The National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) we deliver at Inspire Learning Teaching
School Hub NW are designed to support the professional development of teachers and
leaders in a range of areas.
In this blog, we speak to Clare Roberts, a participant from the 2022 NPQ for Headship
(NPQH) cohort, about her experience on the programme.
The National Professional Qualification for Headship is for those aspiring to lead a school
and focuses on a variety of key areas including school culture, teaching, curriculum and
assessment, behaviour and support, implementation, and more.
Having completed an NPQ several years ago, Clare’s participation in the NPQH was her first
programme under recent frameworks.
The course, which consists of face-to-face events, peer learning groups, and self-directed
learning, totals 81 hours and is assessed through a case-study-based approach.
Speaking on the structure of the programme and how it fitted around her current role and
other commitments, Clare said that it did so ‘very well’: “It was linked throughout with ‘the
day job’. Modules one and two were threaded with implementation of ongoing aspects of our
work, whilst underpinning that with academic theory and the educational landscape context,”
Clare truly enjoyed her time completing the qualification and continues to praise the positive
impact that it has had on her and her career.
She said: “Completing this course gave me the confidence to realise that I am ready for
headship. The materials are tailored to the challenges of leadership at deputy and headship
level and time spent with primary and secondary colleagues in these roles was invaluable.”
Delivered in partnership with University College London’s Centre for Educational Leadership,
Inspire’s courses make use of the centre’s world-class research-based materials.
The benefits of an NPQ extend beyond the participant, they provide an additional layer of
quality assurance to schools and learning environments too.
Commenting on how the programme has impacted her school, Clare said: “A key focus,
particularly in earlier modules, is on sustained implementation of a whole school initiative on
school development. My initial focus was on whole school reading and literacy, and this is an
area in which the school has moved forward significantly.”
On her overall NPQH experience, Clare described it as ‘useful and enjoyable’, explaining: “It
provided an opportunity to develop academic professional knowledge and understanding but
also to reflect on work – away from work.”
Whilst the programme offers an array of benefits, one that is particularly commented on is
the networking; throughout the programme, participants engage with not only facilitators, but
one another too, and have the opportunity to connect about education, further enhancing the
Clare said: “I was fortunate enough to make connections with fantastic colleagues in both
primary and secondary sectors, and that made face-to-face sessions even more fruitful.
This, I believe, is an unforeseen benefit to undertaking NPQ courses; sometimes these
relationships are relatively short-lived but the systems and structures of NPQs allow you to
meet others that ‘carry’ you through points of your career, and vice versa.
“Additionally, I found our facilitators to be genuinely invested in us as a cohort. They were
authentic, realistic, and supportive.”
Further information about the National Professional Qualification for Headship can be found
Those interested in undertaking an NPQ with Inspire have until Thursday, 18 January 2024,