Develop my career and improve my practice with an NPQ specialist

Hassnain Mahay is an associate biology teacher and deputy head of the year at Greenford High School. He is starting a National Professional Qualification in Leading Behavior and Culture (NPQLBC) in November and shares what motivated him to enroll.

Teaching background

During school, friends often suggested that I would be a great teacher, and while studying my degree in Biology, I started to believe it too. I was passionate about creating positive change, helping others, and sharing my passion for the subject. I decided to complete a PGCE course to share my passion and knowledge of science with young people.

I started my teaching career at a local school in my neighborhood. After several years, I wanted a bigger challenge, new responsibilities and a change of scenery. I managed to get a place in my old secondary school, where I kept my love of teaching and supporting children’s education.


I have chosen to take an NPQ in Leading Behavior & Culture as I believe having an ethics in which all members of the school community are invested is essential to achieve a whole school vision and ensure positive outcomes for young people.

The NPQLBC will give me access to world-class training, counseling and guidance that are rooted in the best research evidence available across the industry, to deepen my understanding of effective learning behavior and school culture. It will also provide me with essential experience in managing competing commitments and priorities across a wide range of areas within schools so that I can support pupils. The network of peers, school leaders and subject matter experts who support and deliver the course will also help me develop new school-centered skills relevant to my environment.

I am excited to explore how NPQLBC will directly impact my daily practice. Discovering new strategies to combat absenteeism, low-level interruption, backchat or even aggressive behavior are always welcome in the classroom. The fact that these strategies are supported by a broad base of evidence will give me additional power: I can be confident in addressing these problematic behaviors with the solid foundation my NPQ will have provided.

My current aspirations are to become a Head of the Year, and NPQLBC will offer opportunities to work with a range of influential stakeholders, including my senior management team, colleagues, and diverse groups of students with varying needs. However, I find it important to point out that NPQLBC is not just about my career progression. I am excited to see the immediate benefits in my practice – this classroom experience, rooted in evidence-based research, can have an immediate impact, regardless of my career path.

What time?

I am currently Associate Deputy Head of Year for a busy year group. There are many challenges posed by the pandemic that has upset the path that our young people have made over the years, in addition to the transition from primary to secondary school. We have students attending our schools from disadvantaged backgrounds, foster children, those with EAL needs and SEND students. Quite simply, many of these children need support to get them back on track and fill some of the achievement gaps that have developed over the course of the pandemic. Creating a culture in which we support all of our pupils to strive to achieve their best, as well as modeling correct behaviors for them and connecting them to school as a safe environment, is crucial to developing our pastoral performance – in view of this, in turn, it will promote success inside and outside the classroom.

The NPQLBC will support me and others across the country to develop existing behavior management and pastoral skills to support these students and promote success for the children in our care.

Future aspirations

To support my goal of becoming Head of Year, coupled with my long-term aspirations to become a Principal, NPQ’s reformed suite offers a range of opportunities to develop my skills and competencies in different areas, enabling me to do what matters really – supporting students through their education.

The next cohort of teachers and leaders on these reformed NPQs will begin their qualifications in February 2021. To find out more about how an NPQ can help you take the next step in your career and the providers offering these qualifications, go to GOV.UK.

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