for further information.

Need more information?

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

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Our leadership programmes

Great leaders drive successful schools. Our world-class training gives those eager to step up and build a fairer education system, the tools and networks to do it.

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