Leading teaching national professional qualification

A course to help teachers learn how to lead the teaching and learning of a subject, year group or phase.

Applies to England

Who this course is for

This course is for teachers and middle leaders who have, or want to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a:

  • subject
  • year group
  • key stage
  • phase


This one-year course will help you gain confidence and develop skills in:

  • creating a culture of high expectations
  • supporting colleagues with all aspects of their teaching
  • contributing to effective professional development linked to teaching, curriculum and assessment

This course will:

  • take 12 months to complete
  • involve an average of 1 to 2 hours of study each week
  • be a mix of self-study and group sessions
  • involve a written assessment
  • start February 2024


Funding to cover the course fees is available for most teachers and school leaders in state-funded settings in England.

Learn about funding.

Course content

This course covers:

  • identifying and implementing good teaching practice
  • supporting colleagues in designing a broad and coherent curriculum
  • planning effective lessons that stimulate your pupils’ thinking
  • helping colleagues adapt their teaching to different needs
  • contributing to the design of school assessment systems
  • aligning your professional development with wider school improvement priorities

Benefits for you and your school

Increased specialism in your role

You’ll gain:

  • an understanding of the core principles behind the science of learning
  • practical tools and guidance to sequence your curriculum and plan for assessment

Improved leadership

You’ll build the expertise to:

  • effectively manage a team of teachers
  • create a culture of professional learning and continuous improvement in your school

Greater support for colleagues

You’ll develop the skills to help colleagues:

  • plan effective lessons
  • meet individual pupil needs
  • provide opportunities for all pupils to succeed

Course structure

The course includes 9 topics, outlined in the course framework. Providers use this framework to design their course.

The course includes:

  • independent study
  • group coaching
  • face-to-face sessions with other participants

You’ll need to spend 1 to 2 hours a week working on this NPQ.


You can train with one of the following providers:

They work with delivery partners, such as teaching school hubs, to provide training.


To get your NPQ accreditation, you’ll need to complete the course and pass a written assessment (1,500 words).


Before you apply to your chosen training provider, you need to register with the Department for Education.

Learn how to apply for an NPQ.

Published 20 September 2023
Last updated 12 February 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated NPQ start date to February 2024.

  2. First published.