St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy supports its 200th aspiring school leader

St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy has mentored its 200th teacher since being selected as a Golden Thread Teaching School Hub partner for the third year running in September.

On Thursday 29th February, the academy hosted another face-to-face session delivering the National Professional Qualification Senior Leadership (NPQSL) to a room full of aspiring senior leaders from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

The academy is part of a national initiative to develop leadership programmes and to induct and train a new era of Early Careers Teachers (ECTs) and the next generation of school leaders for middle and senior leadership teams.

SMWCA, which is part of the Newman Catholic Collegiate, also delivers the National Professional Qualification in Leading Teaching (NPQLT) and National Professional Qualification in Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC) at the school on Little Chell Lane.

Simon Jones – Director of CPD and Succession Planning at SMWCA said: “We’re developing leaders of learning in classrooms. This course is a great way to encourage more people to join the profession, as it shows the level of progression and development which is available throughout your teaching career.

“Hosting teacher training is also a great opportunity to inspire pupils in our sixth form to join the profession too.”

Simon added: “It’s a really proud moment for me when I see teachers that I’ve trained go on to become senior leaders in their schools too.”

To date, SMWCA has supported 600 teachers in their career development through these courses over three years.

Current course attendee Jade Timperley, Head of Humanities Faculty at Birches Head Academy, said: “I have found the course quite eye-opening. As a middle leader, you think you know what senior leadership is about but there’s a multitude of information behind closed doors you don’t have open access to that leads to the decisions that are made. The one-to-ones have really shown me that. The first session at St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy gave the rationale behind the decisions senior leaders make.”

Chris Rowley, Assistant Headteacher and Classroom Teacher at Bluebell School in Kidsgrove is currently transitioning between being a teacher and being part of the senior leadership team, which is why he’s working with St Margaret Ward’s NPQSL.

He said: “I chose to do the NPQSL because I’m in a senior leadership role and it’s important to learn the theory behind management and why we’re asked to do new things. This course has encouraged me to think about the desired impact and the reflection process before new decisions are delivered to staff.”

Simon added: “We’re proud to be a chosen partner for the Golden Thread Teaching School Hub, and one of only three in the area. It aligns with our values and cements our position as a sought-after school for teacher training placements.”

One of the additional bonuses SMWCA and Newman Catholic Collegiate benefit from is the additional CPD this offers their senior leaders. Principals from other schools in the collegiate deliver the training sessions which in-turn supports their development.

Within the Newman Catholic Collegiate, three Principals, one Vice Principal and four Assistant Principals offer facilitation on the courses. Four Subject and Pastoral Leaders have also joined the team.

To find out more about the National Professional Qualifications available at St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy, contact