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Notes for Real Training NPQH Professional Partners

NPQH Requirements

Project 1: NPQH requirements

Source: DfE (2017)

Participants must:

  • Lead a change programme at whole-school level, lasting at least two terms, to improve pupil progress and attainment.
  • Present the plan to the governing board prior to implementation, and gather their feedback.
  • Submit a written account of the project to the provider for assessment, which aims to evidence the criteria indicated. This should cover the design, implementation and evaluation of the programme.
  • Submit supporting documents/material as evidence where indicated below. Supporting evidence must be concise and directly related to the candidate’s project and corresponding assessment criterion.
  • Not exceed a total word count of 4,000, excluding supporting documents or annexes

Project 2: NPQH requirements

Source: DfE (2017)

Participants must:

  • Undertake a placement in a contrasting school (for example, by performance, pupil profile, geography etc.), lasting at least 9 working days.
  • Research the placement school’s current and/or projected resource and capability challenges, and design an action plan to address these.
  • Present the plan to the placement school’s governing board and gather their feedback.
  • Submit a written account of the project to the provider for assessment, which aims to evidence the criteria indicated.
  • Submit supporting documents/material as evidence where indicated. Supporting evidence must be concise and directly related to the candidate’s project and corresponding assessment criterion.
  • Not exceed a total word count of 2,500, excluding supporting documents or annexes.

Examples of completed projects

At the end of the NPQH course participants will be asked to submit a written account of their projects for assessment using the NPQonline submission proforma. The assessment determines whether they have met the required assessment criteria specified by the DfE.

NPQH Final Assessment Submission Form – Masters

Below you will also find examples of completed assessments which have been deemed to have met the DfE criteria from a range of different educational phases.

Exemplar 1
Exemplar 2
Exemplar 3
Exemplar 4

The Professional Partner Role

As an NPQH Professional Partner, you will be helping aspiring headteachers with the projects that they are required to complete for the assessed element of the NPQH. Delegates select the professional partners that they work with. They usually choose someone whose professional circumstances seem similar to their own and/or their placement setting. Each delegate is allowed to book one tutorial to discuss Project 1, and another, separate, tutorial for Project 2. They may choose to have both tutorials with the same Professional Partner, or to choose a different Professional Partner for each project.

These notes are to assist you with your tutorial support for delegates.

In general… by the time they contact you, delegates should be very familiar with the two NPQH assignment requirements, which are set out clearly in the course materials. It is not expected, therefore, that Professional Partner tutorials should focus on these. If delegates are have difficulty in understanding or interpreting the requirements, refer them back to the Project Application Strands in the course materials and/or their tutors. Instead, the purpose of Professional Partner tutorials is to provide a forum for open and honest discussions between an aspiring headteacher and an experienced headteacher about the opportunities, challenges and issues that might arise during their planned change projects.

NPQH delegates have to complete two assessed projects.

Project 1

For Project 1 delegates must lead a whole school change project. For this, they must:

  • Lead a change programme at whole-school level, lasting at least two terms, to improve pupils’ progress and attainment. So long as the project requirements can be met, this can be either a new project arising from their studies on the NPQH, or an existing project that they are already leading in their setting.
  • Present their project plan to the Governing Board, prior to implementation, to gather their feedback.
  • Submit a written account (4,000 words) of their project to Real Training for assessment. The account should cover the design, implementation and evaluation of the project and provide evidence that they have met the DfE assessment criteria (see Annex A).

Delegates will book their first tutorial with their chosen Professional Partner, within 2-3 months of having started the course. This tutorial is intended to help them think through and plan the focus and implementation of Project 1.

How you can help

Talk through the planned change project with the delegate. Use a coaching approach to get them to move beyond describing what they aim to do, to consider opportunities, challenges and specific issues that might arise during the project.

What you discuss will, of course, depend on the delegate, the nature of the change project they are planning, and how far they have got in thinking about their project. The following list (you are not expected to work through it!) suggests possible areas for discussion, which line up with some of the things that delegates are asked to reflect on as they work through the course.

Before you start, establish with the delegate what they would like the focus of the tutorial to be.

