NPQ in Leading Teaching

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Build your expertise for leading teaching in your specialist area.

  • Develop as a specialist in your role .
  • Gain the skills for successful leadership.
  • Learn to effectively support colleagues.
  • Free one-to-one support and coaching .
  • Join a passionate network striving for educational equality.
  • DfE scholarship funding available to schools serving disadvantaged communities.
Apply now for a November 2021 start

Create a culture of continuous improvement in your school.


Develop as a specialist in your role

Gain an understanding of the core principles behind the science of learning, get practical tools and guidance to sequence your curriculum and plan for assessment in your specific subject and context.

Gain the skills for successful leadership

Build the expertise to effectively manage a team of teachers and create a culture of professional learning and continuous improvement in your school.

Learn to effectively support colleagues

Develop the skills to help colleagues plan effective lessons, meet individual pupil needs and provide opportunities for all pupils to succeed – without creating unnecessary workload.

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 Leading Teaching (NPQLT). This free support comes in the form of 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.

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

Department for Education logo with text - 'Accredited NPQ provider'
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Is the NPQLT programme for me?

This programme is for those who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage or phase. For example a head of subject, key stage head or head of department.

How does the NPQLT work?

This 15-month programme (12 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 specialist areas related to your role. These include subject and curriculum, classroom practice and adaptive teaching. Our content is informed by the best and most recent evidence and developed with input from serving 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 NPQLT content framework:

Download framework

What are the training commitments?

The programme is designed to fit around your teaching and other school commitments. Over the course of the whole programme (spread over three terms), you’ll undertake approximately 55 hours of learning. This includes a combination of seminars, online learning modules, conferences and a practical implementation cycle.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment takes place within three months of you completing your NPQLT. 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.

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

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Cost: £840 

DfE funding  

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, is available to those 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. 

Looking for a different NPQ programme?

Teach First Summer School Guide


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?

There are currently two start dates for our NPQs:

  • November 2021.
  • 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 for a November 2021 start, 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 in our programmes starting in February 2022  
  • OR a school that wants to register its interest in our NPQ programmes for several members of staff for either a November or February start

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 part of one of our Delivery Partners, please apply directly with them.

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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Explore our bank of resources, shared by our community of teachers and schools

Join the Leading Teaching programme

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