National Professional Qualifications Q&A

FAQs around the recent DfE policy updates for NPQs.

Register for an NPQ with the Hub | Register your interest here.


Q: Who is eligible for funding?

A: Teachers and leaders employed in state-funded schools, as well as those employed in state-funded organisations in England that offer education to 16– 19-year-olds, will be able to access DfE funded training scholarships for all NPQs. We are now extending this funding for the next two years, to support participants undertaking NPQs in 22/23 and 23/24.

From autumn 2022, organisations eligible to access scholarships will include:

  • independent special schools.
  • virtual schools (Local Authority run organisations that support the education of children in care).
  • Hospital schools not already included in other categories of eligible organisations.
  • Young offender institutions.

Applicants from these organisations who feel they should be eligible for funding should contact continuing-professional-development@digital.education.gov.uk for more information.

In addition, Early years practitioners and leaders working in the following settings in England will be eligible for scholarship funding from the DfE for the NPQEYL only:

  • childcare providers registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register, providing childcare on non-domestic premises.
  • childcare providers registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register, providing childcare on domestic premises.
  • childminders registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register.
  • childminders registered with an Ofsted-registered childminder agency, caring for early years children.

 

As with the existing funding criteria, lead providers should assess the suitability of early years participants for this NPQ.

You can register to join an NPQ with the Hub here

Q: How long will funding for these qualifications be available for?

A: NPQs are backed by £184 million, allowing the programme to deliver 150,000 NPQs to teachers and leaders up until the 2023/24 academic year.

Q: Why did the DfE develop a Leading Literacy NPQ?

A: The NPQLL has been developed to aid the teaching of literacy in primary and secondary schools and support the catch up of children whose literacy development has been impacted by the pandemic.

The qualification will explore the development of literacy skills including oral language, word reading, reading comprehension, spelling, and writing composition through effective teaching and monitoring. The role of strong literacy leadership and high-quality training in primary and secondary settings, as well as managing transition between key stages and into secondary school will also be examined.

Q: What will NPQLL assessment of the NPQs look like?

A: The assessment process for NPQs has been refreshed to reduce the workload burden on teachers while still providing an opportunity for them to apply their knowledge. To pass an NPQ, teachers will need to engage with at least 90% of the course (exact requirements to be determined by the provider) and complete a final assessment.

At the start of their training, providers must provide teachers with a complete list of course elements that will count towards participation metrics and set out how participation in those elements will be measured.

The final assessment will take the form of a case study and represent a likely situation to be faced by a teacher at the relevant NPQ qualification level or role. It will test teachers on a variety of ‘learn that’ and ‘learn how to’ statements from within the relevant NPQ Content Framework. Teachers will be allowed an eight-day calendar window to provide a written response to the case study in an ‘open book’ setting.

Q: Why did the DfE develop an Early Years Leadership NPQ?

A: The NPQEYL has been developed to underpin and increase early years specific pedagogical leadership in early years settings, strengthen staff 6 pedagogy, and support children whose development has been impacted by the pandemic.

The qualification will investigate early education and child development, with a focus on communication, language, and physical development as well as personal, social and emotional growth, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage reforms. The setting of strategic direction and organisational culture, as well as pedagogical leadership, including evidence-based learning will also be explored.

Q: What will the assessment of the NPQEYL look like?

A: The assessment process for NPQs has been refreshed to reduce the workload burden on teachers and leaders while still providing an opportunity for them to apply their knowledge. To pass an NPQ, teachers and leaders will need to engage with at least 90% of the course (exact requirements to be determined by the provider) and complete a final assessment.

At the start of their training, providers must provide participants with a complete list of course elements that will count towards participation metrics and set out how participation in those elements will be measured.

The final assessment will take the form of a case study and represent a likely situation to be faced by a participant at the relevant NPQ qualification level or role. It will test participants on a variety of ‘learn that’ and ‘learn how to’ statements from within the relevant NPQ Content Framework. Participants will be allowed an eight-day calendar window to provide a 1500 - 2500 word written response to the case study in an ‘open book’ setting.

Q: How do applicants apply for an NPQ?

A: To sign up to undertake an NPQ, applicants’ first step will be to visit https://professional-development-for-teachers-leaders.education.gov.uk/index.

Once applicants have selected their course and provider, they will be signposted to register their details using the GOV.UK Register for a National Professional Qualification Service. All participants who are interested in taking an NPQ will need to register with the Department in order to access scholarship funding where applicable and to obtain a certificate upon completion of their training.

Applicants should contact continuing-professional-development@digital.education.gov.uk to register if they are employed in:

  • independent special schools.
  • virtual schools (Local Authority run organisations that support the education of children in care).
  • hospital schools not already included in other categories of eligible organisations
  • young offender institutions.

You can register to join an NPQ with the Hub here

 

Q: Who is offering NPQs in my area?

A: NPQs are provided by a range of Lead Providers, Delivery partners and Local Teaching School Hubs. You can find your local Teaching School Hub here.

Q: What is Targeted Delivery and Support funding?

A: Uplift payments to NPQ providers (known as Targeted Delivery Funding) and Targeted Support payments to schools are being introduced from Autumn 2022. These will enable teachers and leaders from small settings to engage with NPQs.

An uplift payment of £100 will be paid to providers per participant, and a grant payment of £200 per participant will be paid to schools and organisations offering 16-19 education with 600 pupils or fewer.

The NPQ Targeted Delivery and Support Funds:

  • the NPQ Targeted Support Fund. Support payments of £200 per participant to be paid to schools with 600 pupils or fewer, to aid the release of teachers and leaders for NPQ training;
  • the NPQ Targeted Delivery Fund. Uplift payments of £100 per participant to be paid to lead providers to support them and their delivery partners in recruiting from and delivering to teachers and leaders in schools with 600 pupils or fewer.

 

Q: If an organisation receives Scholarship funding, are they also eligible for Target Delivery and Support funding?

A: Organisations that are eligible for NPQ scholarships and that have between 1-600 pupils will also be eligible for Targeted Support and Delivery Funding, with the exception of:

  • Local Authorities (Local Authority employed supply teachers and virtual schools).
  • young offender institutions.
  • hospital schools not already included in other eligible organisation categories.
  • non-school based early years settings (group-based providers and childminders).

 

Q: When will the GOV.UK Register for a National Professional Qualification Service re-open for new registrations?

A: Registration for NPQs starting in autumn 2022 is temporarily closed and will reopen soon. Interested participants can sign up for an email alert when registration reopens.

Q: What are the changes to the Additional Support Offer?

A: The DfE have made two changes to the Additional Support Offer with immediate effect:

  • re-branding the programme to the Early Headship Coaching Offer (EHCO).
  • extending the eligibility from the first two years (24 months of headship) in a headship role to the first five years in a headship role.

 

Q: Why have you changed the Additional Support Offer?

A: The changes have been made based on sector feedback and will support providers in recruiting participants and maximising take-up in advance of delivery commencing.