CPD for your whole staff team

Related framework criteria:

2g. There is effective CPD available for those support staff who work directly with children.

2h. There is effective CPD available for general support staff (including office, finance and admin).

All staff within a school have a pastoral element to their role, but this is often neglected in terms of CPD. Here are some points to consider:

  • Those in pastoral roles should have the opportunity to collaborate and share practice, just as in teaching and learning development;
  • Lesson Study and collaborative development can also be used to address a pastoral need;
  • Career pathways with linked CPD recommendations should be available and transparent to all;
  • There are a large number of providers and courses in this area, ensure you ask for evidence and follow the same principles of sustained and iterative CPD planning.

Ideas from TDT Network schools for behaviour CPD programme activities:

  • Brainstorming common behaviour issues with all involved staff;
  • Scripting common issues, watching senior teachers model and then asking others to critique. Consider adding common responses (both verbal and physical) and giving possible responses for each;
  • Working with an education psychology specialist to explore the thinking behind different behaviours;
  • Using video to capture footage from classes with low-level issues and use these as discussion points with lead practitioners;
  • Lead practitioners modelling in lessons and following up with discussions, scripting and practice.

Further reading: Managing difficult behaviour in schools, Tom Bennett and UNISON.

Support staff are often on different contracts and hours to teaching staff, so it can be challenging to meet their development needs. However, professional development has a strong impact on pupil outcomes and the running of the school, so it is crucial that this is invested in.

Site, administrative, and technical support staff are equally important to the running of your school and need sustained development opportunities as well as thorough induction and handover processes where they are working in isolated roles. The following should be true for all roles:

  • Opportunities to gain new knowledge, engage with research and use the most evidence-informed up to date approaches;
  • Time and support to take new knowledge from a course, lecture, etc. into their regular practice;
  • Performance management and appraisal that supports their professional learning;
  • Career development, considering further accreditation, job shadowing, mentoring and coaching etc;
  • Chance to share best practice, model best practice and collaborate, with protected meeting time for this to be valued, sustained and produce meaningful results in your workforce.

For those staff who work around children’s learning, the same principles of pupil-focussed professional learning the are used to structure teacher CPD apply:

  • It needs to be focussed, sustained and iterative – one-off courses on a specific need every year are unlikely to change day-to-day practice;
  • Professional Learning should be pupil focussed and evaluated clearly;
  • Collaborative enquiry is equally valuable for support staff, many Lesson Studies include support staff.

Pastoral routes and career pathways for support staff should also be mapped, transparent and regularly communicated through line management conversations, bulletins, or appraisal. These routes have historically been neglected in school and trust career offers, both for teaching and non-teaching staff. Job shadowing or job swaps allow for insight into potential career development and increase informal support between peers.

Further reading:

Education Endowment Foundation – research on deploying and developing Teaching Assistants most effectively
Career Framework and Continuing Professional Development for Teaching Assistants
Skills for Schools – an online guide to careers, training and development for support staff in schools

What about governors?
In addition to being informed about CPD, governors also require high quality CPD to be able to effectively support and challenge leaders. Most of this will be about informing them and giving them new knowledge, so will be quite a different format to CPD for staff. However, it is no less important.

You will find that a lot of CPD for governors will be internal, ensuring that they understand the school’s specific context. However, there are also a number of external partners to collaborate with.

TDT Learn: A Governor’s Guide to Effective Staff Development
School Governance
Licensees professional development for school governors
Modern Governor – online training for school governors
National Governance Association