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NPQH placements provide valuable opportunities for trainees to gain insights into unfamiliar contexts and experience different leadership styles

NPQH Applications

There are various application windows through the year.

Applicants must complete a written application with support from their Headteacher (or sponsor) and submit this to

Applications will be assessed by an external party and, following moderation, successful applicants will be informed by the end of December and put forward to start their NPQH in the new year

Where the outcome of a written application is inconclusive applicants will be interviewed to deem readiness

You can download guidance and the application form from  

To understand what makes the NPQH offer extraordinary and to hear first-hand the impact our training continues to have on leaders, their schools and pupil outcomes, please visit this website.

If you are interested in taking an NPQH you might like to look at this video outlining it's delivery model, the support available and highlighting the school led, personalised and flexible approach it offers.



NPQH placements

Many of our Alliance schools, including Denbigh High School and Challney High School for Boys are used by the National College as host schools for trainee headteachers who have started the NPQH.

The provision of placements in the redesigned NPQH acknowledges both the significance and diversity of school contexts. Placements also provide opportunities for trainee headteachers to gain insights into unfamiliar contexts and experience different leadership styles.

The ambition is that placements will provide trainee headteachers with opportunities to develop their leadership expertise further and to practise the skills of contextual literacy, i.e. the ability to read context accurately, make judgements about priorities and recognise the leadership behaviours required to address school improvement priorities.

An NPQH placement lasts between 5 and 20 days, depending on the nature of the trainee headteacher’s development needs, the activity agreed and the circumstances of the trainee headteacher’s own school and the placement school.

The placement will provide an opportunity for the trainee headteacher to:

  • experience excellence and be influenced by highly effective school leaders
  • undertake a leadership task negotiated with the placement headteacher
  • challenge thinking and develop leadership skills in different contexts
  • understand leadership challenges within different contexts
  • address some leadership development needs identified in the PDR
  • practise and further develop contextual literacy skills.

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