CPD still vital as ever despite budget pressures

    Published: 03 July 2017

    Schools and academies are being encouraged to not let recent budget cuts interfere with their staff’s continued professional development.

    Herts for Learning’s analysis of Ofsted outcomes and pupil achievement in Hertfordshire’s districts would seem to indicate a clear correlation between the amount spent on focused staff development and success.

    The report Recruitment and retention of teachers: Commons Education Committee, published earlier this year, strongly recommended subject-specific CPD, to ensure the “maintenance and acquisition of subject knowledge” among teachers.

    Commenting on the recent report, a Department for Education spokesperson said:

    Continued professional development is vital for all teachers to help improve their knowledge and skills. We all know that teacher quality is the key to raising school standards but headteachers are facing pressures on school funding and education charities warn that training budgets can be among the first to suffer when there are cuts.”

    David Weston, chief executive of the Teacher Development Trust said:

    that investment in professional training should remain a priority and that pupils deserved to be taught by teachers with up-to-date skills.”

    He went on to add:

    We work with schools who have invested in this area and seen huge improvements in pupil results and teacher recruitment. "Research evidence is very clear that investing in high-quality support for teachers' professional learning is not just one of the most effective things schools can do to raise standards, but one of the best-value choices they can make. Cutting spending on CPD, even in a time of tight budgets, would be one of the most counterproductive, short-sighted and evidence-averse things a school could do," he added.

    In a recent article for Education in Chemistry, David Weston also highlighted the four steps needed get a better CPD. He listed the following:

    • CPD needs to take the form of sustained projects, not only one-offs
    • The best CPD focuses on subjects and on curriculum
    • For genuine impact, teachers need external expertise, support and challenge
    • Teachers need to be in charge of evaluating their own CPD

    Speaking about what Herts for Learning is doing to help school and academy staff have access to the best available CPD, Kerry Godsman, Lead Teaching and Learning Adviser for English, said: “Herts for Learning has put an incredible amount of effort to ensure training is relevant, engaging and informative. Our aim is to provide schools with the most up-to-date knowledge and awareness of changes within the education sector.

    “We have listened to feedback and HfL is pleased to provide cost-effective and high-quality courses that are tailored to the needs of schools and academies, not only in Hertfordshire but around the UK. Central training is one way to access our courses but, subject to demand, we can deliver at venues around the country and also as INSET.”

    This edition of The Exchange includes three pages, featuring every course and conference Herts for Learning is running during the first half of the autumn term. Listed by academic subject, this easy-to-view wallchart is ideal for staff rooms to ensure all staff have access to the range of courses on offer.

    To book onto one of HfL’s courses, please visit: bit.ly/TE-booking

    By Ryan Fisher, Journalist

    We welcome your thoughts and comments via Twitter using @HertsLearning

    This article is from the June/July edition of The Exchange. To read the full newspaper please visit: