- About Us
- Our Academies
- Pupil Premium
- Join Us
- Ilsham English Hub
- School Direct
By Emma Bone, Director of Education at the Learning Academy Partnership
Emma has had various roles within the Trust including as Executive Headteacher of two primary schools. She is designated a national leader of education by the Department for Education and has a Masters in education.
Investment in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is crucial to providing an exceptional education for pupils, by ensuring every teacher is performing at their best. Trusts should be enhancing and maximising their CPD offering to support consistent improvement in teachers, which will in turn improve learner outcomes. At the Learning Academy Partnership, we use a collective approach to CPD to increase development opportunities and share expertise.
What to include in your CPD offering:
CPD should fit around the changing needs and constraints of teachers. Staff members are more likely to engage in a course if they are given flexibility to undertake it at a convenient time. Offering courses online allows teachers to fit their development around other commitments and enables them to revisit courses multiple times. Allowing for reiteration of CPD increases the probability that a teacher will absorb the fundamental elements of a course.
CPD offerings need to be underpinned by procedures that ensure your Trust is responsive to the modern challenges faced by teachers. Creating a strategic plan, with a built-in process of reviewing the circumstances facing staff, will support this. Additionally, seeking regular feedback and offering opportunities for staff to flag issues can help isolate persistent problems.
A central component of our CPD offering is using a joined-up approach, to share thoughts and ideas across academies. Our CPD offering is year-round not just during a fixed point so that the best practice is captured and shared amongst staff, including those who join the Trust throughout the year. Applying this approach across multiple schools leads to the creation of department networks where staff can learn collectively, pool expertise, and problem solve. Creating cross-school networks is achieved by facilitating dialogue between staff and encouraging contact between one another.
The success of CPD offerings hinges on schools providing the right programme at the right time. Courses should be evidence-based, credible, and designed for the type of schools it’s being delivered at. Engagement with high-quality courses provide a robust foundation on which teachers develop pedagogy and understanding of the most effective learning methods.
Members of staff need to be invested in courses and communicated to about the reasons this will be beneficial to their careers. Ensuring that the courses you are offering are backed up by evidence will assure staff that it’s worth their time. We also follow up with our staff in classrooms to confirm that what is learnt is effectively embedded into everyday teaching, while actively seeking feedback through incremental coaching that guarantees consistent development.
Creating a high-quality CPD offering supports the improvement of schools at each level and plays a crucial role in the growth of Trusts. Investment in your teachers shows a commitment to creating and maintaining a high standard of education across your Trust. Incorporating these aspects into the CPD offering at our Trust has created a culture of learning for life, where teachers feel valued and supported, which is then emulated in their approach to teaching.