DfE Funding Update: Reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

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 new NPQs represent a significant investment in high quality teacher and leader development. 

Funding and eligibility criteria 

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. Funding and eligibility have been confirmed as follows:

NPQ in Leading Teacher Development 

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Leading Teacher Development is available to all teachers who meet the following criteria: 

  • have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school 
  • work in a state-funded school in England 

Find out more & apply

NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture 

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture is available to all teachers who meet the following criteria: 

  • have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in their school 
  • work in a state-funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on pupil premium as of the end of the previous academic year 

Find out more & apply

NPQ in Leading Teaching 

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Leading Teaching is available to all teachers who meet the following criteria: 

  • have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage or phase 
  • work in a state-funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on pupil premium as of the end of the previous academic year 

 Find out more & apply

NPQ in Senior Leadership 

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Senior Leadership is available to those who meet the following criteria: 

  • are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities 
  • work in a state-funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year 

 Find out more & apply

NPQ in Headship 

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Headship is available for those who meet the following criteria: 

  • are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school 
  • work in a state-funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on Pupil Premium as of the end of the previous academic year 

 Find out more & apply

Additional support offer for the NPQ in Headship 

In addition to the reformed suite of NPQs, the department is introducing an additional support offer for new headteachers from autumn 2021. This is a targeted support package for teachers new to the role of headship. 

You are eligible for this targeted support package if you meet the following criteria: 

  • are in your first 24 months of headship 
  • work in a state-funded school in England upon starting the training 
  • have either completed an NPQH before taking up your first headship post or are currently taking the NPQH 
  • have not withdrawn from the additional support programme previously 


The offer provides structured, unassessed face-to-face support based on the best available evidence about what makes an effective headteacher. While the exact content of this support will depend on the provider chosen, activities could include a combination of group coaching, one-to-one support discussions and peer network support. 

NPQ in Executive Leadership 

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Executive Leadership is available to those who meet the following criteria: 

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

work in a state-funded school in England that is within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on pupil premium as of the end of the previous academic year 

The DfE will shortly publish a list of schools that are within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on pupil premium as of the end of the previous academic year to enable people to check their eligibility. 

Register to join an NPQ programme with Northamptonshire Teaching School Hub and Ambition Institute: Register your interest for the Reformed NPQs here