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TDA launches campaign to improve CPD in schools

A new campaign has been signalled by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) to bring more effective continuing professional development (CPD) in schools. The campaign is spearheaded by Tim Brighouse, the former London schools tsar.

Mr Brighouse said: "Of all the professions, school staff deserve and need the very best CPD. After all what they do in schools underpins our society’s skills and future economic prosperity – indeed the core values of social justice and political freedoms.

"Moreover, CPD provides the intellectual curiosity without which school staff struggle to unlock our young people’s potential. They deserve access to the very best of CPD. Through this campaign, the TDA is getting schools out of their current thinking about CPD to offer authoritative guidance which will help schools understand what CPD can offer and provide signposts to both its own and other organisations’ resources."

The move comes with the release of a pioneering on-line CPD database, which will offer a single source of information on professional development provision nationwide. The database is designed to support the TDA in efforts to observe and respond to areas of demand, enabling it to deal with where provision is in short supply.

According to recent research from the TDA, a large percentage of schools are not taking advatnage of the support available within their own institutions, both locally and nationally. The study of CPD leaders found 41 per cent of schools never consult with a national organisation for help and assistance in CPD. It also emerged that 26 per cent never consult with universities or colleges on courses, and ten per cent never network with other schools.

The campaign will reform the system by encouraging schools to review their CPD strategy, and help school leaders to better understand how it helps improve standards overall. Schools will also be urged to appoint a CPD leader to drive improvements on the ground.

Notably, the many forms CPD can take will be showcased in an attempt to challenge the view that its implementation is all about courses, with examples from excellent lesson observation, to mentoring and networking.

The chief executive of the TDA, Graham Holley, said: "CPD is as much a part of the school environment as the teachers, support staff and the pupils themselves. Ofsted recognises that effective CPD raises standards in schools. What better motivation for heads to invest in re-energising the hearts and minds of their staff?

"The new Masters in Teaching and Learning will lead the way in demonstrating how effective CPD can result in happier, more motivated and better-prepared teachers alongside higher-performing students."

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