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NPQs: Your questions answered

Updated: Jun 28

A refreshed and exciting set of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are available to teachers and leaders from November 2021 – here are answers to the questions that many people are asking.


What are the reforms?


The new NPQs have been developed in collaboration with teachers, school leaders, academics, and an Expert Advisory Group. The frameworks have been independently validated by the Education Endowment Foundation to ensure that they are rooted in evidence. They build on the revised framework for Initial Teacher Training and establish a golden thread from initial teacher education through to specialist and leadership roles.

The reformed specialist NPQs are:

  • Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD) – supporting the training and development of others.

  • Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC) – developing teachers who have responsibilities for leading behaviour and culture.

  • Leading Teaching (NPQLT) – developing teachers who are subject leads or responsible for improving teaching practice in a subject or phase.

The reformed leadership NPQs are:

  • Senior Leadership (NPQSL) – for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.

  • Headship (NPQH) – for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a head teacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.

  • Executive Leadership (NPQEL) – for school leaders who are, or aspiring to be, an executive head teacher or a have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.


WIIFM – ‘What’s in it for me?’


As a teacher your time is precious, and the demands are high – anyone outside of the profession who was ‘home-schooling' earlier this year knows this! The new NPQs give you the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in specialist areas and in school leadership while valuing your time.

The focus on excellent professional development – where quality teaching matters and whole school improvement is vital – has tremendous potential. The NPQs will also give you the opportunity to improve your practice as a professional, advance in your career, and build capacity across your team.

How do I choose?


That depends on where you are in your career. Each of the NPQs is designed to build on your experience and create opportunities in your teaching practice. A good start would be to decide what interests you, explore each of the frameworks to see more about what you could learn and then have a chat with your colleagues as they may suggest something you haven’t thought of!

What’s next?


NELT Teaching School Hub is working in partnership with the School-Led Network to provide NPQs. Check out our website or learn more about the School-Led Network. You can also get in touch to have an informal chat with someone from our team.