Skip to content ↓

Funding for National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) 

NB: DfE scholarship funding, for NPQ courses at all levels, is NOT currently available. Applicants and/or their schools will be informed, if and when any scholarship funding becomes available, as soon as it is announced by the Department for Education. The DfE has not made any commitment to  scholarship funding beyond the 2020-21 academic year.  

Previous NPQ Scholarships

The Department for Education (DfE) announced that scholarship funding was available, from April 2019 to December 2019, to support teachers and leaders in challenging areas to access the reformed NPQs. The conditions for the funding are as follows:-

  • Funding covered the full participant costs of the course(s);
  • Funding for NPQs was taken by teachers and leaders working in Opportunity Areas (OAs) and category 5 and 6 areas; and
  • Funding was paid to accredited NPQ providers (not to schools).

The Humber Teaching School and Leading Learning Forward TSA applied on behalf of course participants, as accredited NPQ providers, to access this scholarship funding via a funding contract with the DfE.

NPQ Participant Eligibility Criteria

Funding had been set aside to support teachers and leaders in Opportunity Areas (OAs) and Category 5 and 6 areas to undertake the reformed NPQ provision only.

To satisfy the eligibility criteria, participants had to:

  • be working in a school in an Opportunity Area (OA) or a Category 5 or 6 area,
  • not already hold the NPQ for which they are applying, and
  • have not previously dropped out before completing the NPQ for which they are applying.

Where participants had started their NPQ in advance of these funding contracts being awarded, provided that they meet the criteria, they will be able to have their course costs refunded.

Funding criteria in the event of over-subscription

The DfE did not set a headcount limit on who could receive a scholarship, either per school or per NPQ provider. However, in the event that there was over-subscription for this funding, the DfE reserves its right to prioritise funding using the following criteria (in order of priority):

  1. Participants working in Opportunity Areas;
  2. Participants working in schools where more than 30% of pupils receive Free School Meals;
  3. Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) teachers and leaders; and
  4. Participants working in a school in an Opportunity Area, where the school is below the Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 4 floor standards.

The Humber Teaching School and Leading Learning Forward TSA reserved the right as NPQ providers to only refund course costs where a scholarship payment had been awarded by the DFE.

NB: Scholarship funding was available for courses starting before 31st March 2020. The criteria for NPQ scholarship funding for courses starting after the 1st April 2020 have still to be published.

Opportunity Areas

The 12 Opportunity Areas were:-

  • Blackpool
  • Derby
  • Norwich
  • Oldham
  • Scarborough
  • West Somerset

(Announced in October 2016)

  • Bradford
  • Doncaster
  • Fenland
  • East Cambridgeshire
  • Hastings
  • Ipswich
  • Stoke-on-Trent

(Announced in January 2017).


Category 6 Local Authority Districts

• Amber Valley • King's Lynn and West Norfolk

• Barnsley

Kingston upon Hull, City of

• Blackpool

• Knowsley

• Bolsover

• Liverpool

• Bradford

• Middlesbrough

• Breckland

• North East Derbyshire

• Chesterfield

North East Lincolnshire

• Corby

• Northampton

• Crawley

• Northumberland

• Daventry

• Norwich

• Derby

• Nottingham

• Doncaster

• Oldham

• East Cambridgeshire

• Peterborough

• East Northamptonshire

• Portsmouth

• East Riding of Yorkshire

• Sandwell

• East Staffordshire

• Scarborough

• Erewash

• South Derbyshire

• Fenland

• South Holland

• Forest Heath

• Stoke-on-Trent

• Gosport

• Tamworth

• Great Yarmouth

• Walsall

• Hastings

• Waveney

• High Peak

• Wellingborough

• Huntingdonshire

• West Somerset

• Ipswich

• Weymouth and Portland

• Isle of Wight

• Kettering

• Wolverhampton

• Worthing


Category 5 Local Authority Districts 


• Arun • Milton Keynes

• Ashfield

• Newark and Sherwood

• Ashford

North Lincolnshire

• Babergh

• North Warwickshire

• Basingstoke and Deane

• Nuneaton and Bedworth

• Bracknell Forest

• Pendle

• Braintree

• Reading

• Broxtowe

• Rochdale

• Burnley

• Salford

• Cannock Chase

• Sefton

• Carlisle

• Sheffield

• Coventry

• South Staffordshire

• Dudley

• St Edmundsbury

• East Lindsey

• St. Helens • Stafford

• Eden

• Staffordshire Moorlands

• Gravesham

• Stevenage

• Halton

• Swindon

• Havant

• Tameside

• Kirklees

• Telford and Wrekin

• Leicester

• Tendring

• Lewes

• Thanet

• Lincoln

• Torridge

• Luton

• Warrington

• Mansfield

• Wirral

• Medway

• Wychavon

• Mid Suffolk

• Wyre Forest


The Education Excellence Everywhere White Paper is available at:

Detail on the methodology is available at:


Page updated: 8th September 2020