MORE than 200 teachers in Yorkshire and Humber have started on the qualification that equips them to become heads.

All 216 are studying for the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers.

Peter Dickens, its manager for the Yorkshire and Humber area, said: "We are delighted so many teachers in this region are taking this qualification.

"Now that it's mandatory to have the qualification to become a head for the first time, it's important there are plenty of teachers eligible to apply for headteacher vacancies."

The qualification is administered by the National College for School Leadership. The programme, which takes up to two years, combines an in-school project, face-to-face teaching and online learning.

Nearly 15,000 teachers in England already have the qualification.