DRET Teaching School Hub

Early Headship Coaching Offer

NPQ for Headship

Are you a new headteacher? Available alongside the NPQ in Headship (NPQH), Ambition Institute's Early Headship Coaching Offer provides you with personalised support to help you solve problems relevant in our school context. You’ll draw on the expertise of an experienced Headteacher with one-to-one coaching to help you thrive in your new headship role.

  • Personalised, tailored support to your role
  • One-to-one expert coaching and school visits
  • Access to an experienced Headteacher
  • Get help applying expertise from your NPQH to your context

  Please note, the EHCO will be part of a cohort led centrally by Ambition Institute.

Why this programme?

Ambition Institute's EHCO provides you with tailored, personalised support to apply knowledge from the NPQH to your school context. They have designed this support offer for new headteachers to accompany the NPQ in Headship, to help you put the evidence and expertise from your NPQH into practice in your school setting

Over three terms you will benefit from expert guidance from an experienced, serving headteacher who works in a similar setting or phase, to help you apply expertise from the NPQH, to overcome the challenges and complex problems you face in your day-to-day role.

You’ll also gain an effective peer community with a small group of headteachers facing similar challenges as you, providing a network that lasts long after you’ve completed the EHCO.

It’s flexible to fit around to your new headship role. Our 'little and often' approach uses the latest research to help you apply your learning to context-specific problems. The EHCO will empower you to be an effective and confident headteacher.

Benefits for you

Get ongoing personal support

Being new to a headship role can be daunting. The EHCO will help you to find your feet by identifying your priorities and looking at structured, practical ways to tackle context specific problems.

Receive one-to-one coaching

You’ll get one-to-one coaching from an expert Headteacher who can provide support, insight and feedback to help you deal with the specific challenges you’re facing in your school.

School shadowing experience

Contextualise your NPQH expertise in a real school setting by shadowing an experienced headteacher. Your coach will explain the steps they have undertaken, their rationale, and any obstacles they have overcome in their school, supporting you to understand how they have applied expertise to their practice.

Connect with your peers

You’ll work with other headteachers in similar positions, to create networks and solve problems. These online sessions will explore the common challenges you are experiencing and help you overcome them.


Benefits for your school or trust

Improve staff retention

An investment in your new headteacher shows your commitment to their career progression and job satisfaction. This means they’ll be more likely to stay in their post and become an effective leader.

Learn from experts

Your headteacher will receive one-to-one coaching and support from an experienced headteacher who will share their knowledge and professional insight.

Tackle existing challenges

Coaching and shadowing will focus on applying expertise from the NPQH to the problems your headteacher might be experiencing in their role. They will be guided by expert coaches to arrive at effective solutions to tackle the problems they face in their school.

Create a positive school culture

A headteacher that feels supported and has the training and tools to create positive change, will lead to a happier workforce, better teaching and more positive outcomes for your pupils.



What you'll learn

The Early Headship Coaching Offer is tailored to your needs with the content covered will depend on your school’s specific challenges.

It’s structured around the persistent problems of school leadership. Participants can select from these topics and personalise the course to support areas they want to develop expertise in. Each headteacher will select three persistent problems over the duration of the course.

  • School culture: Establishing a professional and supportive school culture and encouraging staff to contribute.
  • Learning and development: Ensuring effective approaches to professional learning and development.
  • Curriculum: Organising and teaching the curriculum.
  • Behaviour: Attending to pupil behaviour and wider circumstances.
  • School improvement: Analysing and diagnosing problems, planning and implementing strategies for continuous educational improvement.
  • Administration: Managing an efficient and effective organisation.

Note: programme content is subject to change.

How you'll learn

Content is shared via workbooks situated on our online development platform participants will access on workbook for each persistent problem they select. The workbook shares an expert edit, to build on the expertise developed in the NPQH. Participants will use this knowledge building to focus and define a context-specific problem.

This course focuses on developmental opportunities for you. Your context specific problem will be developed through one-to-one coaching sessions with an experienced headteacher. You’ll be able to shadow the expert headteacher, engaging in a range of activities which will help you to better understand your problem and possible solutions. You will also have regular peer-group discussions with other headteachers via online video conferencing, to work through work-related dilemmas.

Note: programme content is subject to change. 


You can join Ambition Institute's central cohort for this programme or work with a delivery partner in your region for an experience that’s more tailored to your local context. Either way, we work to give you the best possible experience.

What our partners can do for you

Ambition Institute provides high-quality content and materials, built on our experience in schools and our deep knowledge of the evidence and practice.

Our partner in your region will contextualise this knowledge and manage your experience on the programme, from high-quality facilitation to day-to-day support.

 Tailored approaches

Our partner in your region will provide more information on how your NPQ will be delivered. The timings and methods of activity, sizes of cohorts and the cost of the programme may vary across delivery partners.

Contacting partners



DfE-funded scholarships are available for the Additional Support Offer for new headteachers. New headteachers are eligible for this targeted support package.

  • work in a state-funded school in England
  • are in your first five years of headship
  • have previously completed an NPQH, are applying for an NPQH, or are currently doing an NPQH with us or another NPQ provider.

Register your interest here to find out if you're eligible.

If you do not work in an eligible school, the Early Headship Coaching Offer costs £800 plus VAT.


Support fund for small schools

The DfE have introduced a new Targeted Support Fund for small schools, to enable them to support their teachers and leader to undertake the NPQs.

This is a grant payment of £200 per participant to settings with 1-600 schools for every teacher or leader they employ who participates on an NPQ.




Applications are now open for our Autumn 2022 NPQ cohorts. Start your application here.

You can take advantage of the Early Headship Coaching Offer at the same time as doing the new NPQ for Headship.

If you have any questions please do get in touch.