PRESS RELEASE: 21,000 Teachers in Schools Reporting No CPD Budget, Says Teacher Development Trust Study

Over six hundred schools have wiped out their training budget, spending next to nothing on developing their teachers

Data released by the Teacher Development Trust reveals that over 20,000 teachers work in schools where there is no budget for continued professional development (CPD) at all. Across the whole sector, schools spend an average of just 0.7% of their income on developing their teaching workforce.

The findings come as guidelines released by the Department for Education state that all CPD should have a focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes – a vital priority, yet the amount spent on teacher CPD equates to just £33 per pupil each year!

Worryingly schools rated ‘Unsatisfactory’ by Ofsted spend around 20% less on CPD than schools with better Ofsted judgements.

Secondary school staff seem to be missing out the most, with an average of just 0.37% of their overall budget spent on CPD, in comparison to 0.65% in primary schools. Research revealed that the median CPD budget per phase/sector is: all-through £23,000, alternative provision £6,600, primary £7,100, secondary £19,000 and special £12,900.

David Weston, CEO of Teacher Development Trust said: “These statistics are extremely concerning. Teachers want to stay up-to-date with the best ways to help their pupils and they deserve a decent investment in training. The right professional development for teachers helps pupils succeed and helps schools attract and retain the best practitioners. It is shockingly short-sighted for schools to be slashing these budgets at a time when there is more pressure than ever on recruiting and keeping staff.

“We work with schools who have invested in this area and seen huge improvements in pupil results and teacher recruitment. However, our analysis suggests that many schools put a higher priority on building maintenance than they do on staff development.

“Whilst we recognise that schools budgets are being increasingly squeezed, it is vital that senior leaders and governors in schools realise the consequences of not investing in their staff.”

For those schools that are investing in CPD, the Teacher Development Trust has launched a brand new, online tool – the CPD Spending Benchmarking Tool. By simply entering a few details about a school’s CPD funding, schools will receive a report providing comparison budget spend to other schools, information about the average CPD budget and proportion of budget spend and further guidance on how to improve the impact of their CPD spending.

Ross McGill, Deputy Headteacher of Quintin Kynaston – part of Teacher Development Trust’s National CPD Network – and author of TeacherToolkit, said: “All schools want to encourage and support their teachers to be successful, to grow and to develop. It is deeply inadequate that so many schools are squeezed into a corner, forced to make a decision to cut, or have no CPD budget available to their staff.

“CPD is always the first thing to be cut when unplanned financial circumstances arise throughout the academic year. Yet, the evidence shows that priorities that are inextricably linked to professional development, helps a school achieve its aims With rapid reforms in curriculum, examinations and assessment, every school will need to invest a huge amount of time for all staff to be one step ahead of their students in class. With ever-decreasing budgets, it is crucial that CPD remains high on the agenda and these opportunities need to be made available from the top.

“At Quintin Kynaston, we protect 1% of our entire school budget to ensure staff receive an entitlement for professional development. We publish a CPD menu, so that staff can research and select the training sessions that are relevant to them, allowing every individual to take ownership of their development. Our staff are empowered to take pride in what they do and in turn, lead CPD sessions, make applications for bursaries and contribute to our action research journal. From our differentiated, transparent and targeted CPD, our pupils are starting to reap the benefits.”

Also commenting on the statistics, Professor Robert Coe, Director of Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, said: “Research evidence is very clear that investing in high-quality support for teachers’ professional learning is not just one of the most effective things schools can do to raise standards, but one of the best value choices they can make. Cutting spending on CPD, even in a time of tight budgets, would be one of the most counterproductive, short-sighted and evidence-averse things a school could do.

“Even the average levels of CPD spending reported here seem pitifully low, but the tail end is desperately worrying. We need to change the whole culture of teaching so that school leaders see investment in teachers’ professional learning as a vital part of a successful school.”



For more information or to speak to a member of the Teacher Development Trust team, contact Lisa Church on / 07467 945661

About the Teacher Development Trust

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:

  • The TDT Network, the national network for best-practice in teacher development. Featuring an in-depth audit of your CPD approaches, best-practice guides and ideas from around the country, networking events, access to research and expertise, this network has the power to transform your organisation and improve teaching, wellbeing and staff retention.
  • TDT Advisor: a national database of courses, consultancy services, books, videos and podcasts with teacher reviews and official quality ratings. This includes a partnership with the Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit
  • Free advice for teachers, schools and training providers.
  • Support and consultancy for training providers (including schools) to help them deliver professional development courses and consultancy that have sustainable impact and value in the classroom.
  • Research services to help you pinpoint the evidence behind your professional development policies and programmes.

Registered charity number 1147447

For further information, visit or follow the Teacher Development Trust on Twitter @TeacherDevTrust

[1] Data is a combination of the latest Academy and maintained school budget figures (2014/15), maintained school budget figures, Ofsted January inspection data and School workforce return 14-15.