scales-of-justiceAt the Teacher Development Trust we have an explicit mission to promote powerful professional development that helps students succeed and teachers thrive.

Sometimes there are examples of extraordinarily successful schools, especially in areas of greater deprivation, where students are achieving amazing outcomes and making huge progress, although there are higher levels of teacher burnout and turnover. On the other hand, we also see schools which have very developmental and supportive cultures, where results are good, but not exceptional. There are also schools which balance both of these in a variety of different ways.

We would like your views on how to best get this balance right.

Here are some questions to deliberately provoke your thinking. You may well feel there are false dichotomies here – we’d love to hear examples where schools manage to combine both!

To what extent does the balance of focus on student success or teacher wellbeing depend on the location, type/phase and context of the school? Does the correct balance depend on where the school is on its improvement journey, or perhaps its Ofsted grade? Should an exceptionally successful school (on student outcomes) be put under pressure to improve staff wellbeing and development even if this takes the edge off their speed of improvement for children?

We welcome your thoughts. Please comment on this article to leave your contribution or you can send us your feedback privately at