Learners First Receives New NPQ Accredited Provider Status – Applications for Programmes commencing in 2018 open NOW!


Last year the Department for Education (DfE) convened an expert group of system leaders to reform the existing NPQ leadership qualifications and oversee the development of a new ‘executive leadership’ level within the suite of qualifications.

Following recent confirmation from the DfE, Learners First is delighted to announce that it has been successfully accredited as a provider of the reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) at all four levels. Therefore, as well as the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML), the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL), and the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), Learners First will be offering the new National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) from January 2018.


This is an exciting addition to the Learners First Leadership Curriculum and will further support leadership development and progression into new and emerging leadership roles.

How to Apply

The application windows for the NPQML, NPQSL and NPQH programmes commencing in the spring/summer 2018 will be opening after the autumn half-term.

To register your interest in any of these programmes please email teachingschool@learnersfirst.org

You will then be notified of the application dates and respective deadline of the programme you are interested in, as soon as they become available.

Further details about the new NPQEL programme and application process will be released after half term.

If you would like to discuss in more detail and/or require further information about any of the NPQs please do not hesitate to contact the Learners First team.



National curriculum assessments at key stage 2 in England, 2017 (interim)

Stepping Up to Headship

Results published today (4 July 2017) show that the percentage of children achieving the expected standard in primary school has risen.

The national key stage 2 results show that 61% of primary school children in England achieved the expected standard, compared to 53% last year.

This year’s results are the second to be released following the introduction of a more rigorous curriculum in September 2014 that raises the bar in terms of expectations of young people’s mastery of literacy and numeracy, bringing the primary school curriculum in line with the best in the world.

Today’s results show

  • 61% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics, compared to 53% last year
  • 71% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, compared to 66% last year
  • 75% of pupils met the expected standard in mathematics, compared to 70% last year
  • 77% of pupils met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling, compared to 73% last year
  • 76% of pupils met the expected standard in writing, compared to 74% last year

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:

“Today’s results show sustained progress in reading, writing and maths and are a testament to the hard work of teachers and pupils across England. Thanks to their commitment and our new knowledge rich curriculum, thousands more children will arrive at secondary school having mastered the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths, giving them the best start in life.”

The new national curriculum and reformed qualifications – at primary and at secondary – are designed to ensure pupils receive the education that they need to go as far as their talents will take them.

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

News & Updates

Justine Greening statement to parliament on school funding.

17th July 2017

New deal to help schools save cash on computer equipment

14th July 2017

£16 million drive to boost maths skills for post Brexit Britain

20th July 2017

Secondary school staff get mental health ‘first aid’ training

17th July 2017

The additional funding I am setting out today, together with the introduction of a national funding formula, will provide schools with the investment they need to offer a world-class education to every child. There will therefore be £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20 in addition to the schools budget set at spending review 2015. This funding is across the next two years as we transition to the national funding formula. Spending plans for the years beyond 2019-20 will be set out in a future spending review.

DfE and Crown Commercial Service (CCS) will launch the second in a series of bulk buying deals (sometimes referred to as ‘aggregated deals’) for schools considering buying new tablets, laptops or desktop devices at the beginning of the autumn term. One hundred schools took up the previous deal, buying over 2,000 devices. Some schools saved thousands of pounds, with average savings of 8%.

CCS will publish full details of the deal on 4 September 2017. Schools will then have until 29 September 2017 to send CCS their equipment requirements.

A £16 million investment to increase the quality of teaching in post-16 maths is part of major drive to see more students studying the subject after GCSE and ensure Britain’s future workforce can compete in the global marketplace post Brexit.

Following a government-commissioned review by Professor Sir Adrian Smith about how to improve 16-18 maths education in England, Education Minister Nick Gibb has set out a series of actions to increase participation.

The additional funding I am setting out today, together with the introduction of a national funding formula, will provide schools with the investment they need to offer a world-class education to every child. There will therefore be £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20 in addition to the schools budget set at spending review 2015. This funding is across the next two years as we transition to the national funding formula. Spending plans for the years beyond 2019-20 will be set out in a future spending review.

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 teachingschool@learnersfirst.org 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 governance handbook - January 2017

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 Department of Education (DfE) have recently released an updated version of the Governance Handbook (Jan 2017) and the new Competency Framework for Governors (January 2017).

The ‘Competency framework for governance’ sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that school and academy governing boards need to be effective.

The ‘Competency framework for clerking sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to provide professional clerking to school and academy governing boards.

The following link will take you to the relevant DfE website page should you wish to view or download these documents:

Governance Handbook 2017

Governor Development Programme 2017/18

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 2017 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.”