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NPQ - National Professional Qualification

Northern Lights Teaching School Hub are pleased to announce that we are offering the newly reformed suite of National Professional Qualifications – high quality professional development for teachers and leaders. National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are trusted, transferable qualifications accredited by the Department for Education.

We have partnered with Ambition Institute to offer the full range of NPQs. We are proud to be working in partnership with Ambition Institute to deliver the full range of Specialist and Leadership NPQs. We believe that Ambition’s system-led leadership programme offers the best experience for colleagues embarking on these qualifications. The blend of clinics, conferences and communities offers a high-quality CPD experience across all NPQs.

We are also partnered with The Church of England Education Office (in partnership with the Catholic Education Service) to offer a flex model to groups of schools MATs as well as the standard model for NPQLPM and the new NPQ for SENCOs. Click the logo to find out more about NPQ Flex:

The NPQs from both providers are available for teachers and leaders who want to develop their knowledge and skills in school leadership and specialist areas of teaching practice. Select below to find out more about the different NPQs and find the right one for you.










To view the Framework for the NPQ for SENCO, please click above and you will be taken to the site. For further information regarding who should complete the NPQ for SENCO, please click here. When Ambition and Church of England have released their curriculum, we will update the NPQ for SENCO page with full information. If you are interested in completing the NPQ for SENCO then please fill in the expression of interest below and we will be in touch when the application window opens!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment?

For all programmes the time commitment for a participant is at least 50 minutes per week.  The 50 minutes study each week is made up of a combination of Insight and Application modules.

Insight modules: Weeks 1, 3 and 5 are independent and can be accessed whenever you want during the week through an online platform.  Through accessing the Insight modules, you will engage with new learning linked to your NPQ programme at your own pace.

Application modules: Weeks 2, 4 and 6 are completed with a `buddy’ so you will pair up and spend those 50 minutes (max) together either virtually or in person.  Your buddy will provide support throughout the programme.

In addition to the Insight and Application modules, there will be scheduled Clinics (2hr) and Communities (1hr).  As a rough guide, you will have a Clinic and a Community each half-term.

How many days will I be required to be out of school?

NPQLL, NPQLT, NPQLTD, NPQLBC: The only time out of school required is for the one-day launch Conference and the assessment clinic at the end of the course (half day).

All other Clinics are run virtually (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The Programme lasts for 12 months, comprising six six-week courses).

NPQSL & NPQEYL: Two and a half days out of school, the launch Conference, a second Conference at the 3/4 point of the Programme and the assessment clinic at the end of the course (half day).  All Clinics are run inside the working day but outside of teaching time (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The Programme lasts for 18 months, comprising nine six-week courses.

NPQH: Three and a half days out of school, the launch Conference, a Conference at the 3/4 point of the programme and the assessment clinic at the end of the course (half day).  You will also be required to do a school visit to another school and can timetable that yourself.  All Clinics are run inside the working day but outside of teaching time (4-6pm) to minimise the impact on pupils.  Clinics are roughly once a half-term.  The programme lasts for 18 months, comprising nine six-week courses.

All dates will be shared with you in advance and we advise that you put all of the dates into your calendar and request your leave of absence so that you know when you need time out of school.

What does the Assessment look like?

The Assessment is a case study of 2000 words, which you read, and have an 8 day to respond in no more than 1500 words (essay style, continuous prose).  The Clinics that you will attend every 6 weeks take you through problem-solving/scenario-based approaches to problem-solving, so this is great preparation for the Assessment.  The Assessment Clinic at the end of the programme will also prepare you for your 1500-word response.  You must also engage with at least 90% of the Course Content/Clinics/Conferences/Communities throughout your course to pass.

We would advise that you put the Assessment window in your diary and ensure that you give yourself enough time to complete it. Although 8 days can seem like a lot of time, you also have to factor in your usual work / home commitments at the same time.

How much does an NPQ cost?

Scholarship funding for autumn 2024 

Funding for autumn 2024 will target those teachers and leaders who work in the most challenging schools or educational settings, serving more disadvantaged communities. 

Scholarship funding to cover the full NPQ course cost will be available to teachers and leaders from: 

  • the 50% of schools with the highest proportion of students who attract pupil premium funding 
  • 16 to 19 educational settings identified as having high disadvantage 

For the early years leadership NPQ, highly disadvantaged early years settings will also be eligible.    

Scholarships will continue to be available to all teachers and leaders from publicly funded schools and 16 to 19 educational organisations for the following NPQs: 

  • leading primary maths  
  • SENCO  
  • headship  

For the early headship coaching offer, funding to cover the course fees will be available if you are in your first 5 years of headship in England in a state-funded school or state-funded 16 to 19 organisation. You should also be doing or have done the headship NPQ.  

Will my school receive funding?

Yes. Currently, all schools will receive £200 for every participant who completes an NPQ. If your school has less than 150 pupils, the school will receive £800 per participant. For further details, please contact us and we can confirm how much funding your school is eligible for.

What is a clinic?

Clinics are two-hour, facilitated sessions that aim to check participant understanding of the content delivered through the Insight and Application modules in previous six-week course, address common misconceptions, further contextualise the content and support the building of a community/network.

Programme Overview

I enjoy the high quality and challenging discussions which take place during conferences and practice clinics. As time goes on, the impact of previous learning is evident, allowing participants to push their thinking further and consider issues in ways which they may not have done previously. Morag Wilson, Visiting Fellow NPQSL

Register your interest in accessing the National Professional Qualification (NPQ)s with the Hub 

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