Aldridge Education


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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.

Today’s post is a spotlight on… the NPQLT (Leading Teaching) with Victoria Sale from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.  

Since starting her NPQLT in October 2022, Victoria’s career has seen rapid transition and progression. We have been there to support her every step of the way! Read on to find out about her successes and how she is continuing to grow.


Growing Together NPQ Spotlight - Victoria Sale

What drew you to work in the education profession?

Becoming a teacher was always something in the back of my mind whilst growing up and I really loved psychology as a degree and wanted to take it further. When I graduated with a BSs in Psychology, there was not a  PGCE in secondary teaching in Psychology or Social Science and the only option was primary school teaching which I didn't really want to do. At this point, I started working as a Recruitment Consultant but my favourite part of my role was helping individuals with interview technique and improving their CVs. This led to me looking into becoming a training manager. By chance, someone mentioned to me about teaching psychology and finally once I started investigating this possibility, I found out that there was a specific PGCE 14-19 for Psychology: I signed up immediately and never looked back. 


Why did you want to complete an NPQ? 
I wanted to understand how to become a strong middle leader and felt that this training (NPQLT) would support in further applications. The Head of Social Science role was then advertised.  Which I applied for and got.  I also liked the idea of collaborating with other teachers from other schools and doing training that was national rather than smaller courses. In addition, the fact that it was online with only 2 face to face seminars helped me access the course. 


How has your NPQ impacted on your work in school? 
The NPQ has positively impacted my work in school in a number of ways. Firstly, it helped me get an additional TLR role which was "Lead in sixth form". I used examples from my training in the interview and my experience trying out some of the strategies I learnt through the course really shone through. Also, the unit on "difficult conversations" really impacted the way I thought about and prepared for conversations that I was maybe avoiding or didn't know how to tackle. The section on implementation of new strategies also helped with a new intervention protocol that I was leading on within the sixth form. 


What are you hoping to do next with what you have learnt from the course?
Since completing the course I have been promoted again at work. I applied for the Head of sixth form role and got it!  I have since started the NPQSL and hope to move into senior leadership. The training on the course has been invaluable and I am looking forward to being a part of the NPQSL course. 


What is your biggest piece of advice for someone who is considering applying to the course? 
To apply and do it! Don't let fear hold you back. There is a lot of work involved but you can do this around work, and it can help build confidence in pedagogy and help you become the leader you want to achieve. 


What are the main reasons someone should consider completing an Aldridge Education/ Teach First NPQ? 
To have a fresh insight into the latest educational research, to share a love of learning with other practitioners and to grow as a leader. 


Victoria finds out her NPQLT results in January 2024 – best of luck to her! We are thrilled to have welcomed her back into the NPQSL October 2023 cohort and wish her the best of luck in her exciting new Head of Sixth Form role.

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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