CPLD and School Improvement
If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed that the DfE has included an extra ‘L’ in CPD. No. This was not a typo by one of their new apprentices, it does in fact stand for ‘leadership’ – Continuous, Professional and Leadership Development. There is a significant shift in focus, which is linked to the new CPD standards and the evolving role of teaching schools. Previously for teaching schools, it was all about the Big Six and now we are talking about a Big 3.
Role of teaching schools
Teaching schools have an important role to play in a school-led system and school improvement. Teaching schools are centres of excellence, taking a focused role that prioritises:
- co-ordinating and delivering high quality school-based ITT
- providing high quality school-to-school support to spread excellent practice, particularly to schools that need it most
- providing evidence-based professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across their network
There is a definite move away from running one off courses to bring in some income towards doing evidence-based school improvement ‘at scale’. There is a significant focus on using evidence from research to inform what we do and with the teaching school KPIs, there will be greater accountability of the work teaching schools do to support the schools in their region. It would seem foolish to attempt to separate school improvement from CPLD, which has been a design fault of many of the existing structures. In order for school improvement to be effective, the CPLD needs to be completely aligned to the school improvement priorities and driven forward by committed leaders.
|Delivery area||TSA Key Performance Indicator|
|School-led Initial teacher training (ITT)||1.1. At least 15 teachers trained per year. 1.2. Percentage of trainee teachers who have secured a teaching post within 6 months is at or above national averages.|
|Continuing Professional Development and Leadership Development (CPLD)||2.1. At least 50 evidence based CPLD days delivered per academic year. 2.2. At least 90% of participants believe5 that the CPLD activity they attended has or will help improve practice in their school and agree that the benefits of the CPD activity outweighed any short term impact on workload.|
|School to school support (StSS)||3.1. Provide at least 30 days of deployment per academic year, to schools identified as in need of support. 3.2. At least 90% of support provided is rated as good or better by the supported school.|
DfE CPLD Standards
Effective Professional Development
Effective teacher professional development is a partnership between:
- Headteachers and other members of the leadership team;
- Teachers; and
- Providers of professional development expertise, training or consultancy.
In order for this partnership to be successful:
1. Professional development should have a focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes.
2. Professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise.
3. Professional development should include collaboration and expert challenge.
4. Professional development programmes should be sustained over time.
And all this is underpinned by, and requires that:
5. Professional development must be prioritised by school leadership.
What does this mean for Learning Unlimited TSA?
As an established teaching school alliance, a number of different delivery models have been trialled, including a credits based system and this year an all-inclusive package. From September 2018, Learning Unlimited will approach CPLD in a completely different way. Rather than putting together a package and advertising the events, we will work with groups of schools, localities or MATs to design a bespoke package of CPLD, which is completely aligned to school improvement priorities. This tailored solution will be done entirely ‘at cost’ to ensure the best value for money from schools and we ask in return that schools leaders play a key role in the evaluation of the programmes. It is not enough for a participant to tick a box to rate how much they have taken from an event therefore we need school leaders to be part of the process to tell us what impact the programme has had on a teacher’s classroom practice, professional behaviours or mindset. This will mean schools engaging more deeply with carefully designed development programmes over a series of sessions rather than one off events.
How would a package be designed?
- A specialist CPLD lead works with the school leaders to ensure that the correct school improvement priorities have been identified.
- Clear intended outcomes are identified.
- A range of research evidence is considered in a leadership discussion with the CPLD lead.
- The specialist CPLD lead works with the school leaders to design a programme based on the principles of effective professional learning and DfE standards.
- Continual evaluation by participants and school leaders feeds directly into the ongoing development of the packages.
- Longer term evaluation of impact to feed back to CPLD lead.
What about Quality Assurance?
This is always a big question with any CPLD provider, which is why it is so important that school leaders are intrinsically involved in the design and evaluation process. All of the CPLD packages will be tailored to the individual school improvement needs with clear intended and measureable outcomes. The TSA CPLD lead will play a key role in bringing together key evaluation data for both short and long term impact evaluation activity.
Will this cost more for schools?
The cost would clearly depend on the level of CPLD activity however it is anticipated that schools would actually spend less on CPLD because this would be delivered entirely at cost. The delivery would be costed at the locally agreed system leader rates, a cost for the design and evaluation and potentially a small administration charge if the TSA is to coordinate bookings, etc (this would not always be applicable). The delivery can either be in schools’ own venues or we can arrange training facilities.
How do groups of schools engage with this offer?
The first step would be to contact Anita Bray, our teaching school manager, who would arrange an initial meeting to discuss your requirements. A.firstname.lastname@example.org or 0114 2745745.
“Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.”