The Reformed National Professional Qualifications Explained

National professional qualifications (NPQs) are a national, voluntary suite of qualifications, designed to support the professional development of teachers and leaders.

From autumn 2021, a reformed suite of NPQs will be available for teachers and leaders who want to develop their knowledge and skills in school leadership and specialist areas of teaching practice.

The three existing NPQs have been refreshed, ensuring that they are underpinned by the latest evidence of what works:

The existing Middle Leadership NPQ has also been replaced with three new specialist NPQs to best address the broad range of responsibilities of current and aspiring middle leaders. These specialist areas cover:

The reformed suite of NPQs is designed to offer the best possible support to teachers and leaders wanting to expand their knowledge and develop their skills, helping them to become more effective teachers and leaders inside and outside the classroom. The six reformed NPQs will be available from November 2021 with plans to create 2 further NPQs for Leading Literacy and Leading Early Years set to be rolled out from September 2022.

The frameworks have been developed in consultation with an expert advisory group and clearly set out the content that participants should know and be able to do after completing an NPQ. Providers of NPQs will use these frameworks to design their courses.

In March, the DfE announced the lead providers for the reformed suite of NPQs. Lead providers will be responsible for delivering the reformed NPQs in partnership with delivery partners including teaching school hubs.

The lead providers are:

  • Ambition Institute 
  • Best Practice Network (home of Outstanding Leaders Partnership) 
  • Church of England  
  • Education Development Trust  
  • Harris Federation 
  • Leadership Learning South East 
  • Teacher Development Trust  
  • Teach First  
  • UCL Institute of Education.

Locally, schools can access all of the new NPQs through their local teaching school hub. Gateway Alliance will be working in partnership with the hubs to deliver the NPQs locally.

Coventry & Central Warwickshire TS Hub are delivery partner for UCL Institute of Education.

John  Taylor TS Hub are delivery partner for the Ambition Institute.

Tudor Grange TS Hub are delivery partner for the Teacher Development Trust.


As part of the government’s long-term education recovery plan, £184 million of new funding for NPQs was announced on 2 June 2021 to be spent over the course of this parliament.

If your school is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium then you will be able to access full NPQ scholarships for any of the NPQs.

If your school is not within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium then only the NPQ for Leading Teacher Development and NPQ for Headship (for heads in their first 2 years of headship) will be fully funded by DfE scholarships.

For more information about the NPQ reforms and the funding eligibility, please visit: National professional qualifications frameworks: from September 2021 – GOV.UK.