So I’ve done it. After much deliberation, I have finally submitted my application for the next round of the NPQSL (National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders). Ok, so I’m not a senior leader. Yet. But I’d like to be.
I’ve asked around about the course, on Twitter and amongst people I know, and there seems to be a fair amount of debate about the value of it. Some say they didn’t learn much and begrudged the research and projects. Others say they really enjoyed it. I don’t know whether I have made the right choice or not, but I know I am looking forward to the challenge.
Just after returning from maternity leave with my first child, I was thrown into the precarious world of the NASENCO award. The timing wasn’t great and, if I’m completely honest, I probably wouldn’t have undertaken it given a choice, but I really enjoyed it. I loved having to read educational books (without pushing, I wouldn’t have read any of them as it’s tough to find the time), I loved having to carry out a research project and I really loved having to write assignments. Yes, I know that’s weird, but I really enjoyed being forced to learn something new. I know we are learning all of the time in school (I was fairly ignorant about most of the topics we taught this year 12 months ago), but this is a different kind of learning. It’s grown up learning. Learning that takes me out of my comfort zone at times. Learning because I want to, not because I have to.
I may well regret this decision in time: having two small children, most of my time out of school is spent with them. I already spend most evenings planning and marking, my Assessment Leader role seems to be constantly expanding, plus I have taken on a Phase Leader role from September. I’m still not entirely sure how much extra work this is going to lead to. So the additional workload from the NPQSL may just tip the balance. There’s only one way to find out. I do know that I will see it through, though, no matter what the workload. There aren’t many more free hours in the week that I can fill, but maybe for next year, I may just have to abolish the “no work on the day off” rule. I know there is no financial gain to be had from having the qualification, nor does it guarantee me a Senior Leader role anywhere, but there is personal pride and satisfaction to be gained from taking it. Hopefully, it will make me a better leader. I’d like to think I have lots of the skills needed to be a good leader, but there is always room for improvement.