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Early Headship Coaching Offer (EHCO)

Our Early Headship Coaching Offer (EHCO) is a 12-month programme of targeted support for headteachers in their first five years of headship. It is not assessed! This is all about helping you embed the learning from your NPQ for Headship, sharing and receiving support from your peers, gaining confidence and achieving early success in your role. Our EHCO programme has been designed by EDT Associate and school leadership expert Maggie Farrar, and tailored to augment the knowledge and skills developed on your NPQH journey.

Apply for an EHCO

  • Register: To begin your application journey, please complete a registration form via the DfE registration portal to verify your details.
  • Apply: Once your details have been validated by the Department for Education (this can take up to 3 working days), you will be added to our database. We will then be in touch to advise on next steps and how to complete your application.

We are now accepting applications for our February 2024 cohort.

Apply now


Becoming a headteacher is a massive achievement and an exciting opportunity. It also comes with a raft of new responsibilities – yes, striving for excellence, but also a responsibility to recognise the challenges that come with the role and consider your own professional and personal needs.

Our Early Headship Coaching Offer addresses the complexities of headship and will help you navigate your first years in the role, ensuring that you are equipped to flourish throughout your career as a headteacher.



The programme is built around three core strands which will help you to face the challenges of new headship:

Apply. We will help you to apply what you already know and what you learn from the NPQH in a sustainable, creative and practical way. We will match you with two more new headteachers to embed support and peer review. You will visit each other’s schools to observe and provide follow-up feedback and take part in peer review conversations. We know from our extensive experience that peer review is a powerful tool to help new headteachers hone their skills and sustain them going forward.

Thrive. Being a headteacher brings new and unforeseen challenges. Never has this been more true than over the last few years. However these challenges provide opportunities to test yourself, grow personally and professionally and embed a strong culture of excellence and inclusion in your school. We will introduce you to the practice of collaborative problem solving, learning how to involve others in tackling challenges and making sure everyone feels part of the process.

Sustain. This strand will help you cultivate the qualities you need to support yourself in leading for a lifetime, able to take care of yourself and others. As a new headteacher, you may be inclined to put your own personal needs last. We will teach you and encourage you to honour your needs to benefit not just yourself but your entire school community.

This programme offers you:

  • local mini-groupings that will help you to establish relationships and foster networks
  • a bespoke online diagnostic survey assessing your strengths, confidence and development needs
    an enhanced Community of Practice led by experienced serving headteachers
  • in-person sessions providing guided professional dialogue and additional mentoring support
    enhanced collaboration opportunities through shadowing and online spaces for resource sharing and chat
  • a local peer review trio supporting the application of NPQH knowledge in own school context.

Mode of delivery: We have built flexibility into our national model to allow your local Delivery Partner to tailor the precise number and duration of sessions to the needs of your group, and to decide whether the sessions will be in-person or a blend of in-person and remote. The full programme comprises 30 hours across the academic year.


EHCO funding eligibility

You are eligible for this targeted support package if you meet the following criteria:

  • are in your first five years of headship
  • work in a state-funded school in England upon starting the training
  • have either completed an NPQH before taking up your first headship post or are currently taking the NPQH
  • have not withdrawn from the additional support programme previously

All eligible places on this programme are fully funded by the Department for Education at a cost of £800 per participant.