When we talk about professional development, and how to make sure it is effective, evidence-based, and targeted at the areas schools need most, the conversation is mainly centred on what schools and policy should do to give teachers the best resources available.
As such, one key group is being left out of the discussion: the organisations and individuals who provide the CPD resources used by education professionals across the country.
This September, for the first time, CPD providers had the chance to come together to network, share ideas, and hear from expert speakers on how to improve their services.
The inaugural GoodCPDGuide conference “Excellence in Training: Growing and Improving as a CPD Provider” brought together charities, independent consultants, and commercial organisations for a day dedicated to discussing what CPD providers can do to ensure they are offering effective professional development.
Our Chief Executive David Weston, opened the conference by explaining why professional development needs to be a national priority for schools, organisations and policy makers, and how it is key to improving standards for all learners across the country.
David was joined by Paul Crisp, Managing Director at the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE), who described what effective CPD should look like. Paul introduced some fascinating market research on the types of professional development schools use and find effective, before highlighting the characteristics that make up effective CPD.
John Stephens, director of Teaching and Learning at the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), then took the floor to give providers useful advice on the role of Teaching School Alliances and the exciting opportunities these can offer.
This was followed by John Dunford, Pupil Premium Champion at the Department for Education. John’s talk gave providers vital information on what Pupil Premium is and how the CPD they access with this funding can help to “close the gap”.
Alongside John was Robbie Coleman from the Education Endowment Foundation, whose Teaching and Learning Toolkit, developed in partnership with the Sutton Trust, provides schools with evidence-based advice on the best approaches to choose.
Over lunch, a “break out session” gave providers the chance to engage in dynamic, smaller group discussion. Providers were able to share ideas and discuss the morning’s topics, while also having the chance to network and hear about each other’s work.
The afternoon sessions began with advice to providers on making the most of GoodCPDGuide as a powerful marketing tool. Nusaiba Bungab and Sarah Coskeran explained the ways in which Teacher Development Trust ensures high quality listings on the Guide and what providers can do to improve their visibility on the site.
The day then finished with a talk from Rachel Jones about how her association, the Elliot Foundation, accesses CPD and what providers can do to engage effectively with schools.
As the day came to an end, it was clear to see how thoroughly everyone had enjoyed and benefitted from the day. Many attendees thanked us for finally giving providers the chance to come together and reflect dynamically on what they do. The talks offered practical advice and areas for reflection, while the discussions allowed delegates to engage on the challenges providers face and how to overcome these.
All of us at Teacher Development Trust would like to once again thank all the delegates and speakers who made the day such a great success, and we very much look forward to hosting the second event of its kind in the not too distant future!
You can learn more about the GoodCPDGuide here.
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