Why is it important for leaders to model CPD?
It is important that professional development is prioritised and valued within school. Effective CPD has a powerful impact on pupil outcomes, it can help teachers thrive, and it can bring about school improvement. It is not unlikely that some teachers will have had poor experiences from ineffective CPD at some point; often it is necessary to promote the value of CPD.
Nothing does this more powerfully than leaders clearly making the time, prioritising and taking part in their own professional learning. This shouldn’t be limited to career development, leaders should be lead learners, also engaged in developing their practice in the classroom.
To build a supportive and trusting culture, it is also important to demonstrate that leaders are also prepared to be vulnerable and are also seeking to improve – no one is ‘done’ in terms of improving their practice.
How can leaders model their CPD?
- Engage in CPD processes that other staff engage in, not just by delivering the CPD, but by participating fully.
- Make yourself vulnerable and build trust and confidence in your staff by participating in potentially vulnerable processes (e.g. peer observation etc.)
- Talk about any professional learning you are engaged in with colleagues.
- Share learning from any accreditation you or colleagues might be part of (e.g. MA, leadership training etc.).
- Prioritise professional learning by providing time and providing cover, as well as making it key to your vision for the school.
See ‘Establishing School Culture‘ for more ideas on leadership.
Viviane Robinson conducted one of the largest studies into effective school leadership. Her Best Evidence Synthesis is a huge systematic review of what the most effective school leaders do which has a positive impact on student outcomes.
Here is a rather more accessible PDF summary from Viviane.