National Professional Qualifications

NPQ Programmes

Saffron Teaching School Hub offers the following NPQ programmes with Teach First:

How do I apply for an NPQ programme?

Applications for our February 2024 cohort are now OPEN.

Places on all programmes are limited - please secure your fully funded place early by completing the 2 steps below:

  1. Register your NPQ choice with the DfE – this then secures your funding: REGISTER YOUR NPQ WITH THE DFE
  2. Apply for your NPQ using our online form: APPLY FOR YOUR NPQ PROGRAMME HERE

Make sure you complete the above steps in order, you need to apply for your funding from the DfE before you complete our online application form. 

Apply before our closing date - 9th January 2024

Find out about the positive impact an NPQ can have on your career here.

Find out more

For an overview of our NPQ programmes, see our NPQ Programmes Brochure.

We are committed to working with schools in our area to build effective CPD pathways into their professional development programmes, continuing the 'golden thread' of teacher development from the early career years.

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Expand the headings below to find out more about our Teach First NPQ programmes.

What are NPQs?

National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are the most widely recognised qualifications in the education sector for current and aspiring leaders.

Accredited by the Department for Education (DfE), NPQs provide training and support for teachers and school leaders at all levels. From those who want to develop expertise in high-quality teaching practice, such as behaviour management, to those leading multiple schools across trusts.

We’re delighted to be one of a select group of national providers to design, deliver and assess the reformed NPQs in collaboration with several delivery partners (Teaching School Hubs and multi-academy trusts working with us to deliver the NPQs).

A closer look at each NPQ programme

NPQ in Leading Teaching (NPQLT)

Teachers and school leaders who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject or year. For example, head of subject, key stage head or head of department.

NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQBC)

Teachers and school leaders who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in their school. For example, head of year or roles with other pastoral responsibilities.

NPQ in Leading Teacher Development


Teachers and school leaders who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school, for example CPD lead or ITT lead.

NPQ in Leading Literacy (NPQLL)

Teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage or phase.

NPQ in Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

School leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.

NPQ in Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL)

Leaders qualified to at least level 3 with a full and relevant qualification who are, or are aspiring to be: · managers of private, voluntary and independent nurseries · headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries · childminders with leadership responsibilities.

NPQ in Headship (NPQH)

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

Early Headship Coaching Offer

(formerly the NPQH Additional

Support Offer)

Headteachers new to the role of headship who: · work in a state-funded school · are in the first five years of headship · have previously done an NPQH / are applying for an NPQH / are currently doing an NPQH – with us or another provider.

NPQ in Executive Leadership


School leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, an executive headteacher or have a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.

How will the NPQs be assessed?

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 module and pass one assessment.

Assessment takes place within three months of you completing your NPQ programme. Detailed dates will be shared with you before the start of the programme.

Throughout the programme, you will participate in formative assessment tasks, so you can track your progress and understanding. This will also support you to demonstrate 90% engagement with the course.

At the start of your training, we’ll also provide you with the dates of the Summative Assessment so you can plan for this with your school. This will take the form of a case study which is a minimum of 2,000 words in length and will cover content referred to in the relevant NPQ Content Framework. It will represent a likely situation to be faced by a teacher at the relevant NPQ qualification level or role and will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant NPQ Content Framework and offer you an opportunity to demonstrate that you can successfully apply this.

You will have an eight-day window to provide a written response of a maximum of 1500 words for the case study (unless adjustments are required on an individual basis) in an ‘open book’ setting. You will receive the unseen case study question at the start of the eight-day window; and submit your response by midnight of the eighth day.

Is my school eligible to apply for a Saffron TS Hub Teach First NPQ?

If your school is affiliated to our multi-academy trust/Teaching School Hub, any member of your staff is eligible to apply to do a Teach First NPQ through us.

Schools that are not affiliated to any of the Delivery Partners working with Teach First can apply directly with Teach First to do an NPQ.

What is the cost of each NPQ if I am not eligible for the bursary ?

The DfE have announced that all teachers and leaders employed in state-funded schools and organisations in England that offer 16-19 places will be able to access a fully funded NPQ to support teachers and pupils following the disruption to learning faced as a result of COVID-19.

Targeted Support Funding for Small Schools

In addition to the full funding in place for all state-maintained schools and academies, the DfE has updated the Targeted Support and Delivery Fund offer from the next academic year (2023/24) to encourage and support teachers and leaders working in small state-funded settings to participate in NPQs.

State-funded schools or state-funded 16-19 organisations who have teachers or leaders taking an NPQ in the 2023/24 academic year will receive a grant payment of:

  • £800 for state-funded primary schools with 1 to 150 pupils
  • £200 for state-funded primary schools 150+ pupils
  • £200 for state-funded secondary schools and state-funded 16-19 educational settings with 1 to 600 pupils

This funding is aimed at helping teachers and leaders in smaller settings who may find it harder to engage with professional development. 

Actual cost to schools

Although the programme fees are being fully funded, there will be a cost to the school for time that staff need to complete their programme. This will depend on the provider and the type of programme.

For applicants who do not work in a state-funded school or Ofsted-registered early years provision, programme costs are as follows:

NPQ in Leading Teaching (NPQLT)


NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC)


NPQ in Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD)


NPQ in Leading Literacy (NPQLL)


NPQ in Senior Leadership (NPQSL)


NPQ in Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL)


NPQ in Headship (NPQH)


NPQ in Executive Leadership (NPQEL)


Teach First one-to-one support

Free, offered by Teach First on a priority school basis.

The Early Headship Coaching Offer (formerly the NPQH Additional Support Offer) is fully funded if you:

  • Are in your first five years of headship
  • Are employed in a state-funded school, or are employed in a state-funded organisation that offers 16-19 places in England upon starting the training
  • Have either completed a national professional qualification for headship (NPQH) before taking up your first headship post or are currently taking the NPQH
  • Ofsted Registered childminders and private nurseries

NPQs - what are the benefits?

In January 2023 the Saffron Teaching School Hub's first cohort received their specialist NPQ results. Our programme members undertook online learning, face to face conferences and online monthly seminars over that time, working on developing their knowledge and skills on their chosen specialism.

They worked in a group of peers from across phases, along with a pair of expert local facilitators, and made valuable connections and new networks including becoming part of both the Saffron TS Hub and Teach First communities.

Over that time, a lot changed. Some programme members took on new roles, or changed schools and others are now looking towards the next step of their career, all supported by the evidence of what great leadership looks like in their specialism. 

We asked some of the programme members from our original cohort to reflect on the benefits their chosen Teach First NPQ has had for them. Here's what they said: