Aldridge Education


Easy Read

Growing Together NPQ Spotlight - Farrah Heerah

A Spotlight on… The NPQ in Senior Leadership with Farrah Heerah (@farrahheerah) from Brighton Aldridge Community Academy

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.

It should come as no surprise that our NPQ in Senior Leadership (NPQSL) is incredibly popular due to catering to the full range of responsibilities available on a senior leadership team. The course offers a structured pathway for professional growth for any new and aspiring senior leaders, equipping programme members with a toolkit of tangible whole school strategies which will have an impact on young people in any educational setting. We love working with leaders on this course as they provide a safe space for challenge and insight, with programme members represented from a range of schools across the country.

Farrah Heerah started her NPQSL journey in February 2022. The end of her experience is in sight with the assessment window taking place in September 2023! Farrah is a highly experienced leader, having successfully led many projects in school including being Head of English. However, even after all this time thriving in leadership roles, Farrah sought the development provided by an NPQ to enhance her skills before taking the step up to senior leadership:


“I wanted to complete an NPQ because I knew it would give me the knowledge and tools to make the next step in my career a successful one.  I was aware that the jump to senior leadership is a big jump and my work as Associate SLT had had some impact, but not as much as I had hoped.  I anticipated that the NPQ would give me the ability to really make an impact and make a difference for the young people in my school.”

As Farrah has experienced, the NPQSL is designed to support educators in making the transition into senior leadership roles with confidence. By delving into key facets of whole school life, oftenunseen to those in middle leadership positions, it equips individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the complexities of senior leadership. The ultimate goal is to make the daunting leap from middle leadership more manageable and empowering leaders to thrive in their new roles.

The content of the NPQSL course is wide-ranging, encompassing various areas such as teaching, behaviour, professional development, organisational management, working in partnership, and governance and accountability. Programme members will acquire expertise in these domains and receive support in efficiently implementing change and driving improvement within their specific roles. Farrah has found the implementation work on the course of particular benefit:

“The NPQ has had impact on my work in school through the way in which I lead staff, the way I conduct difficult conversations, the bigger picture concepts of my role within the larger organisation, and more directly, the planning and implementation of a particular school improvement focus.  With the knowledge and practice gained in the course, I am currently responsible for one of the school's main areas for improvement, and have a strong understanding of how to drive change in this area.”

Effective leadership has a significant impact on the success and well-being of learners and educational institutions. By completing the NPQSL, leaders gain the knowledge and skills to create positive change, drive school improvement, and enhance student outcomes. The qualification equips leaders with the tools to inspire and motivate staff, foster a positive learning environment, and implement effective strategies for educational excellence. So, why would Farrah recommend completing the NPQSL with Aldridge Education and Teach First?

“The main reason that someone should consider completing a Teach First/Aldridge NPQ is to develop their knowledge, their skills and expertise in an area that is going to be the next step within leadership in schools. It provides a strong and current research base as a foundational layer to the work, followed up with practice of scenarios in a safe space with colleagues.  It gives opportunities for networking, and valuable time to share experiences and grow with the next set of leaders in schools.”


Additionally, we are thrilled by how many of our current and former programme members have secured a new senior leadership role with support from their NPQ course. It really can set candidates apart during the interview process, highlighting a commitment to development as well as a deep understanding of the demands of the role of senior leadership. Farrah is one of these programme members and has found a new passion within school!

“Having been on the course, I was able to secure my role as Assistant Principal responsible for CPD and English.  Since then, I have had the confidence to voice my longer-term ambition and I have moved into the SEND team, initially leading on adaptation, but also ready to start my NASENCO qualification in September with a view to becoming the school SENDCO in a few years' time.  This is a rather different role for me in school, and the NPQ gave me the confidence to brave the change into a new and exciting direction for me professionally.”

Congratulations Farrah and good luck in your NPQ assessment! We are rooting for your success.


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, such as the NPQ in Senior Leadership 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. 

Working in
partnership with