Effective professional development has a powerful impact on pupil outcomes and should be a driver behind meeting targets on the school development plan. However, often individual teachers feel that the school development plan is in conflict with their own professional learning needs.
- There should be real clarity around the school priorities, it should be concise and clear so that staff can clearly identify the priorities.
- The data and reasons for identifying the priorities should be shared with colleagues, to ensure buy in and ownership over those priorities.
- Pupils, individuals and departments should all have some input into the school priorities. The priorities should reflect not just headline data, but also the ‘on the ground’ experiences. Staff should feel that they were listened to and had an opportunity to input into that.
- In addition to this, there will, of course, also be individual needs and specific personal goals within school professional development. Not every aspect of CPD will always directly relate to the development plan, but CPD should be a key driver behind the school’s priorities.
Using Middle Leaders
When pulling together school priorities and also a CPD programme, then it is worth remembering how much more data and knowledge middle leaders and individual teachers have, compared to the overall data and knowledge as a senior teacher.
Middle leaders and department priorities should be a crucial consideration in pulling together CPD and ensuring that it meets both individual needs and school priorities.