Those leading early years have the privilege of supporting children at the start of their journey in education and, as such, can have a significant impact on their life chances.

Leading a nursery requires a wealth of strategic and operational knowledge. The role is reliant on working with and through colleagues to ensure every child gets the best start in life. Leaders need to have a strong understanding of their context, community and the children and adults they work with. They also need to have expertise across a  number of areas and be able to create a culture and climate that will allow children to thrive and succeed.

The National Professional Qualification for Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL) is for leaders qualified to at least Level 3 with a full and relevant qualification 1 who are, or are aspiring to be, managers of Private, Voluntary and Independent nurseries, headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries, or childminders with leadership responsibilities.

And are employed:

  • in a maintained nursery school in England
  • in a pre-school that is part of a school in England
  • in a nursery that is registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register
  • as a childminder and registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register, or with a registered Childminder Agency


Our delivery model is grounded in tried-and-tested evidence of effective school improvement from both the UK and US. The programmes are underpinned by theory, mapped for progression across all qualification levels, and application of learning prioritised to facilitate successful implementation.



The programme will use ‘see it, name it, do it’ as an organisational structure for scaffolding learning to the point of mastery. The model is a highly applied and personalised approach coined by the internationally renowned Leverage Leadership Institute.

  • See it: The approach goes beyond theory by using current, real-life models of exemplary practice
  • Name it: By identifying features of exemplary practice, the invisible is made visible. Participants reflect on their current practice and name their ‘gaps’
  • Do it: Participants are guided through implementation planning with time for practice, peer feedback and the use of gap tasks. As part of formative assessment, participants then ‘fix their gaps’ by applying their learning in school.


Opportunities to ‘do it’, through practice and planning give the best chance of successful implementation and lead to rapid school improvement. Application of learning provides regular practice opportunities for final scenario-based assessment.


The programme is made up of a blend of synchronous and asynchronous components totalling a maximum of four days plus self study.




Live facilitated

Expert Support/Mentoring



17 x 2hr sessions


20 x 2hr units



Minimum of 12 hours in-person



*Synchronous in-person and online units are designed in two-hour blocks that may be combined as whole days lasting six hours or delivered as a series of two-hour twilights.


  • Cost: £1095 per participant – currently FULLY FUNDED (funding criteria apply) 
  • FULLY FUNDED Scholarships available (see below)
  • Programme length: 18 months
  • Start date: October 2022
  • Assessment: An open-book assessment in an eight-day set window within 3 months of completion requiring a structured 1500-word response to a real multi-resource scenario/case-study

Please CLICK HERE to download the Department for Education Framework for NPQEYL.


As part of the government’s long-term education recovery plan, it was announced in May 2022 that funding for fully funded NPQ training scholarships will be available in academic years 2022 to 2023 and 2023 to 2024.

From October 2022, the organisations eligible to access scholarships are:

  • state funded schools
  • state funded 16-19 organisations
  • independent special schools
  • virtual schools (local authority run organisations that support the education of children in care)
  • hospital schools not already included in other categories of eligible organisations
  • young offender institutions

Local authority employed supply teachers will also be able to access scholarships.

Teachers and leaders who are employed as above are eligible for training scholarships for the following NPQs:


Training scholarships for the NPQ for Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL) are available to those leaders qualified to at least level 3 with a full and relevant qualifications who are, or are aspiring to be:

  • managers of private, voluntary and independent nurseries
  • headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries
  • childminders with leadership responsibilities

And are employed:

  • in a maintained nursery school in England
  • in a pre-school class that’s part of a school in England
  • in a nursery that is registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register
  • as a childminder and registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register, or with a registered Childminder Agency

Access to funding remains conditional on successful validation of participants’ registration information against Teaching Regulation Agency records, so you must ensure that the information supplied to your NPQ provider matches your teacher record. You can check and update your record via the Teaching Regulation Agency’ Teacher Self-Service Portal.


Applying is a two stage process:

  1. Apply to the NPQ Provider (School Led Network), using the APPLY HERE link below
  2. IMPORTANT! Register for your NPQ on the website using the following link

You will receive an automated email as receipt of your application. Following that, we will be in touch with further information.

When asked to select your delivery partner, please select Harris Chafford Hundred Teaching School Hub


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