A unique collaboration of experienced leaders from across the education system in Milton Keynes are working in partnership with University College London Institute of Education to deliver the new and reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs).

The locally led NPQs are designed to provide high quality professional development, as part of the golden thread of development from the Early Career Framework through to headship. These excellent professional development programmes are now fully-funded for teachers and leaders employed in all state-funded schools and colleges.

UCL is the top university for education in the world with a national and global reputation for the quality of its leadership programmes. This means that our NPQ programmes in Milton Keynes will be informed by the best evidence available.

With a strong record of working together to deliver high quality professional development for leaders and aspiring leaders. The NPQ programmes are facilitated by leaders from trusted local partners. All are currently working in local schools and are from a wide range of partners which reflect the diversity of schools and colleges across Milton Keynes. This means that the programmes will always be sensitive and responsive to local educational contexts and circumstances, enabling teachers and leaders to apply course content to their individual situations.

Course materials are evidence-led and specifically aimed at broadening teachers’ and leaders’ specialist expertise and leadership capabilities. The courses vary in length from 12-18 months, depending on the subject area, but all are divided into coherent learning modules and self-study sessions that enable teachers and leaders to learn at their own pace.

Working together in this way will provide the very best support available to develop teachers and leaders, enabling them to help all children and young people to achieve.

What are National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)?

Specialist NPQs

The three new NPQs in specialist areas of teaching are:

  • Leading Literacy (NPQLL) is for teachers who have or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage or phase.
  • Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD): for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school.
  • Leading Teaching (NPQLT): for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage or phase.
  • Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC): for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in their school.

Leadership NPQs

The reformed leadership NPQs are:

  • Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL) is for Early Years practitioners, teachers and leaders in Private, Voluntary and independent nurseries, school based nurseries or childminders.
  • 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 headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.
  • Executive Leadership (NPQEL): for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, an executive headteacher or a school trust CEO role with responsibility for leading several schools.

* NPQH Additional support offer for new headteachers

The benefits of NPQ Programmes for teachers, leaders and their schools

Great professional development opportunities and support for professional learning enables teachers and leaders to thrive. Teachers working in schools or groups of schools, where there is a culture of professional learning that is responsive to their needs and interests, are likely to flourish. That is why the NPQ programmes will have long term benefits for schools. They will help schools retain and develop talented teachers and leaders equipping them with the knowledge and expertise to make a difference to the children and young people they work with.

As well as helping teachers to develop knowledge and skills to prepare them for the next step in their development as a leader, the NPQ programmes will enable them to start having a positive impact in their schools straightaway. Bringing this knowledge and new skills to their schools, they will plan and implement an improvement project, which is supported by a facilitated peer learning group to ensure the programme has an impact on their leadership and on the children and young people in their school or college.

UCL Institute of Education NPQ Programmes

Building on knowledge and evidence-based principles, the programmes are designed to challenge thinking and extend practice. The inquiry-based, spiral model of knowledge acquisition and leadership development embeds learning into practice whilst taking account of workload pressures.

Each programme includes:

High-quality, evidence-based training designed by education experts and school leaders.

Self-directed learning: evidence-based online material to refresh and build knowledge

Peer learning: face-to-face seminars with a group of peers, facilitated by an expert leader

The opportunity to record reflections and consolidate learning

The Implementation Project provides an opportunity for teachers and leaders to apply their learning to their role and context, and is integrated within the final assessment case study.

NPQ Assessment

The assessment process for all of the NPQs has been refreshed to reduce the workload burden for teachers and leaders, while still providing an opportunity for them to apply their knowledge and skills.

To achieve the National Professional Qualification, participants will need to engage with at least 90% of the course and pass one summative assessment in the form of a written case study. This case study will be based on an area covered in the programme.

Assessment takes place within three months of completing the NPQ programme.

Detailed information about dates will be shared at the start of the programme.