Headship Programme (inc NPQH)

Detail Back to top

Blending transformational training and 1:1 coaching with learning directly from exceptional headteachers, the programme will equip your high-potential senior leaders with the skills and knowledge to be an effective headteacher. It includes: 

  • Bespoke, evidence-based, face-to-face training focused on the role of headteacher delivered by experts from across the sector. The training goes beyond the curriculum for the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)
  • Access to coaching or mentoring from successful current or former headteachers 
  • The opportunity to visit successful schools across the country 
  • The chance to share learning and insight within a close-knit peer group of aspiring and some serving headteachers 
  • Membership of our national network of committed school leaders sharing ideas and best practice

The Headship Programme consists of eight face to face training days: three 2 day residential training weekends (held on Friday & Saturdays) and two, 1 day modules held (choice of accessing on a weekday or weekend) over a 12 month period.

The three intensive, two-day residentials allow participants to build meaningful relationships with peers and provide an opportunity to really focus on the development journey.

Residential dates for our two March cohorts (Co-ed and women-only) are: 

Co-ed cohort: 

Res 1 - Friday 29 - Saturday 30 March 2019 (Midlands)

Module 1 - 4 and 6 July (offered twice, x1 London, x1 Regional)

Res 2 - 11 - 12 October 2019 (Midlands) 

Module 2 - 16 and 18 January (x1 London, x1 Regional)

Res 3 - 20 -21 March 2020 (Midlands)

Women-only cohort 

Res 1 - Friday 29 - Saturday 30 March

Module 1- 11th & 13th July 

Res 2 - 8 - 9 November 

Module 2 - 30 January and 1 February 

Res 3 - 20 -21 March

Programme Curriculum 

Day 1 and 2: Understanding your leadership style, crafting school culture and leadership of strategic school improvement 

Day 3: Leading with impact and leadership of data

Day 4 and 5: Leadership of curriculum, finance and resourcing 

Day 6: Leadership of teaching, learning and participants 

Day 7 and 8: Leadership of people: HR & Performance Management, leading your team and leading a sustainable headship 

* NPQH: To complete the NPQH qualification, you must complete two written assignments as follows within 18 months of starting the programme:  

1.     Leading a whole-school change programme to improve pupil progress and attainment (4,000 words)

2.     Research a placement school’s current and/or projected resource and capability challenges and design an action plan to address these (2,500 words)

NPQ Alliance

We also deliver the NPQH through a national Alliance of partner organisations consisting of multi-academy trusts, teaching school alliances and teaching schools.

If you are interested in taking the NPQH through the national Alliance, please find your nearest Ambition NPQ Alliance provider in our Partner Directory. When you have identified your nearest provider, please get in touch with them to register your interest using the contact details in the directory. 

Find out more about the Headship programme

We're now welcoming expressions of interest for our March 2019 cohorts (this includes our women-only cohort, in partnership with #WomenEd). Fill in this quick enquiry form and a member of our Applicants and Alumni team will be in touch to discuss next steps.

Enquire Now

Duration Back to top

18 months (12 months of training with an additional 6 months to complete the NPQH assessment, with continued access to the network and coaching career support).

Benefits Back to top

The Headship Programme will enable you to:

Develop and retain your high-potential staff
The programme will equip participants with the confidence, skills and knowledge to lead a school in a challenging context.

Transform the outcomes of the pupils you serve
As an NPQH provider, we have an explicit focus on closing the achievement gap for disadvantaged children and supporting participants to achieve Headship in challenging contexts. 

Become part of a powerful network of exceptional leaders
Participants form a powerful peer group of like-minded, optimistic and collaborative leaders, and will also join Ambition School Leadership’s national network of thousands of committed leaders. We have worked with nearly 6,000 leaders across over 1,900 schools.

“The women only cohort really allows for honesty, free from male judgments, regardless of whether this judgment is real or imagined.   So much to consider, but the debrief and peer moments were just right to give us time to unpack our musings." - Alice Miller, current participant on the women-only cohort. 

£3,500 per participant.

If you are working in an Opportunity Area or a Category Area 5 or 6 you may be eligible for a fully-funded NPQ scholarship if you apply before 4 Feb. If you are not sure whether you are in an Opportunity or Category 5 or 6 area, or for more information, please contact us.

Nominate Back to top

We're now welcoming expressions of interest for our Spring cohort. Fill out this quick enquiry form and a member of our School Partnerships team will be in touch to discuss the next steps.

Enquire Now


Nominate senior leaders who are preparing to reach headship in 12-18 months.

If your school is working in an Opportunity Area or a Category Area 5 or 6 you may be eligible for government funding to cover the full cost of the programme. If you are not sure whether you are in an Opportunity or Category 5 or 6 area, or for more information, please contact us