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National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)

The University of Chichester NPQH brings together the Institute of Education’s legacy of high-quality teacher education with some of the highest quality and most inspiring serving school leaders in our Academy Trust. By choosing to study for your NPQH with us, you will have access to placements in our wide range of Academies where you can gain experience of leadership on the coastal strip, the inner-city or more remote rural settings and of schools in different stages in their improvement journeys.

You will study alongside aspiring and serving senior leaders from across the region. If you wish, we are always happy to work with you to accredit your learning on the NPQH through our Masters programme in a way which suits you.

Our NPQH is designed for those who aspire to headship within the next 12 to 18 months.

To be eligible you will need to be in a current senior leadership role. You will need to have the support of your Headteacher and be able to complete an equivalent to a nine day placement focused on an improvement project in another school as well as leading a significant school improvement project in your own school. 

We are pleased to announce that we are part of the new NPQ Alliance, led by Ambition Institute.

This is a national Alliance that brings together 47 multi-academy trusts, teaching school alliances and schools – including the University of Chichester Academy Trust and groups such as Ark, Outwood Grange Academies Trust and Oasis Community Learning – with regional school groups from across the country. We will deliver the NPQs through the Alliance’s experienced facilitators, tailoring programme content to meet local challenges and each leader’s development needs.

Working together to test, learn and innovate

The Alliance will support the education system to do everything it takes to raise the aspirations and attainment of every child, no matter what their background.

The programme:

The main focus of this programme is to ensure all participants increase their confidence and capability in the core skills and responsibilities of an effective school leader. The course will empower participants to develop a strong network to support them as headteachers. Participants will be assessed through two written assignments which report on their improvement projects to ensure they have reached the qualification requirements. A range of evidence is required to support their projects, including a video of a presentation to Governors during which they share the focus of their work. 

The training sessions will include the following six core areas:

  • Leadership skills for headteachers
  • School self-evaluation and school improvement planning
  • School culture and vision
  • Operational management of a school including finance and HR
  • Teaching, learning and curriculum
  • Pastoral leadership

The NPQ Alliance will be delivering programmes offering this qualification, and Ambition Institute will be running its Headship Programme (with NPQH).


The programme consists of six full-day sessions spread throughout the course of a school year.


This programme is suitable for:

Deputy heads who are aspiring to headship and meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You will probably be in a headship role in the next 12-18 months
  • You will have completed at least one year at a deputy head level
  • As this programme is for those whose next step is headship, eligibility is limited to deputy and associate headteachers in secondary settings, and deputy, associate and assistant heads in primary. Assistant heads in secondary whose role is commensurate to that of a deputy head are also eligible
  • You will have evidence of having made substantial positive impact on a school​
  • Those currently in headship roles

For all participants

In order for both aspiring and serving headteachers to receive their qualification, they will need to complete the project element of this qualification successfully. This is in two parts:

  • Lead a change programme at whole-school level, lasting at least two terms, to improve pupil progress and attainment. They will need to present the plan to their governing board prior to implementation, and gather their feedback
  • Undertake a placement in a contrasting school (for example, by performance, pupil profile, geography), lasting at least nine working days

Therefore it is essential that the school understands the level of support they will need to put in place when they are placing participants on the programme.

Cost: £1,900pp


For more details on the NPQ Alliance, visit:

How to apply - Application