Research and Insights

Teacher Development Trust (TDT) is the smart, heart, humble charity for effective professional development in schools

Founded in 2012 by teachers and school leaders, our mission is to support extraordinary leaders to empower staff and build expert schools. We want to see powerful professional development in every school and college so that teachers thrive and children succeed. With support from globally leading partners, researchers and advisors, we curate and disseminate the most rigorous evidence and support school leaders around the country to network, and to improve their staff development approaches.


We approach our collaborative research and the offering of insights to school and trust leaders in the same way we do everything at TDT – with our values in mind.

We are SMART, always deeply rooted in evidence. We have HEART, we put people and relationships at the centre. And we are HUMBLE, we are always curious, we are always learning.  We are fortunate to work with thousands of school leaders across our range of programmes, as participants, facilitators and Delivery Partners. Their lived experience informs the continuous improvement and development of our work. 

Below is a selection of research and reports TDT have either led or played a central role in developing:

TDT Developing Great Teaching image

Advisory Group: Creating a CPD Entitlement that works

In September 2023 we launched an Expert Group to explore and advise government on policy development around a professional development entitlement for teachers. We believe that if done well, this could play a powerful part in ensuring that more schools feel like great places to work and develop. We want the best wisdom of the profession to be used in every classroom, to help staff and children thrive and succeed in expert schools.

TDTs A Culture of Improvement image

Advisory Focus Group: Early Career Framework Review

In December 2023 we launced an Early Career Framework Review Research Project. Led by Professor Sam Twiselton OBE in collaboration with TDT, the project will help shape recommendations for a more adaptive and responsive support system for early career teachers. Focus groups will delve into the intricacies of the ECF, exploring potential enhancements and innovations, and lend teacher voices to recommendations for the future. 

Cover image for Unleashing Great Teaching

The Secrets to the Most Effective Teacher

In this practical handbookDavid Weston and Bridget Clay take the guesswork out of professional learning, showing school leaders how they can build a self-improving culture and remove barriers to learning. The authors provide advice for how every school can bring in the best ideas from the whole system, and make sure that these have a lasting effect in the classroom.

TDT Developing Great Teaching image

Developing Great Teaching

Key finding: carefully designed CPD opportunities that have a strong focus on pupil outcomes have a significant impact on student achievement

With kind support from TES Global, TDT commissioned a review of the international research into what constitutes effective professional development for teachers. It was conducted by an expert team of Professors Steve Higgins and Rob Coe of Durham University, Philippa Cordingley of CUREE and Professor Toby Greany of the UCL Institute of Education 

TDTs A Culture of Improvement image

A Culture of Improvement

Key finding: we identify that there are five aspects of teachers’ working conditions that appear most closely associated with increased student attainment

In this working paper, we reviewed 30 papers on teacher working conditions and school leadership in order to explore the impact of teacher working conditions on student attainment. We share four guiding principles for those with responsibility for ensuring school staff have access to impactful, evidence based development opportunities

DfE CPD Standards image

DfE Standards for Teachers’ Professional Development

Our founding co- CEO chaired the CPD Expert Group that informed the development of DfE standards around teacher CPD 

They reviewed existing advice and standards from across the world and  different professions. undertaking a large scale consultation with hundreds of individuals and organisations and exploring the highest quality research on what types of professional development seem to make the biggest difference to teachers’ and students’ learning

TDT School Improvement through Teacher Development image

School Improvement through Professional Development

Key message: “If the teacher makes the weather, the school creates the climate” (Tim Brighouse)

The Wellcome Trust and Teacher Development Trust hosted a virtual summit that convened policy makers, school leaders and system-thinkers from across the UK to discuss School Improvement through Professional Development

TDT Teacher Autonomy image

Teacher Autonomy

Key finding: teacher agency and autonomy over their professional development is strongly linked with job satisfaction and retention.

A study by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) in collaboration with the Teacher Development Trust (TDT) exploring how teacher autonomy relates to job satisfaction and retention

Teachers Working Environments image

Teachers’ Working Environments

Offer to Expert Schools Members: a tool to benchmark your school working environment

We are delighted to be partnering with Dr Sam Sims to offer all TDT Expert Schools  the opportunity to be involved in an innovative national research project looking at staff satisfaction, wellbeing and retention to inform your staff development plans

Understanding AI for School report cover image

Understanding AI for Schools

Joint guidance on AI for UK school leaders from 5 major organisations

TDT and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) have published a collaborative publication to support the use of AI in schools, endorsed and co-published by the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT), the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), and the Confederation of School Trusts (CST)

Our Values

TDT's Smart Heart Humble values graphic

Media Partner

TDT Teacher recruitment and retainment image

TDT published insight articles in SecEd

Read our garticles on Best Practice for CPD, Recruitment & Retention, School Culture, Leadership, Classroom Practice, Behaviour & Classroom Culture and much more

Collaborative Partnerships

Climate Wise Schools programme image

Empowering Educators for a Sustainable Future

Introducing Climate Wise Schools, a groundbreaking pilot Professional Development Programme for Climate Change Education.

Developed by the Teacher Development Trust (TDT), in collaboration with Leeds Trinity University and CAPE (Climate Adapted Pathways for Education), this programme is set to make a significant impact on spearheading Climate Change Education (CCE) across the country in its initial six month pilot phase – Sept 2023 – March 2024

TDT and Salesforce partnership image

Innovation: Research into developing AI for tools teacher development

In Sept 2023, we announced an innovation partnership with the Salesforce Foundation to create new tools that use AI to support teacher development. TDT are at the forefront of understanding and sharing insights around how to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence to improve teacher development #AITeacherDevelopment

Image for Norwich Schools' partnership with TDT

Project: Supporting Teacher Development in Norwich Schools

In the 2023/24 academic year we are using Diagnostic Review, coaching, and collaboration to equip leaders to better support their teachers’ professional development and improve school culture in Norwich.

Using a train the trainer model to build local expertise and capacity. we will share findings of the final evaluation to inform the development of future place based and devolved TDT delivery models


Through our work with thousands of school leaders, our Expert Schools and NPQ Programmes, our Expert Schools Membership Network and our collaborative partnerships across the sector, a core part of our mission is to share our learning and insights to help build expertise and improve access to effective professional development in as many schools and settings as possible.

TDT Teacher recruitment and retainment image

Improving Recruitment & Retention

6 evidence-based actions for leaders to support improved recruitment and retention,  based on  a 2023 EEF research review

TDT School improvement through People Development image

The 7 domains of school improvement through people development

Reviewing your CPD through the lens of seven domains focused on school culture and the needs of teaching staff

TDT NPQ Leading Literacy image

5 Tips from the NPQ for Leading Literacy

Five stand-out recommendations from TDT’s NPQLL that may support literacy leaders in beginning their leadership journey

Rob Coe interview with David Weston TDT image

School Environment & Leadership

An Interview with Rob Coe by David Weston

Exploring the latest evidence about School Environment and Leadership and its implications for leaders.

Expert Teaching

David Weston – ResearchED, London 2023

What it is, how to get more of it and what that means for school leaders

To find out more about how we can support your school or organisation please get in touch

Our Programmes

Discover our full suite of school development and professional development programmes


Sign up to our monthly intelligence briefing for everyone interested in professional learning

Our Impact

On school improvement, teaching and learning, morale and teacher retention