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 you with the skills, knowledge and behaviours to be an effective headteacher in schools facing challenging contexts. 

  • Bespoke, evidence-based, face-to-face training focused on the headteacher role, 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
  • Personalised career development support from application guidance to confidence development and interview practice, including access to a Headship Interview Preparation Day
  • The chance to share learning and insight within a close-knit of aspiring and some serving heads working in similar contexts and facing similar challenges
  • The opportunity to visit successful schools across the country 
  • Access to personal development tools such as our Ambition School Leadership competency framework and two 360° feedback diagnostics to map your professional development
  • Personalised support to complete your NPQH
  • 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 (choice of accessing on a weekday or weekend) over a 12 month period.

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

Residentials are held in a central venue in the Midlands, and modules are offered once in London and once outside of London based on the geographical location of participants.

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

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 the leadership of data

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

Day 6: Leadership of teaching, learning and partnerships

Day 7 and 8: Leadership of people, HR and 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.

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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 help you to:

Take your career to the next level
The programme will equip you with the confidence, skills and knowledge to apply for and gain a headteacher position in 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.

“This was the preparation I needed to make the move into headship. Hearing from exceptional heads gave me something to aspire to, and the tailored training equipped me with the tools to lead a school in challenging circumstances.” James Pape, Principal, Oasis Academy Don Valley

“The facilitators were dynamic and inspirational. The women-only cohort was empowering and reassuring. It was a supportive and uplifting environment which gave me hopes and dreams for the future. I feel assured it is ok to have both a family and career". Joanne Cutbush, 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.

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To apply for the programme you must be:

  • a senior leader in a deputy headteacher role or equivalent whose next career step is Headship
  • preparing to reach headship in a school in a challenging context within 12-18 months
  • If you are 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