Without a doubt, the TDT Annual Conference is one of my favourite and most anticipated calendar dates of the year. Since 2013 when the Teacher Development Trust launched our Network; a community of schools dedicated to developing and striving towards world-class, evidence-informed professional learning, this flagship event has offered a rare opportunity for like-minded CPD leaders to come together to collect new ideas and collaborate strategically about teacher development. Though TDT host several fantastic one-day events across the year around specific themes (past examples have included Evaluating the Impact of your CPD or The TDT Career Progression Summit), to me, this members-only conference always feels like the most inspiring and collectively-driven with a range of formal and informal sessions – most facilitated by schools themselves.

We’re delighted that this year’s TDT Annual Conference is taking place on Wednesday 3rd July at Highgate Wood School, North London, from 10.00am – 4.00pm. If you’re a current, or soon-to-be member of the TDT Network, I urge you to attend, or alternatively to send a colleague to represent your school – you won’t regret it! Here are five reasons why:

Prestigious keynote speakers

Over the years we have heard memorable and thought-provoking speeches from Dame Alison Peacock, Russell Hobby, Professor Robert Coe, Shaun Allison, Joanna Hall (Ofsted), Tom Sherrington and Bridget Clay, to name just a few. This year we are pleased to announce that our keynotes will be Professor Sir John Holman and David Weston.

Even though effective CPD requires more than just exposure to new ideas, it is still important to stay in touch with the evidence base, as well as to continually challenge your existing perceptions. David’s favourite analogy is that you go out to the supermarket to buy ingredients (ideas, strategies, interventions), then it is only what you do with them back in your kitchen (school/college) that makes a full meal. However, I like to think that if you could find our speakers in a supermarket, we’d opt only for M&S quality. After all this is not just any conference… it’s the TDT Annual Conference 2019!

Be the first in-the-know

Members of the TDT Network are the first to receive cutting-edge intelligence around CPD; whether through online resources and toolkits on the members’ portal, support provided by TDT Experts following our unique CPD audit process or the curated reading list and guidance circulated in our half-termly network e-bulletin. The Annual Conference is no exception to this. This year we are incredibly excited that our School Programme Leader, Bethan Hindley, will be officially launching exclusive new content and materials based on using a pedagogical coaching approach to develop teaching and learning. Members will be guided through the current international best-practice as to how pedagogical coaching is implemented effectively in a school context as part of the wider CPD plan.

Customise your day

The TDT annual conference is the one day where we give you ownership of the programme! We run an afternoon of nine workshops side-by-side, allowing you to select which sessions relate most closely to your interests and needs. These are always practical and interactive, with the objective of giving you tools and strategies to take back to your own context. Themes this year include:

  • How narrative can drive organisational development: Using Viviane Robinson’s model for collaborative change
  • Putting CPD at the heart of Pupil Premium work
  • Curriculum development – Planning CPD to adapt to demands of the new landscape
  • Our CPD journey: How we achieved a Gold Audit award

…plus many others! View our Eventbrite page to read more.

Not phase specific

Evidence such as the Developing Great Teaching Report and DfE Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development tells us that the basic principles of what makes effective CPD for staff in schools should be applied in both primary and secondary phases. Regardless of context, the factors emerging time and time again are that professional learning should be specific, sustained, collaborative, robustly evaluated and crucially, prioritised by leadership. TDT events are open to any practitioners with responsibility for CPD whether in a Multi-Academy Trust, college, special school, independent school, primary, all-through or secondary – and attendees often say how refreshing it is to have the opportunity to connect with, and learn from such a diverse range of colleagues over such an important aspect of school improvement.

It comes highly recommended

If that’s not enough to convince you, then don’t just take it from me. We encourage our delegates to live-tweet their #TDTConf experiences, and here’s a small selection of what attendees fed back via Twitter last year:

Find out more and book now: https://tdtconf2019.eventbrite.co.uk

Maria Cunningham is Network Development Leader for the Teacher Development Trust. A former primary school teacher, she now closely supports head teachers and leaders across the UK to improve the quality of their processes for staff professional learning. She also leads on the development of the Trust’s government-funded CPD Excellence Hub programmes in six Opportunity Areas and is secretariat for the Department for Education’s CPD Expert Group. Find out more about how your school can join the TDT Network at tdtrust.org/network or email network@tdtrust.org.