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NPQ application advice

When applying to one of the NPQ courses you will need to demonstrate your programme readiness and explain your motivations. We appreciate that it can be challenging to pinpoint this within 400 words and would like to share with you the elements that could be included in a strong response.

Programme readiness:

Please provide a specific, recent example to show how you are ready for the next step in school leadership.

Within your answer please consider:

  • How this example demonstrates your readiness to take the next step in school leadership
  • What skills you will focus on developing

A strong response will cover:

  • A specific and detailed example of why you are ready for the next step in leadership or if in post, clear reasons for what skills you want to improve in your current leadership role.
  • Clear links to how you want to use the NPQ to improve your practice and expand your personal impact to improve outcomes for children.
  • Examples of specific skills you’d like to develop.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to professional development; reflecting on the timing of the programme in relation to your progression; and recognises that the programme will accelerate your impact and address gaps in your knowledge.
Curriculum choice:

Throughout the programme, you will develop knowledge and skills in leadership to enable all pupils to succeed. You can see more information on these in the NPQ curriculum frameworks. From the list below, please choose one area you consider most important for you to develop in your role and explain how this will impact on pupils and staff at your school.

  • Teaching and learning (including curriculum and assessment)
  • Developing others
  • Behaviour and SEND
  • School and trust culture
  • Organisational management and leadership

A strong response will cover:

  • Detailed reasons why you would like to develop one of the areas and how it will impact on pupils and staff at your school.
  • A reflection about your professional development and how your chosen area will develop your leadership.
  • Explore in-depth, detail how you are eager to develop an area and how you will be able to translate this learning at school to instigate positive change, explaining the practical impact you envision your completion of the programme will have on pupils and staff at your school.
Understanding and motivation:

Why would you like to complete the NPQ programme with Teach First? Please include details of how you will ensure you are able to fulfil the commitments of the programme as outlined in the form introduction. Within your answer, please consider:

  • Your understanding of the structure of the programme.
  • How taking part in the programme will impact on your development and progress.
  • The impact that you would hope to have on the Teach First vision.

A strong response will cover:

  • Detail why you would like to complete a Teach First NPQ, showing a detailed understanding of what is included in the structure of the programme and how you would use this professional development opportunity to improve your practice and expand your personal impact to improve outcomes for children.
  • Specific examples of which stages of the NPQ programme they are interested in and ambitions to develop and progress their career in education.
  • How you are committed to staying in education.
  • Willingness to share good practice with others in the profession.
  • How you can impact on educational inequity (which links to the Teach First vision).

Apply here! We look forward to reviewing your application

If you would like to discuss your application further or your suitability for one of the NPQ courses, it would be a pleasure to assist. Please email Louise Crookshank at