Transition to headship evaluation and impact study icon

Transition to headship evaluation and impact study

An evaluation of the impact of the roll out stage of the redesigned National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) and Head Start Programmes was undertaken. NPQH was designed for aspiring Headteachers and it was mandatory to hold the qualification in order to apply for a first headship role in the maintained sector at the time of the evaluation. The Head Start programme involved a support package for new Headteachers that included leadership development activities such as peer support and online materials.The evaluation spanned three years (ending in May 2013) and was used to determine the impact of the programmes in two principal areas: the leadership skills and capabilities of trainees; and the wider outcomes and impacts of the programme for children and young people. A mixed methodological approach was used including participant online and CATI surveys, depth interviews, a data review, and visits to delivery centres. The core element of the evaluation methodology was a longitudinal survey across three sampling points which was developed to evaluate the impact of the programmes.

During the delivery, the evaluation team had to adapt the methodology owing to changes in the qualification no longer being mandatory and the introduction of a new qualification to replace the NPQH. CFE gathered just over 4,000 survey submissions (obtained from both online and CATI methods) with longitudinal tracking of 410 respondents across all three sampling points; just under 100 qualitative consultations with a range of stakeholders including trainees, Headteachers, coaches, chair of governors, delivery partners and other key stakeholders; site visits; and secondary data analysis. The data was used to enable us to triangulate views on what impact the programmes had on trainee heads and which elements had the most impact in key areas.

The final report can be accessed here:

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Key project contact

Hayley Lamb

Hayley is a highly skilled researcher with over 12 years experience of applied social research and evaluation. She specialises in pre-16 education alongside research in the area of well-being, with a strong track-record of evaluating leadership programmes for senior, middle and aspiring school leaders. Hayley has significant experience of directing mixed method, longitudinal projects including CFE’s evaluations of the Leadership Curriculum, Talented Leaders programme and Community Sport Activation Fund.