For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.

Delivery Partner

Course Overview

Registration dateOctober-January. Participants can register with the Department for Education from October and will be prompted to complete a short application with UCL
Start dateFebruary
Course length18 months
AccreditationUCL/Department for Education (DfE)
FeesState School participants will receive sponsorship from DfE. The fee for self-funded or Independent School participants is £1985. Please note that anyone receiving DfE sponsorship will not be permitted to withdraw and then restart the same NPQ.

Course Curriculum

This 18-month course will help staff gain confidence and develop skills in:

  • leadership knowledge and the specialist expertise needed to tackle school improvement priorities
  • supporting the development of a positive, predictable and safe environment for pupils and staff
  • leading your school’s strategic direction and establishing an environment for pupil and staff success
  • helping ensure staff feel supported and valued.


Leaders will get to train alongside peers with similar responsibilities. The course content focuses on the key challenges senior leaders and heads face in their role.

Leaders and education experts designed this course to fit around busy leadership responsibilities. There’s no project work and minimal time out of school required.

What you'll learn

This course covers themes including:

  • School Culture – you will establish and sustain an effective school culture by setting the strategic direction, managing human and financial resources and fulfilling all statutory duties to enable a sustainable and thriving school community.
  • Teaching – you will learn how to establish and support effective teaching across your school to develop and embed your teacher’s pedagogical knowledge and classroom skills to enable the best outcomes for all children and young people no matter what their starting point is.
  • Curriculum and Assessment – you will learn how to support and sustain high quality planning, teaching, learning and assessment by ensuring the implementation of effective and coherent policies. Appropriate and well-designed professional development for the teachers in your school will align with these priorities.
  • Behaviour and Support – you will be able to establish and sustain high standards of behaviour and learning across the whole school community, including liaising with and training key stakeholders to ensure a safe, inclusive learning environment for all.
  • Implementation – you will learn how to implement change successfully within your context by understanding the stages of implementation and aligning it with wider school improvement priorities.

How you'll learn

We offer a combination of online sessions with three face-to-face conferences in a central UK location. Our online sessions are carefully facilitated to allow a significant portion of time in Peer Learning Groups, incorporating plenty of discussion, reflection and expert input. For our face-to-face conferences, participants are welcomed at one of our centrally located campuses and these events include a full day of hospitality, an expert guest speaker and valuable networking opportunities.

“It was a pleasure leading a session on school partnerships with such an engaged and committed group of school leaders. Sharing their diverse experiences and expectations of partnerships brought a real richness to the discussion – and some really insightful questions. I look forward to working with you again.”

Christina Astin

Education Consultant, who provided expert practitioner insight



Completion of the programme and maintaining an average of at least 90% engagement across the course is required for success. Participants will also be asked to develop and present an implementation plan which reflects their learning and complete a case study response during an 8-day window at the end of the programme.


If you’d like to enrol on the Leading Teaching NPQ with us, in the first instance, you should register with the Department for Education on the NPQ Registration Services area. You will need to provide your Teacher Reference Number (TRN).

Guidance on acquiring a TRN, can be found on the Gov.uk website.

You will then need to apply directly with UCL. Application details can be found here.

Your questions answered

Louisa Horner is CATS Global Schools’ Learning & Development Lead. She has completed her own NPQ in Senior Leadership and leads the facilitation of NPQs for CATS Global Schools, so can share insight into the learning experience and time commitments. Here she answers your most frequently asked questions.

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For school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.