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In this blog series, we shine a spotlight on the NPQ courses we have on offer in partnership with Teach First, including showcasing some of our fantastic programme members.



Growing Together NPQ Spotlight - Leigh Cartmell

Today’s post is a spotlight on… The NPQ for Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC) with Leigh Cartmell (@LCLStudio1), Head of Upper School at Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio. 


What drew you to work in the education profession? 

The Christmas Holidays; only joking! Honestly, my brother, not that I’d tell him that. He’s an Art Teacher at a school in Blackpool. I remember the effort, dedication, and challenges that he faced during his PGCE and ultimately the happiness he felt when working and helping his students achieve their goals and dreams. I liked that; I wanted that for myself. High School was always something that I enjoyed. Now, I wasn’t always the best at everything, but the people who worked there really cared about getting the best out of me. They watched me grow and contributed greatly, helping me become the person I am today. Everyone remembers their favourite Teacher, Pastoral Leader, Teaching Assistant or even their Dinner Lady. Schools matter and a school’s staff matter, now more than ever and because I work in the education sector, I work in the industry that creates all others. I work with some amazing people and students who will grow to do things beyond my own imagination. No two days are the same. That, the memories of my own experiences with school and my brother are, what drew me to the education sector.  


Why did you want to complete an NPQ? 

I wanted to complete the NPQLBC as it linked directly into my current role at The Studio. The course offered me a chance to learn throughout the year, get a nationally recognised qualification and understand myself within my role better than any of CPD I could have done at the time. It was the perfect opportunity and course for me to complete.  


How has your NPQ impacted on your work in school? 

Easy! I wanted to learn, develop and be useful. No one gets into the education sector, teaching or otherwise, without a love of learning, whether seeing students learn or learning something new ourselves. The NPQ programme and its curriculum allowed me to do that, whilst being able to specialise in one of eight subject areas enabled me to choose a specialism that fit with me in my current role, supporting future me and my aspirations. The NPQLBC has impacted my work over the last 12 months. The course has enabled me to see beyond my, then, knowledge and experience allowing me to have real impact on my school’s behaviour and culture, leading the way to make the changes that fit and enable learning to be purposeful.  


What are you hoping to do next with what you have learnt from the course? 

The NPLBC has given me so many insights in behaviour and culture. I’ve already started applying my knowledge at The Studio. Behaviour and Culture fall within my wheelhouse, and it’s never been better at The Studio. The applied theories and the case studies have helped me and my school to better identify culture and behaviour beyond the surface to the granular level, which has allowed changes to be purposeful, meaningful, and sustained over time. What’s next for me? The NPQSL. It’s the natural progression, I believe, so I’m keeping my thirst for learning going so that one day I can lead from the front and give back what I’ve learnt to the next generation.  


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

First of all - do it! If you’ve reached this far then the decision is basically already made. Secondly: Reading. There’s no bigger advantage to achieving well in your course than reading and it’s something that we teach all the time. Do the reading with a highlighter in hand or a document open on your computer and keep key ideas safe so when it comes to the assessment, you’ll have a bank ready to go making it easier during the writing process.  


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

There are many reasons why someone should consider completing an Aldridge Education in partnership with Teach First NPQ. Firstly, the instructors are industry experts with years of experience in education. They’re open minded to new ideas brought by applicants and can direct them through the course to achieve the best outcomes. Secondly, Teach First as a platform offers round the clock support and access with real people able to help with the smallest issue. Thirdly it’s fully funded and supported by The Department for Education meaning that you can earn the qualification and take it wherever your career takes you. Finally, and mostly importantly it’s manageable and achievable through Aldridge Education, the individual schools which make up the foundation and the Teach First platform where support to achieve is fundamental given to the applicants the whole course through.  


Leigh has completed his NPQLBC (best of luck to him for the final results!) and is now embarking on the NPQ in Senior Leadership. We are privileged to be part of his leadership journey. 

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 GrowingTogether@aldridgeeducation.orgBy 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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