The Teacher Development Trust has today (11th July 2013) launched its National Teacher Enquiry Network (NTEN) at the House of Commons, to help schools across the UK prioritise the continued professional development (CPD) of teachers based on high quality research and bring about profound and lasting improvement to schools and learners.

 NTEN is a collaborative partnership of schools and colleges focused on innovation and improvement through highly effective and evidence-based staff professional development and learning, supported by rigorous research and development. It has been developed alongside schools, in consultation with experts, through a series of pilots supported by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and the National Union of Teachers.

The launch event, sponsored by Charlotte Leslie MP and supported by IRIS Connect, featured a number speakers including Dr. Ben Goldacre, Academic and Author of Bad Science and 2013 evidence paper ‘Building Evidence into Education’; John Stephens, Director of Teaching Schools & School Improvement at the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL); Philippa Cordingley, Chief Executive of the Centre for the Use of Research & Evidence in Education (CUREE); Alison Peacock, Headteacher at Wroxham Teaching School and Ken Brechin, Assistant Headteacher at Cramlington Learning Village – also a teaching school and one of Ofsted’s best practice case studies for excellence in CPD.

Research has shown that the most effective way that leaders can improve outcomes for children and young people is to focus on professional development.[1] It is believed that the difference between poor teaching and highly effective teaching is just under half a year’s extra progress for most students, while those from disadvantaged backgrounds stand to benefit even more.[2]

Despite the strong evidence of what works well for improving teaching and learning, the habits of disjointed, one-off training, insufficient evaluation of impact and lack of robust research evidence have proven hard to shift. School and college leaders have struggled with the challenge of profoundly changing their model of professional learning into one with much greater, positive impact for teachers and learners.

David Weston, CEO of the Teacher Development Trust said: “There is compounding pressure on teachers to ‘perform’ in certain ways, irrespective of the impact on pupil outcomes.  All of these pressures have led to an explosion of training that is ‘done to’ teachers, a reduction of professional autonomy in the classroom and a growing frustration amongst the profession.

“Simply piling on the pressure to schools and colleges is not enough to help them improve. Organisations thrive when they both challenge and help each other, holding their peers to account while fostering a sense of joint responsibility and mutual support. The National Teacher Enquiry Network provides a model of professional development that will help improve the sustainability of our schools and colleges and enable leaders to inspire staff to be the drivers of improvement rather than mere delivery mechanisms.”

NTEN supports schools and colleges to improve the quality of teaching, increase staff morale and create better learning outcomes for young people using:

  • Peer-audits against a CPD Quality Framework with Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for excellent practice.
  • A series of national and regional support events to help staff and leadership teams improve learning and attainment through evidence-informed approaches to leadership and training.
  • Access to a national network of like-minded schools with partnerships and visits to observe and develop outstanding practice.
  • A bank of expert and shared resources to help schools improve policies and practices around professional development, performance management and innovation.
  • Expert support to help schools successfully engage in research and development and access evidence of the most effective teaching and learning practices.
  • Research-led support for using professional development in order to close attainment gaps in schools.

For more information on NTEN, visit


For more information on NTEN or to speak to David Weston, CEO of the Teacher Development Trust, contact Laura Smith: 07766 651366 / or Della Bolat: 07841 763833 /

For more information on the Teacher Development Trust visit

 Notes to Editors

  • The Teacher Development Trust is the independent national charity for teacher training and professional development.
  • Launched by teachers in 2012, the Trust works with government, schools and colleges, subject associations, teaching unions, universities as well as many profit and non-profit organisations from across the education spectrum, both in the UK and abroad.
  • The Teacher Development Trust is dedicated to improving the educational outcomes for children by raising the quality of teacher professional development, raising awareness of the importance of professional development and building tools to help teachers to transform their practice and achieve success for all their pupils.
  • The Trust believes that demand for professional learning should be driven by the aspiration teachers have for the children they teach and the passion they bring to their work.
  • The Trust is determined to bring about radical improvement in the quality of the ongoing training that teachers receive based on the evidence of what creates effective learning.
  • The Teacher Development Trust works with organisations around the world to promote the best possible practice in using and delivering professional development in education. Services include:

About IRIS Connect

  • IRIS Connect is a collaborative CPD tool that enables teachers to reflect on, analyse and share teaching practice.
  • IRIS Connect’s mobile video technology and a secure web based platform was developed from research into “what works” to improve teaching and learning. It allows deep and objective self-reflection and peer observation; secure permission based sharing of practice; and more effective coaching and mentoring relationships.
  • IRIS Connect believes in the collective capacity of teaching professionals to address the challenges they face. By providing appropriate facilitation and learning tools IRIS Connect increases the social capital within and between schools and empowers teachers to discover, develop and share effective teaching through meaningful collaboration.
  • IRIS Connect works with over 500 schools and 12,000 teachers in the UK alone, building a network for teachers to securely discuss and share practice with their peers.
  • For more information about IRIS Connect contact Sarah Pinkerton | 0845 3 038 578 or Graham Newell | 08453 038 578

[1] Robinson, V.M.J., Lloyd, C., & Rowe, K.J. (2008). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: an analysis of the differential effects of leadership type. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(5)635-674

[2] Machin, S., Murphy, R., Hanushek, E. (2011). Improving the impact of teachers on pupil achievement in the UK – interim findings.

Media Release[1] for NTEN’s launch in Parliament.

For more information on NTEN, visit