NPQH applications

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National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)

The application window for the NPQH available through Learners First is now open and closes at mid-day on 09 December 2016.

Completed applications are required to be returned to Learners First by this date to be externally assessed.

Successful applicants will start the programme in the Spring Term 2017.



NPQH – further information
NPQSL applications

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National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

The application window for the NPQSL available through Learners First is now open and closes at 4.00pm on Friday, 09th December 2016. The NPQSL programme duration is 12 months (this includes induction, module delivery, completion of tasks and final assessment submission).

Application forms are available below.

Completed forms should be returned to


NPQSL – further information
NPQML applications

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National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

The application window for the NPQML available through Learners First is now open and closes at 4.00pm on Friday 09th December 2016. The NPQML programme duration is 12 months (this includes induction, module delivery, completion of tasks and final assessment submission).

Application forms are available below.

Completed forms should be returned to


NPQML – further information

Learners First – an inclusive teaching school partnership

Learners First is an inclusive teaching school partnership of over 200 schools from all phases. Established in August 2012 Learners First is a not-for profit company whose main focus is to build excellence and address underperformance in equal measure through system-led school improvement and leadership development. The principle objective is to better deliver the mission in a greater number of schools and settings. Learners First aims to achieve this through investment in three core interdependent areas of work:

  • Leadership development and transformation
  • System-led school to school support
  • Governance and governor development

The education landscape is changing significantly with schools and school leaders at the heart of these changes. Whilst recent reforms present many fantastic opportunities for collaboration, innovation and school-led improvement, it can also be quite a daunting prospect for schools and their leaders, particularly at a time of austerity and with fewer resources at their disposal. However, Learners First is well placed to support and make a significant contribution to the maturity and effectiveness of a school-led system. Far from creating a dependency culture, Learners First is able to support schools, academies and MATs to lead their own improvement by providing and brokering additional capacity and school expertise.

To discuss your requirements please contact us:-

Tel. 01709-731272

‘What is Learning?’ – Teaching & Learning Seminar’.


1st March 2017, 9.00am – 12.30pm
(Arrival and Registration from 8.30am)

Venue: Hellaby Hall Hotel, Hellaby, Rotherham, S66 8EX


Teaching & Learning CPD Opportunity

Carl Jarvis is the Executive Headteacher of Hartsholme Academy and St Giles Academy and the CEO of the New Dawn Trust. Carl’s philosophy centres on innovative practices that enable students to be fully interdependent and instilling “a burning desire for a need to know”. His work draws on global research of metacognitive development and understanding ‘how’ and ‘why’ we learn.

During this seminar, Carl will give a practical guide of how to embed this pedagogy into every day practice ensuring that ALL students exceed their potential. He will explore the implications that current neuroscience has on teaching and learning in the here and now of today. He will challenge the meaning and purpose of learning and will develop thinking around what constitutes outstanding teaching & learning; what this looks like and, essentially, what it means for our pupils.

Cost: Fully funded for delegates from schools and academies subscribing to Learners First or £80 per person for delegates from non-subscribing schools and academies.

To Book: To reserve a place please email your name, school and contact details to

Download seminar flyer here
News and upcoming events
Primary Education

19th October 2016

Education Secretary Justine Greening announces that as the 2016 assessments and results mark a break with the past and are not comparable with the preceding years, no more than 6% of primary schools will be below the floor standard in 2016 and that no decisions on intervention will be made on the basis of the 2016 data alone. She also announces that “no new national tests or assessments will be introduced before the 2018 to 2019 academic year”.


Read more


GCSE Results

25th August 2016

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: “The hard work and determination of hundreds of thousands of 16-year-olds will be rewarded today as they collect their GCSE results; qualifications that are the gateway to the next stage of their education.”


Read more


DFE Ministerial Appointments

08th August 2016

The final ministerial team for the DfE have been confirmed following Theresa May becoming Prime Minister. The Secretary of State for Education, Minister for Women and Equalities is Justine Greening.


Read more
School Funding changes

21st July 2016

The Education Secretary Justine Greening has announced that there will be a full consultation, and final decisions early in the new year in respect of changes to school funding. The new system will apply from 2018 to 2019.


Read more

Interested in a Career in Teaching?

