National Professional Qualifications |

National Professional Qualifications

From September 2019, New Schools Network and Star Institute will deliver accredited NPQ programmes to expand the leadership capacity of free schools and trusts. 

Our programmes capture the innovative spirit of the free school movement. They challenge leaders to lead with integrity, passion, imagination and empathy; providing leaders with the skills to implement evidence-based change management programmes across whole schools and trusts.

Participants will learn from (and alongside) exceptional free school leaders from across the country. Leaders who have successfully navigated the very same challenges you face today, tomorrow and in the coming years ahead.

What’s in it for you?

• Fully accredited National Professional Qualifications, tailored to the needs of your growing school(s).
• Learn how to create the conditions for an innovative,successful and resilient school.
• Modules delivered by highly skilled, experienced leaders – NLEs, SLEs, Ofsted Inspectors and School Improvement Officers.
• Reflect on and develop your own leadership to have a greater impact.
• Build a personal network of free school leaders around the country.
• Free coaching from outstanding headteachers and CEOs.
• Opportunity to undertake mini placements to shadow successful leadership teams.

Click here to find out more


It is no secret that headship is a challenging and often lonely role, but it is also a hugely exciting and rewarding one. If you are – or have ambitions to – run your own school, then completing the National Professional Qualificati on for Headship (NPQH) with the Star Institute will make sure you are heading in the right direction.

The free schools NPQH will equip you with the tools you need to deliver your school’s vision and build a strong network of free school leaders.


The National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders (NPQEL) is a leadership programme aimed at head teachers thinking about moving into executive leadership and current executive leaders wishing to enhance their knowledge and skills. The programme tackles the challenges of leading across more than one school and the differing skill set this requires. The free schools NPQEL will equip you with the confidence, skills and knowledge to lead at an executive level and overcome the specific challenges of doing this in a free school setting.

What next?

If your trust has any schools in a category 5 or 6 area, you may be eligible for fully funded places. To find out more, contact us at or call Jennifer Frankish on 0300 313 9870.

Star Institute

The vision of Star Institute is to nurture today’s young people and inspire tomorrow’s leaders. Star's programmes are designed to build a world-class school workforce and support the continual development of school staff and governors so that each individual can play their full part in driving social mobility and delivering educational excellence.