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Schools can fund NPQs through apprenticeship levy following Best Practice Network appointment

Tracy Clement, Apprenticeships Director at Best Practice Network

Schools across England will now be able to use their #ApprenticeshipLevy to cover the cost of National Professional Qualification (NPQ) leadership development programmes for middle and senior leaders.

The development will take the pressure off school CPD budgets and has been made possible with the appointment of Best Practice Network (BPN) as the first training organisation in England approved to provide apprenticeship levy-funded programmes incorporating the NPQ programmes.

BPN – one of the UK’s largest providers of training, development and support for education professionals and rated an “exceptional training provider” by the Department for Education – has been accepted onto the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Register of Approved Training Provicers (RoATP) as a main provider. 

The status is awarded to providers that directly deliver apprenticeship training for employers who use the apprenticeship service to pay for training. The register of apprenticeship training providers lists organisations eligible to receive government funding to train apprentices.

BPN is combining its middle and senior leadership NPQs (NPQML and NPQSL) with the level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship to deliver two dual leadership programmes. BPN will also help schools locate additional funding sources, provide information about the apprenticeship-funded route and answer funding queries.

Since March 2020 all public sector bodies with more than 250 employees have had to employ at least 2.3% of their staff as new apprentices – a requirement that affects many multi-academy trusts.

Tracy Clement, Apprenticeships Director at Best Practice Network, says:

“We have gone through a rigorous approval and onboarding process to achieve this status, which means that schools can cover the cost of the professional development of their middle and senior leaders by using their apprenticeship levy funds, government co-funding or levy transfer. This takes significant pressure off their CPD budgets at a challenging time. There will be a way for most schools to access these apprenticeships at no cost and we’re here to help them do this.”

The appointment of BPN as a main provider is part of an expansion of the organisation’s apprenticeship service. BPN already provides end-point assessment services for the School Business Professional Level 4 Apprenticeship and is soon to add an Early Years Educator Level 3 qualification to the portfolio. 

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