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Half of school leaders say CPD is “extremely important” to post-pandemic school recovery

  • New survey of school leaders reveals 97% believe access to good CPD is the key to encouraging people to stay in the profession
  • 44% of leaders plan to up their CPD provision in the coming year
  • The Key launches new digital CPD platform to accelerate the sharing of peer-to-peer best practice

Tuesday 15 June 2021: New findings released today from The Key reveal that 88% of school leaders surveyed believe CPD is either “extremely important” (50%) or “important” (38%) to the post-pandemic recovery of their school. Indeed, nearly half (44%) shared that they plan to increase their CPD provision in the coming year – with only 4% expecting to do less.

Noting the importance of CPD to the education sector, 97%* shared a view that having access to good CPD is an important factor for encouraging staff to stay in the profession. The forms of CPD most-valued by leaders included “peer-to-peer support from staff at other schools” (33%) and “inviting external speakers into school” (24%). 

The findings, gathered from over 960 school leaders, have been released to coincide with the launch of a new digital CPD platform from The Key, designed to accelerate the sharing of peer-to-peer best practice as leaders move forward from  recovery to a position of strength. Available from today, IdeaStream from The Key, puts the most knowledgeable school leaders and their best practice at the fingertips of school staff, through streamed live events and on-demand talks.

“We recognise that CPD is going to play a big role in supporting leaders as they emerge determinedly from the pandemic and guide their schools back to strength,’ said Nicola West Jones, Head of Market Research at The Key. “But we also recognise that the pandemic has completely changed expectations of how CPD can be delivered. We’ve seen first-hand how powerful the sharing of just one great idea can be for solving problems in hundreds of other schools. Having on-demand access to a virtual roster of school leaders and sector experts means leaders can now lean on their peers for support, whenever they need to, in order to drive positive change in their schools.”

Just 9% of school leaders in the survey indicated a preference for returning to in-person CPD provision (such as conferences) post-pandemic. Two-thirds (67%) are keen to use a combination of both online and in-person – and nearly a quarter (23%) want to keep their CPD online only in the future.

Reflecting on the last year, nearly half of leaders (44%) shared that their staff had done less like-for-like CPD than usual in the last 12 months, as schools focused on supporting their pupils and communities through the pandemic. Furthermore, respondents noted a number of challenges in relation to pre-pandemic CPD, including the cost of CPD (58%), finding the right CPD for individual needs (43%) and the quality of CPD provision available (34%).

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