Teachers need more than ‘stale and irrelevant’ professional development, experts warn

TES are reporting that new government guidance says school leaders must prioritise teachers’ CPD.

The guidance, published today by the Department for Education, is based on the recommendations of an expert group chaired by David Weston, chief executive of the Teacher Development Trust. It was tasked by ministers with producing a new standard for teachers’ professional development.

The group warned in a letter to schools minister Nick Gibb that although there were “pockets” of excellent teacher development across the country, some was “narrow” and made up of “stale, irrelevant and one-off events”.

“[Teachers] need readier access to evidence and expertise to allow them to make informed decisions about their professional development,” the letter to Mr Gibb said. “They need clear opportunities to develop their careers and be recognised for greater knowledge and expertise.”

In response, Mr Gibb has today published the new guidance, which says professional development for teachers should follow a new standard based on five rules:

It should focus on improving and evaluating pupils’ outcomes
It should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise
It should include collaboration and expert challenge
Programmes should be sustained over time
Professional development must be prioritised by school leadership

More at: Teachers need more than ‘stale and irrelevant’ professional development, experts warn

How do you think professional development for teachers could be improved? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Nellie

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  1. The standard recognises that CPD is ongoing and should be linked to pedagogy (something often dismissed as irrelevant by those who think teaching is a ‘craft’).   It also implies the one-off ‘Baker days’ made mandatory over 25 years ago have often been a waste of time (‘stale’, ‘one-off’).
    The letter from the expert group said  ‘teacher development
    requires investment and priority’.  Nothing about investment or funding in DfE responses or in Nick Gibb’s letter.  Gibb obviously expects schools to spread their shrinking budgets even further.
    The letter from expert group is here  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537035/160712_-_Letter_from_Expert_Group.pdf

    DfE short response here  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537030/160712_-_PD_standard.pdf
    Detailed standard here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537031/160712_-_PD_Expert_Group_Guidance.pdf
    Nick Gibb’s reply:  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537042/160712_Letter_from_Nick_Gibb_to_David_Weston.pdf

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