“It’s about improving the quality of professional development. We’ve tried a whole range of approaches, with the aim of benefitting the whole school, and we have found that staff want CPD to support them to do their job better in the classroom.”For Martin Fry, Headteacher at Ravensthorpe Primary School, Peterborough, seeking opportunities to share knowledge between schools and external partners is key to raising expectations:
“Working with schools in our cluster, we provide opportunities for collaboration between leaders for different subjects, early years and behaviour and have found that sharing ideas with colleagues has a positive impact right across our school. Seeing ideas in action is of real benefit.”For some headteachers the key to raising the bar is ensuring that CPD fits into part of a wider, more holistic plan. Kay Corley, Headteacher at William de Yaxley CE Academy, Cambs, says:
“We have to understand where we need to be as a school, this goes hand in hand with the new expectations of outcomes. Development needs to raise attainment and progress and be linked to the school development plan.”Sally Williams, Headteacher at Stanground St John’s School, Peterborough, explains that there is an expectation on teachers to understand the whole school plan and how this links into their own objectives:
“When it comes to raising expectations, ownership and discussion of the school development plan are key, alongside making sure all staff understand it. We expect proactive management when it comes to an individual’s CPD.”The DfE Standard for teachers’ professional development document, published in summer 2016, aims to provide a framework and guidance for the implementation of effective CPD in schools. Although viewed by many as a formalisation of what is already good practice, in a time of pressured workloads it is clear that any new advice or guidance must fit naturally as possible into the day-to-day running of a school. These may be difficult times when it comes to finding that balance between time and money, and ensuring that staff receive the professional development they want and need. Is it a realistic possibility that failure to consider and adopt different approaches, rather than the traditional ‘one size fits all’ training, could lead to a negative impact on school and pupil outcomes? Iain Simper Chief Executive Officer, Peterborough Learning Partnership Iain started his teaching career (B.Ed. Hons. from the University of Hertfordshire) in Peterborough as a class teacher at Thorpe Primary School in 1998, moving to Fulbridge Academy in 2002 and working as part of the senior leadership team. In 2005 he was seconded to the local authority to lead on Able, Gifted and Talented provision as part of the Excellence in Cities programme. Subsequently he led on Learning Innovation across Peterborough schools. In 2010, Iain took on the role of Peterborough Learning Partnership Manager working closely with a large number of schools in and around Peterborough on school improvement via developing effective and responsive CPD programmes, collaborations and links to other organisations. Now, as Chief Executive of the partnership, Iain is responsible for creating, communicating, and implementing Peterborough Learning Partnership’s vision, mission, and overall direction.