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As recent statistics show that teaching applications have dropped by 15%, it begs the question, should the education sector be doing more for learners in CPD?

CPD (Continuing Professional Development) has become crucial in many industries today, yet the education sector has been unusually slow to incorporate additional learning for its teachers. While there is some level of teacher training provided by schools, it’s currently falling way short of the mark. Here, we’ll look at why CPD is important within the education sector and how it could help boost teacher applications.

What does CPD mean in education?

In education, CPD means teachers are provided with the opportunity to continually develop their skills and knowledge in their chosen field. Take science teachers for example. The world of science is continually changing as new discoveries are made and research is carried out. Unless science teachers keep up with the latest developments, they will be unable to provide a good standard of education to their pupils.

However, it isn’t just the pupils who benefit from education CPD. The teachers themselves benefit from undertaking additional training and education. Whether it’s through training courses, attending conferences, being mentored, or taking part in online courses and podcasts, good quality CPD enhances teacher confidence and also helps them to fulfil their career aspirations. These are just some of the benefits it can provide.

Of course, many schools do understand the benefits of providing CPD, but there’s currently a lot of potential barriers which stop them from implementing it.

Addressing the barriers of education CPD

The benefits of providing CPD in education are compelling, but in order to provide it, numerous challenges need to first be addressed. There are two main issues teachers and schools have when it comes to CPD. The first is a lack of funding, and the second is workload. With a new academic year underway, it’s vital the education sector reflects on what more can be done to improve the standards of teaching.

There’s no getting away from the cuts that have been made in schools in recent years. There have been several teacher training studies conducted, with one of the most recent revealing that over 20,000 teachers are currently working within a school which doesn’t have any budget at all for teacher training. This is something that absolutely needs to change.

While cutting back on CPD may seem like the best option at the time, it’s actually compromising the education sector. The chief executive of the Teacher Development Trust, David Weston, told the BBC that the findings that 20,000 teachers currently have no access at all to training are extremely concerning. He also claims headteachers need to start making the right decisions for their staff and resist the urge to cut CPD funding.

Workload is another potential barrier. Not only do teachers face issues with funding, but they’re often also overworked. This leads to the belief that they’re just too busy to attend a course or focus on developing their own individual skills and knowledge. However, the truth is, taking the time to focus on CPD actually helps you to become more efficient within the job role, freeing up time and significantly reducing stress.

The right CPD approach can help with time management, as well as help you to focus on the more important factors that matter to students, reducing unnecessary workload.   

How could CPD help boost teacher applications?

We’ve looked into the benefits CPD has in terms of keeping up to date with industry developments and building confidence within the sector. However, how could it help to boost teacher applications?

Adam Thwaites, Head of Marketing at The CPD Certification Service (CPD) commented,

“One of the main reasons teacher applications are down, is because of the current state of the profession. A huge number of teachers feel unsupported in the role, especially those who do not have access to adequate training. That, along with budget cuts have led to people thinking twice about joining the profession. The CPD Certification Service is the UK independent continuing professional development accreditation for training and we give new and existing teachers the chance to hone their personal development through a very supportive accreditation programme.”

It’s not just the fact that teacher applications have dropped by 15% which is concerning, it’s also the number of teachers who are leaving the profession too. Official figures released last year, show that almost a quarter of teachers have now left the profession since they became qualified in 2011.

So, should the education sector be doing more for learners in CPD? Absolutely.

As you can see above, professional development in education is considered crucial at improving standards and retaining teachers. It can deliver so many positive benefits and schools need to start recognising its importance within the sector.

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