A helping hand with CPD

Written by: Pete Julian Stanley | Published:
Image: iStock

A new charitable fund has been launched to help teachers expand their knowledge and access crucial CPD. Julian Stanley explains

The recent publication of the Education Select Committee’s inquiry into teacher recruitment and retention made several recommendations, many of which have been welcomed by the sector.

Its call for teachers to have access to high-quality development throughout their careers has been particularly welcomed.

However, at the same time, school funding is dominating the headlines and, worryingly, a report from the Teacher Development Trust in February found that 600 schools have had to “wipe out” their budget for professional development for teachers.

This is hugely concerning. It is so important for teaching professionals to have access to CPD opportunities, particularly with the changing policies and continuous development of pedagogic research.

The education sector should not be exempt from having to invest in staff. Teaching staff, arguably above all other professions given their essential role in imparting knowledge and shaping the talents and skills of the next generation, need to be stimulated, encouraged to stay ahead of the curve and, above all, valued.

Teachers and school leaders want to develop themselves and we need to lobby and campaign for schools to be given the necessary resources and funding to invest in staff if we are to ensure the highest quality of education and motivation for all.

Furthermore, a recent report from the Education Policy Institute found that teachers in England spend less time doing CPD than their peers in many other high-performing countries. A teacher in England has an average of four days of CPD per year, whereas in Singapore it is 12 days.

Since our creation in 1877, we have provided crisis financial grants to those in need of such support across the education workforce. In our follow-up surveys, a quarter of the beneficiaries of these grants consistently tell us that support with training and CPD would help them stay in the education profession.

In response to this feedback and the increasing evidence of access to CPD being essential in recruiting and retaining teachers, the Education Support Partnership is delighted to have launched a Training and Development Fund in partnership with CSIS, the Civil Servant Insurance Society Charity Fund.

The purpose of this fund is to expand knowledge and skill-sets of the teaching profession. The fund will assist staff working in education with the cost of education-related training and help many to re-enter the education sector after time out with caring responsibilities perhaps, or to help develop new skills to move within their role and allied professions.

Jody was “born a teacher” and took a break from the profession to have children. As her eldest daughter has now started school, she feels there is no better time to go back to the profession she loves. However, the curriculum has changed and naturally, the idea of returning to teaching has been quite a daunting one.

We supported Jody with a grant towards the cost of a course in effective A level exam preparation. Jody said: “I didn’t want to just be the person that performs well at the interview and provides all the right answers. I needed to know for me, that if I was offered the job, I was the right person to do it – that my confidence and teaching skills are at their best, so my students can achieve their potential.”

We have also supported research into supporting autistic children in the classroom, securing Qualified Teacher Learning Status (QTLS), and re-training as a copywriter after ill health.

We are delighted to be able to support those in education to retrain, develop their skills and become more confident in their chosen profession. It comes at a time when the sector has a real gap in funding and although our fund cannot provide all the opportunities needed for the sector, we hope it will go a small way to making a difference to a significant number of individuals.

  • Julian Stanley is the CEO of the Education Support Partnership. For help or advice on any issue facing those working in education, contact the free 24-hour helpline on 08000 562 561 or visit www.educationsupportpartnership.org.uk

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