“We need more people who are ‘clueful’ at helping teachers.”
So said Dr Ben Goldacre in the Houses of Parliament when, five years ago this week, the Teacher Development Trust launched our schools Network (known then as NTEN, the National Teacher Enquiry Network).
The imperative from our founders was this: we wanted to come together to share and embed the most cutting edge ideas on helping leaders to help Teachers in order to help pupils succeed.
Five years later, our family can count hundreds of schools as members – in every corner of the country, every phase and every type of school. Together, we’ve developed approaches to help every school leader answer two big questions:
• How well are we developing and improving every employee?
• How can we learn to do it even better?
When people in schools can perform their jobs better, every pupil benefits. It’s not just Teachers, TA’s and other types of staff who feel more engaged, enthused and inspired, it’s pupils – and particularly the most disadvantaged – that benefit as practice becomes sharper, knowledge becomes deeper and motivation rises higher.
When a school develops a reputation as a ‘hive of development’, it starts attracting and growing even better new staff. Staff leave when they’re ready to move on up, but carry loyalty and pride with them which ensures a flow of talent and ideas always pays back the investment. Pupils get inspired by the amazing role models that work with them and more of them aim to become teachers in future.
What we have done together
Here’s what we can celebrate in five years of the TDT Network:
• A forensic CPD audit highlighting clearly to leaders where they need to turn their attention in order to improve staff development. It builds in deep learning and insight, including peer visits between members.
• A comprehensive toolkit for effective teacher collaboration, built to enable leaders to build in-school approaches where staff can have well-structured, engaging conversations about how well teaching and learning is going and how to make it even better.
• A world-class research library to give access to the best pedagogical ideas and practices
• A tool-box of guidance, case studies and resources to power-up leaders’ efforts to transform their schools
• Access to personal support, further training and awareness-raising events to share and transmit the very best ideas in the field of professional development.
What’s next with the Network?
We continue to improve our Network offer and over the coming weeks our members will be given even more support, including:
• Further support around great coaching conversations
• Further resources to empower middle leaders to be leaders of improvement in their teams
• Additional tools to identify needs and evaluate impact
• New ways to build local and regional capacity, engagement and expertise in CPD
It’s been an exciting five years and the next five will be even better. Thank you to all of you who have been part of our family!