Tes reports that helping teachers to increase their expertise in teaching their subject could help with retention problems, a Department for Education official said today.
Gareth Conyard, DfE deputy director of teacher workforce development, cited a study by the Wellcome Trust which found that science teachers who took part in subject-specific CPD courses were half as likely to leave teaching a year later, than those who did not.
“One of the inferences we can draw from that is engaging with your subject can rekindle your passion for it,” he told a conference in London.
The Wellcome Trust report also made a link between subject training and school standards, finding that schools that have the poorest academic or inspection results are the least likely to prioritise subject-specific professional development.
However, Mr Conyard indicated that the decision on whether to offer subject-specific CPD would be left to schools.
When asked if the DfE would act on the issue: “If somebody is a physics graduate, recently qualified, they may not feel they need the same subject support in the first few years as someone who did a different degree and is now teaching physics, so we want people to make decisions at a local level.”
The DfE is currently consulting on how to improve professional development for teachers and has asked whether there is a market for non-leadership national professional qualifications in subject expertise.
Would more CPD rekindle your passion? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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