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20 July 2017

Interview with James Bowen of NAHT Edge

Interview with James Bowen of NAHT Edge

NEON asked James Bowen, the Director of NAHT Edge, the organisation for middle leaders, how Edge supported the NPQML leadership programme, and what resources were available to middle leaders, including those who were not members. For example, these school leadership podcasts.

Effective middle leaders are absolutely critical to the success of a school. It is the middle leaders who turn the overarching vision of senior leaders into reality on the ground and in the classroom. Through their close contact with colleagues, they get to see before anyone else whether a new initiative is flying or floundering, whether a teacher is flourishing, or needs extra support.

The myth of the ‘Super-Head’ is rightly becoming a thing of the past, as those in education recognise the importance of the entire leadership team in driving positive change and improving outcomes for pupils.

If we want middle leaders to thrive then we need to make sure they are well prepared for the role and that they receive high-quality ongoing CPD once they are in post. The suite of NPQs have long been recognised as somewhat of a ‘gold standard’ when it comes to leadership training. This is in part because qualifications such as NPQML are recognised nationally and backed by the government. Those who go through the programme will be asked to think deeply about their own leadership skills and reflect on how they can maximise their impact as leaders in their setting.

Teachers participating in NPQML have demonstrated a commitment to their own professional development coupled with a desire to continuously improve, and this is where NAHT Edge comes in. NAHT Edge is a professional association and union designed specifically for middle leaders. Whilst we provide all the protection and support you would expect from a union, we aim to be far more than just an ‘insurance policy’.

Edge members have access to a whole range of resources and advice written for teachers who have leadership responsibilities. We have a library of online resources covering topics such as ‘tackling difficult conversations’ and ‘writing an effective improvement plan’. We also have a monthly podcast that members can listen to in order to hear from leading experts in the field of education. These resources can also be a useful tool for those looking to deepen their leadership knowledge whilst completing NPQML.

As an aspirational middle leader, it is important to be up to date with the latest developments and research in education. But, let’s face it – when time is tight, it is very hard to do this. This is why we email all our members a fortnightly education news roundup and a research roundup. These quick reads allow our members to stay well informed and one step ahead in their role.

Professional learning and development is not a one-off event, nor is it something that can be confined to an individual course (as important as these can be). Our resources and advice are designed to help middle leaders continuously develop and be highly successful in their role.

To find out more about becoming a member of NAHT Edge and to check your eligibility, click here.  Middle leaders taking part in training with NPQonline can currently claim a £20 Amazon voucher when they become an Edge member by clicking here.

James Bowen
Director NAHT Edge

Customer endorsements

  • “We have been very impressed with the quality of the online courses and have received excellent feedback from participants about their experiences. We have also been able to build on the learning from the online courses in the face-to-face days. The NPQonline facilitators really help to challenge participants’ thinking. The quality of resources is outstanding.”
    • - Surrey Schools Teaching Network
  • “Working with the team from NPQonline has been a dream. They have been extremely professional and responsive to all our needs, impeccable service! I would highly recommend NPQonline as an excellent source for supporting any NPQ programme.”
    • - Lambeth Teaching School Alliance
  • “NPQonline develop their programmes to an extremely high specification ensuring high quality content and up-to-date material. NPQonline continues to provide LSSW with state of the art programmes which form a significant part of our offer. Feedback can best be described as excellent.”
    • - Leading Schools South West (Cornwall & Devon)
  • “We chose NPQonline because they had the broadest expertise, and were open to working together in partnership, a key part of our original license bid. Their style and approach mirrors our open and friendly, yet challenging support for candidates at all levels, and the highest expectations of participation and success rates.”
    • - School Improvement Liverpool