Standard for teachers’ professional development – the new challenges facing schools: A PLP report: March 2017

I can’t recall a time when schools were under so much pressure to deliver improved outcomes for their pupils in such a difficult financial climate.

Quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teaching staff is widely recognised as playing a key role in school improvement. Yet, following on from David Weston’s commentary, a recent report from the Teacher Development Trust found that thousands of teachers

Weston’s commentary, a recent report from the Teacher Development Trust found that thousands of teachers are working in schools with zero or no budget for providing CPD, and separate research from the OECD highlighted that 60% of teachers feel they don’t have enough time and space in their working week to access the CPD they need.

This research, and other studies, paint a pretty negative picture for the future of CPD and its role in attracting and retaining the best teaching talent, as well as the potential impact on attainment and improvement levels for pupils.

Providing yet further backdrop to the situation is the summer 2016 publication of the Standard for teachers’ professional development; a document from the Department for Education (DfE) which outlined the role that high-quality CPD should play in ensuring that teachers have the right knowledge and skills to allow pupils to benefit from the best possible teaching. It makes clear that teachers, headteachers and leadership teams should work together to ensure that effective professional development is implemented across our schools, founded on a set of key common principles to ensure success.

It’s not just CPD for teachers that has an impact on learning and standards; everyone from front-of-house staff, school business managers and site managers through to teaching staff, senior leaders and governors should have the opportunity to benefit from professional development. Ensuring this can lead to a great deal of pressure on already tightening budgets.

In putting together this report, representatives of schools, multi-academy trusts and wider representatives from the education sector are all clear on their commitment to professional development.

However, the resounding message is that in a tough financial climate, any CPD must offer value for money, a whole school benefit and a tangible impact on outcomes – long gone are the days when a training course may have been perceived by some as a jolly.

So what role can Peterborough Learning Partnership play in supporting schools to meet the increasingly difficult challenge around CPD provision? We are already using the Standard for teachers’ professional development in programming our own courses, ensuring that CPD fits the principles and guidelines laid out by the DfE. We are absolutely committed to working with schools to give them the support they need to raise aspirations and standards, ultimately creating better outcomes for everybody.

We are absolutely committed to working with schools to give them the support they need to raise aspirations and standards, ultimately creating better outcomes for everybody.

Click here to download the report

Iain Simper

PLP Chief Exeutive Officer