Speak to us
or Make a Booking
Confidence through competence
Course Browser


Speak to us

01273 35 80 80

or Make a booking

Complete the online booking form to
enrol on one of our training courses

An Interview with Matthew Burdett – NPQSL

Matthew Burdett – NPQSL

During Matthews’ time studying with Real Training, he was the assistant headteacher at an international school in El Salvador. Since his completion of the course in 2020, Matthew Burdett has been promoted and is now the head of secondary. Matthews school is a 3-18 international, bilingual through-school where they speak both English and Spanish. We caught up with Matthew to discuss his time studying with us.

What made you choose the Real Training course over other options?

I chose Real Training for two main reasons. Firstly, the ability to study entirely online meant that it fit my context, which meant I was able to work remotely while keeping up fully with the online materials. Secondly, I was able to join a cohort immediately, rather than wait until the beginning of the academic year. This helped me to get going and plan my time effectively to use the extended summer holiday to make real inroads into the project.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

I was incredibly impressed with all aspects of the course. The online materials were easy to access and the activities were well organised. The tasks were introduced with very clear expectations. It meant that I always knew what I needed to do and rarely had a problem with any of the research materials. When I did struggle, my tutor, John Wilkinson, was always quick to reply with a full answer.

This was especially important when my school closed in the final third of my project, as I had to develop my final report with only partial evidence. Johns advice carried through to a mark of 26/28 for my NPQSL, something I am really proud of.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

My project itself helped to raise awareness of curriculum issues and as a direct result of my work on the NPQSL course, we are now developing a clear curriculum strategy to push the school further. The course has also helped me to see the links between the myriad of school issues and how having a single vision for the school helps to bring harmony where otherwise we might pull in different directions.

How has the course helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

My project was about the importance of a cohesive curriculum. It’s definitely helped me to understand how to ensure that a project gets to the end, and perhaps more importantly, how to pick myself up when I stumble. The course firmed up a lot of things that I intuitively knew to do – but I had not fully grasped the importance of vision and getting the goals right in the early stages.

I’m naturally a ‘how’ person, and the course has helped me to strengthen the ‘why’. Since the pandemic changed our model of education and my school is likely to have a total of one year online, this has been ever more important. I feel that I have been able to articulate a clearer sense of purpose after having worked through the course materials and figured out not just what education should be about, but how to bring others along with me.

Sarah Johnson-Motyl – NASENCO, CCET, NPQSL, Enquiry-Based SEN Practice, Dyslexia – Leadership & Intervention

Why did you decide to study with us?

I discovered the Real Training courses when I was searching for an online course that could be flexible around my work and home commitments. When I started on my journey with Real Training I aspired to achieve the courses which could be combined to achieve a Masters qualification. At that time I was a single parent with 3 year old twins and a 5 year old, a full time job as a SENCO and so could not be away from home for childcare reasons. This ruled out most courses as weekend commitments were a pre-requisite which I was unable to do. Real Training allowed me to study at the times that suited me (evenings and early mornings) and having an online tutor meant I had flexibility to plan the tutorials and assessment work. I really liked the way the course was structured and it was easy to follow the pathway the from beginning through to final submission. The admin team and help desk always responded swiftly to any queries and so although the course used a remote model of studying, I never felt at a loss or unsupported. I liked the virtual community and the fact that we could all join groups and discussion threads from wherever we were in the world. This breadth of experience added the experience of being part of a group and we supported each other through this means.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

I have studied several courses and I have had a consistent experience with all my Real Training tutors – all have been utterly fabulous. I can honestly say they have been available at short notice for my questions (no matter how small!) and when I have needed additional flexibility to complete coursework they have been 100% supportive.

I like the fact that we are respected as professionals and there is an understanding that juggling family, study, work and of course ‘life’ means that sometimes more flexibility is needed. The encouragement of tutors spurs on any lagging motivation and the online system gives more support than any other course I have done, including face to face courses.

How has the course(s) helped make an impact at school?

I completed the NASENCO course and was able to apply this to both KS1 and KS2 cohorts. By achieving the assessor qualification, I complemented my practice as a SENCO to deepen understanding of complex needs as well as train staff to further enhance their own CPD within SEN. As an experienced SENCO, I mentored international students on their SEND doctorate and MA courses from Exeter University, as well as participated in their research into Lesson Study.

Sarah’s headteacher

‘Sarah created a whole school assessment plan which meant we identified and addressed SEN at the earliest opportunity. She has driven effective interventions for pupils with both specific learning difficulties as well improving outcomes for these pupils. Her ability to scrutinise assessment data assimilate test scores into necessary individualised programmes of study means nobody slips through the net’

How has the course(s) helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

I am looking forward to achieving my Masters qualification and also my National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership. I love studying and am keen to further progress my practise next year.

Not sure which course I will enrol onto next… possibly NPQH! The world is your oyster with the REAL training programmes!