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Growing Together NPQ Spotlight - Dominque McKenzie-Spooner

Today’s post is a spotlight on… The NPQ for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) with Dominique Mackenzie-Spooner, Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning at Eden Park High School (part of E21C). 

Education, with its transformative power, has the potential to shape not only minds but entire futures. In this interview, we speak with Dominique, a dedicated educator whose passion for science and commitment to student success led her on a remarkable journey. As we delve into her experiences, Dominique sheds light on her motivations, the impact of pursuing an NPQ, and the invaluable insights gained along the way. 


What drew you to work in the education profession? 

I was drawn to work in education because I could see how as a teacher I could have a big impact on students' lives. I studied Science at University and was motivated at the idea of helping students to achieve well in this subject and potentially go into science-related careers in the future. Science can be a subject that students are put off by, but I wanted my lessons to be effective and engaging.  


Why did you want to complete an NPQ? 

I applied for the NPQSL when I was a Director of Science - I aspired to senior leadership. I felt I had developed well in my subject role, but the idea of a whole-school role felt very daunting, and I didn't know how I would make this transition in the future.  

During my NPQ I applied for an AHT (Assistant Headteacher) role in Teaching and Learning and was successful.  


How has your NPQ impacted on your work in school? 

My NPQ supported me in my role as it related to activities and tasks I needed to take on in my role as an Assistant Headteacher. I used the research papers given in the course material to help me to make decisions within teaching and learning and gave me a level of knowledge to speak confidently with other senior leaders and governors. [After the course] I am hoping to develop further in my current role and become more confident in my skills.  



What is your biggest piece of advice for someone who is considering applying to the course? 

Keep up with the reading and assignments on Brightspace. Participate and collaborate fully in the video seminars, because the people you will work with have valuable insights. The seminars give you a great opportunity to practise and receive feedback. 


What are the main reasons someone should consider completing an Aldridge Education/ Teach First NPQ? 

The NPQ is valuable, and research informed. It supports you by pushing you past your comfort zone, so you feel more prepared to deal with complex situations and decision-making in real-life. 


Dominique finds out her NPQSL results in January 2024 – best of luck to her! She is already using her skills successfully in her new senior leadership role. We have loved having her as part of our NPQ programme and value continuing to work with her and the E21C team on their instructional coaching programme. 


Does this sound like the next step in your career? Or could there be a different leadership course for you? Find out more information about our courses and how to apply here: or get in touch with a member of the Growing Together team at

By joining one of our NPQ courses, educators can unlock their leadership potential and make a significant impact on education, empowering students and shaping the future of learning. We offer a range of NPQ courses, including NPQLT (Leading Teaching), NPQLL (Leading Literacy), NPQLTD (Leading Teacher Development), NPQLBC (Leading Behaviour and Culture), NPQSL (Senior Leadership), and NPQH (Headship).  


So, no matter where you are in your career, we have a course that's right for you.  



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