National Professional Qualification for Headship

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The National Professional Qualification for Headship (or NPQH) is a professional qualification for aspiring headteachers. The qualification was introduced in 1997 by the newly elected Labour government, following a commitment in their manifesto to introduce a mandatory qualification for head teachers.[1] Initially voluntary, the first group of people were awarded the qualification in July 1998.[2] The legal requirement and qualification became mandatory on 1 April 2004.[3] Until 8 February 2012, holding the NPQH was a mandatory requirement for all newly appointed English and Welsh school head teachers.[4] It is taught via blended learning at centres all over the country, and administered by the National College for Teaching and Leadership which has centres in Manchester, Nottingham, London, and Ruddington.

It is intended to prepare experienced teachers for headships through training in management techniques, tutorial support, and achieving school standards.

In April 2005, the Conservative Party made scrapping the college and qualification a part of their manifesto for the May 2005 General Election,[5] a move criticised by the incumbent Labour government and teaching union the National Association of Head Teachers.[6]


  1. ^ Dale, Iain, ed. (2000). LABOUR PARTY GENERAL ELECTION MANIFESTOS 1900–1997. Routledge. p. 353. ISBN 9780203170878.
  2. ^ "The first fully qualified heads". 14 July 1998. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Education (Head Teachers' Qualifications) (England) Regulations 2003",, The National Archives, SI 2003/3111, retrieved 11 July 2020
  4. ^ "The Education (Head Teachers' Qualifications) (England) (Revocation) Regulations 2012",, The National Archives, SI 2012/18, retrieved 11 July 2020
  5. ^ "Tories scrap heads' qualification". BBC News. 19 April 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Tory headship plans 'ludicrous'". BBC News. 20 April 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2020.

External links[edit]

Further information for NPQH found at: Department of Education at