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The Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship (including NPQH) 


The Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship (including NPQH) provides rigorous preparation for senior leaders preparing for their first headship, heads leading both primary and secondary schools for the first time, and heads who have not yet completed the NPQH.

As a leader of a Church of England school or somebody whose practice and leadership resonate with Christian values, we want you to experience “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10) and enable your staff and children to do the same.

Aims and Objectives

By completing your NPQH with the Church of England not only will you achieve a nationally recognised qualification you be equipped to know how to translate the Church of England Vision for Education into reality within your school and be enlivened in your own vocation.

Through this programme you will strengthen your leadership capability. Specifically, the course blends four elements:

  1. Translating Vision into Reality
  2. Developing Core Leadership Knowledge and Skills
  3. Developing Personal Leadership Behaviours
  4. Our Shared Mission

How will I learn?

Cohort 4 starting in January 2021 will be primarily delivered virtually to ensure that we can run the programme smoothly throughout the current uncertain times. 

Your learning journey will include the following activities:

  • Three one day virtual learning events; 
  • Three online modules, each completed within three 90 minute virtual classrooms;
  • Six module launch webinars including a range of guest speakers;
  • Online reading and interactive material;
  • Working together in action learning sets which consist of fellow participants who live and/or work nearby;
  • Small group tutorials; 
  • Support from an approved mentor, your group host based in a partner school and your diocesan education team; 
  • A final Bringing it all Together learning event which will be delivered face to face if possible. 

Programme Overview 

Please see Programme Overview for more detail on what is covered within each of the modules.

For more information about value for money, time spent learning and additional costs please see Clear Expectations.

Why complete your NPQH with the Church of England?

  • Gain the NPQH qualification whilst also reigniting your own vision and vocation
  • Increase your chances of promotion and taking the next step in your career
  • Learn as part of a community where trust, authenticity, challenge, and support are valued
  • Learn with our exceptional facilitators who skilfully share their expertise (85% of participants strongly agree with this, 98% agree)
  • Build your network with leaders of Church of England and community schools both in your region and across England.
Am I entitled to financial support?
The Foundation has a remaining 20 bursaries available for schools with less than 210 pupils. Each bursary will provide a £500 discount on the VAT inclusive programme fee. 

If this applies to you please indicate your eligibility when completing the application form. 

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Participant testimonials

“The CofEPQH is the highest quality CPD I've ever had. I can honestly say that everyday I use something I learnt on the training. It's invaluable and has helped shape me as a leader.” Cohort 2 participant, 2020

“It has given me a Bible-centred focus to my leadership which has helped me clarify the true meaning behind some of the decisions that I had been making. This renewed focus has helped me feel calmer about my decision making and also helped me focus my decisions.” Cohort 2 participant, 2020

“Some excellent face to face and webinar learning alongside useful networking opportunities has given me practical strategies to put into use back at school.” Cohort 2 participant, 2020

“It has given me confidence to apply for headships- which is what I am currently doing!” Cohort 2 participant, 2020

“The course has helped me find my way of doing things. It’s been really rich to see that there are different models of leadership and not just one way of leading well.” Cohort 1 participant, 2019

“I honestly found the whole first learning event really engaging. It was full on, but there really wasn't a time when I didn't feel really engaged, challenged, inspired and encouraged. The learning event was a really excellent start to the programme”. Cohort 1 participant, 2019

“One of the amazing things about this programme has been the shared experience, shared expertise, and working with people going through a similar transition to me.” Cohort 1 participant, 2019

Listen to more participant experiences in this Video.

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Apply for the CofEPQH

If you are currently working in a senior leadership position within your school and are looking to apply for a headship role within the next two years then we encourage you to speak with your head teacher or chair of governors about applying for the CofEPQH.

If you want to develop yourself as a leader but are not ready to approach your headteacher then please contact cefel@churchofengland.org where one of our team would be very happy to talk to you about the programme.

We welcome applications from leaders within small and large, primary and secondary, rural and urban, Church of England and community schools.

We particularly welcome applications from BAME leaders.

To apply:

     1.  Speak with your sponsor (head teacher or chair of governors if you are the head teacher) and agree to proceed with application

     2.  Speak with your diocesan education team to together identify a suitable mentor

     3.  Participant completes online application by midday on 3rd December

     4.  Sponsor complete endorsement form by midday on 3rd December

For a step by step illustration of the application process see Application Process.

Complete the Online application form.

Complete the Sponsor endorsement form.