Teaching is a hugely fulfilling career and Learners First Schools Partnership has an amazing track record of recruiting, developing and employing high quality trainee teachers across South Yorkshire.  As a trainee you could be eligible for a bursary of up to £30,000 and there may be opportunities for you to earn while you train through the salaried routes.

Learners First is an accredited provider of the School Direct teacher training programme and offers high quality school-based training in early years, primary and secondary schools. Our training programmes give you the opportunity to ‘learn on the job’ alongside outstanding school leaders as well as achieving a PGCE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Trainees are supported every step of the way and through the professional networks and the wider Leadership Curriculum, employment, career progression and professional development opportunities are plentiful with Learners First.


You could be on your way to an exciting career in teaching sooner than you think with fantastic training and enhanced employment opportunities with Learners First Schools Partnership. We are currently recruiting the future generation of outstanding trainee teachers to our early years, primary and secondary programmes and would welcome a conversation if you would like to find out more or how to apply.

Please contact or visit the School Direct pages.

If you have the drive, passion and commitment, we have the professionals and programme to support you on your journey to becoming an outstanding teacher!



The School Direct application process for the 2017/18 programme is now open via UCAS

The governance handbook - November 2015

Governing boards are the strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school and academy. They play a vital role in ensuring the best possible education for every child by creating robust accountability for school leaders.

Lord Nash

Lord Nash

The Governance Handbook has been re-named to make clear that it applies to all those involved in governance. It now refers throughout to the ‘board’ to emphasise that it applies equally to the governing body of a small maintained school as it does to the board of a large MAT.

This advice is about governing bodies in schools maintained by local authorities and boards of trustees in academies. It explains:

  • their roles and functions
  • their legal duties
  • where they can find support

Governance Handbook 2015

Governor Development Programme 2016/17

Effective governance has always been crucial to the success of schools and academies but never more so than now when governance features so decisively in the current Ofsted Framework. Our Governor Development continues to be a core area of work for Learners First.

For details of our Autumn Term 2016 programmes and events please follow the link below.

Governor events

School-to-School Support

Learners First’s approach to school-to-school support is dynamic and innovative. Any support that is provided, brokered or commissioned by Learners First is designed to be bespoke and tailored to meet the needs of the identified school(s) to maximise its impact. For details of our programmes and events please follow the link below.

School2School support

Support Staff Development Programme

This programme aims to support colleagues currently employed in Support Staff roles in school to make the transition into teaching. The programme has been designed and will be delivered by a range of Specialist Leaders of Education and serving school leaders from a variety of schools, contexts and phases.

For further details follow the link below.

Support staff development

Schools and Academies

have accessed Learners First programmes

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE)

have been designated and are available for deployment through Learners First

middle and senior leaders and aspirant headteachers

have accessed the nationally accredited, licensed leadership programmes through Learners First since 2012

Serving School Leaders

contributed to the design and delivery of leadership programmes


See what our course delegates say

Heatherwood’s Primary Phase Leader has just completed the NPQSL qualification with yourselves and the impact has been fantastic; with regards to both her personal growth and professional development.

Kind regards
Lisa Suter

Heatherwood School, Doncaster

Thank you for the invitation this morning.  I thought the quality of the seminar was excellent.

Dave Vernon
Vice Principal/AST
Tuxford Academy, Newark

Ofsted seminar – 21st Sept

I am just writing to thank you and all the people who delivered/facilitated the NPQH course through Learners First. I am pleased to say that I received confirmation of my successful completion of the qualification over the summer. I have gained lots from the course and feel that without the excellent face to face days, visits to schools and the support that you have offered it would not have been as enjoyable and beneficial to my career as it has been. Can you please pass on my thanks to all concerned and I hope that Learners First continue to provide these outstanding leadership opportunities for years to come.

Karl O’Reilly, St Luke’s School, Scunthorpe

“I like the Learners First approach. It is engaging, stimulating and down to earth with excellent use of relevant expertise.” “Poses lots of questions and gives time and a professional ‘community’ to reflect with and bounce ideas off.”


“An excellent course which has allowed me to develop as a Senior Leader. Often courses are “busy” but you get nothing out of them for you personally, but this is quite the opposite. Also, feedback has felt valued.”


“I really enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside secondary and special school teachers.”

“It has improved my practice in terms of management of people.”