NTEN Annual Conference at Highbury Grove School 

Tom Sherrington (@headteacherguru) tell us why he is happy to be hosting the first NTEN Annual Conference at Highbury Grove School.

I am delighted that Highbury Grove School is hosting the first NTEN Annual Conference. At my previous school, KEGS, we joined NTEN in the early stages and it was a very positive experience. We received superb support in developing our CPD provision and hosted an excellent regional event where the formal and informal sessions helped us to clarify our thinking about teacher enquiry processes. As a result of this experience it was one of my early priorities as Head of Highbury Grove to sign up again.

The key to NTEN is that it challenges us to deliver high quality, evidence-informed professional learning for teachers and other staff members. The NTEN framework and review system sets a high bar for the structure and content of CPD with a strong emphasis on engaging teachers in shaping their own professional learning, individually and collectively, gathering evidence to evaluate the impact of what they do in the classroom. The audit process is very efficient and detailed, giving very clear feedback about where we need to develop our provision and the Bronze, Silver and Gold ratings give a clear path to follow to secure improvements whilst affirming the good practice that we have in place already. There’s something very powerful about comparing a detailed staff survey with a self-evaluation from the SLT perspective – we don’t always have the impact we think we’re having in changing people’s attitudes or creating the conditions teachers feel they need. The audit process highlights where those discrepancies lie which is incredibly useful. Aiming for an NTEN Gold equates to aiming to deliver optimal evidence-based CPD – and that’s something we’d surely all want in our schools.

The other key strength of NTEN has been its focus on Lesson Study as a tool for improving our understanding of the learning process. The NTEN materials are very clear and easy to follow. At KEGS and now at Highbury Grove, I have used the NTEN model of Lesson Study to good effect; it’s probably the deepest form of professional learning I’ve ever engaged in as a teacher. I think it is every exciting to be part of a network that gives us the opportunity to share ideas and experiences sharply focused around this particular process. There is more than one way to implement a Lesson Study programme and I’m looking forward to learning more about how people manage it in different contexts. Through NTEN I intend to provide more Highbury Grove staff with the opportunity to undertake Lesson Study activities over the coming years; is should become a key element in the evidence-informed CPD programme that we’re developing.

It’s great to hear that the network now has over 100 member schools. We have a great deal to learn from each other and I’m very much looking forward to welcoming you to Highbury Grove in July.


NTEN Members find out more and book your tickets here.