The national head teacher training qualification is to be overhauled under proposals announced by the Department for Education (DfE) yesterday (December 6th).
The current National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), which is compulsory for all would-be head teachers, will be revised as the government seek to make it a more highly-sought qualification.
As part of the revisions, the NPQH will become a non mandatory qualification, with the bar for entry raised.
Though the reforms have not been formerly approved by parliament, they are due to come into effect in spring 2012 as the course is amended by the National College in collaboration with key stakeholders to make it more demanding.
Announcing the plans, minister for schools Nick Gibb said: "Our reforms are centred on giving great head teachers the skills they need and the professional autonomy to make a difference to thousands of young lives."
He added that the DfE wants to make the NPQH a qualification that will help head teachers develop the key skills they need, turning them into outstanding professionals while ensuring the qualification remains highly regarded and sought after.
The revised qualification will require participants to take five modules, three of which will be compulsory.
These key modules will focus on leading pupil behaviour, developing leadership skills and managing teacher performance.
Trainee head teachers will also have to conduct both school-based and placement related assignments which will be longer and more in-depth than previously.
Commenting on the overhaul, chief executive of the National College Steve Munby said that raising the bar will help drive up the quality of school leadership in England.
He said: "The current NPQH is already highly regarded and sought-after but, in a rapidly changing education sector that is becoming increasingly diverse and autonomous, no qualification can stand still."
The NPQH was introduced in 1998 and in 2009 became compulsory for all first-time head teachers in the maintained sector.
Statistics from the DfE show that around 35,000 teachers hold the NPQH, with over half (around 58 per cent) of head teachers having achieved the qualification.
Posted by Theo Foulds