Suggested areas:

  • The rationale for their project – what they want to change and why. They may have several ideas that they want to talk through. You could help them to find a specific focus – a question to investigate developed into a SMART target, for example.
  • What is happening now – collecting evidence and establishing baselines to gain an accurate picture of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment across their setting, in their area of responsibility.
  • Success criteria – how will they know they have (or have not) been successful.
  • The manageability of the project they are planning in terms of time (they only really have two terms to complete it), resources, staff workload, ethics, etc.
  • Factors that might help or hinder their change project – help them to think through how they can capitalise on the strengths and sources of support in their setting, and how they might reduce or overcome factors that might threaten the success of their change project. These might be, for example, cultural, organisational or resource-related.
  • Issues to do with their team, for example, size, securing professional and emotional commitment to the project, building and supporting their team.
  • Communicating with their team and other colleagues.
  • The questions, concerns and challenges that their project might raise with colleagues and how they will anticipate and respond to any resistance to their plans.
  • Practical issues relating to implementing and monitoring the project.
  • How they plan to evaluate their change project. What data will they collect? How do they plan to analyse their data and ensure that the interpretation is reflective and meaningful?
  • How do they plan to communicate and build on the outcomes?

Tutorial 2

Tutorial  2 takes place approximately 2-3 months after session 1, and is intended to help the delegate think through and plan their second assignment, which focuses on change – and in particular risk, resourcing and increasing capacity- in a placement setting.

Project 2

For Project 2 delegates must undertake a placement of at least 9 days, in an education setting that contrasts with their own. Working in an area in which they have some experience/expertise, delegates must work with the setting on an area that the setting would like to improve or change, but where there are resource and/or capability challenges.

Delegates must:

  • Research the placement setting’s current and/or projected resource and capability challenges and, lead staff to design an action plan, including a curriculum-led budget, to address these.
  • Present the plan to the placement school’s governing board and gather their feedback
  • Submit a written account (2,500 words) to Real Training for assessment, which evidences the assessment criteria.

The second Professional Partner tutorial is not intended to help delegates find a suitable placement. If this is an issue for the delegate, please refer them back to their tutor.

How you can help

It is our experience that delegates often feel anxious about leading a team and making recommendations in a school with which they may be completely unfamiliar and many may, therefore, value your advice and support in how to approach this. As with tutorial 1, the focus of your discussions will depend on the delegate and you should establish what they would like to focus upon before you begin.

Again we would ask you to talk through the planned change project with the delegate using a coaching approach, to encourage them to move beyond describing what they aim to do, to considering the  opportunities, challenges and specific issues that might arise during the project.

You might help them by, for example:

  • Establishing how the setting contrasts with their own.
  • Discussing the ‘etiquette’ and challenges of working in a ‘host’ setting. Perhaps, share how you would wish an NPQH delegate on placement to behave/operate if they were carrying out a project in your setting, and any tips for success. What do they need to be aware of? What leadership skills and behaviours will they likely need to employ?
  • Discussing lines of communication and how they should progress to the point where they are making recommendations to a governing board that is not their own.
  • Discussing how the project will allow them to draw on their own strengths to help their placement school make changes or improvements.
  • Explore possible challenges and issues that might arise.
  • Help them to think through how they might best use the nine days in their placement school.

And Finally…

If you have any queries about this process, please do not hesitate to contact either:

  • Annie Grant, NPQ Programme Leader (annie.grant@realgroup.co.uk)
  • Katie Hickmott, Lead Tutor (katie.hickmott@realgroup.co.uk)
  • Siobhan Mellor, Director (siobhan@realgroup.co.uk)
  • Or call the Real Training office on 01273 358080

We’d like to trial Professional Partners keeping us updated with feedback after each consultation has happened. It is not intended that you should spend any more than a couple of minutes or so,  recording the name of the delegate, date of the consultation and a few notes on the issues discussed within this online form: NPQH Professional Partner – Tutorial feedback following consultation  Please then invoice us following each consultation – or in a batch, at your convenience.

Thank you.

Annie, Katie and Siobhan

Real Training NPQ programme team