A call for evidence has been launched by the Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group, which is aiming to ensure that all teachers have access to “high-quality on-the-job support”.
The group, formed at the invitation of the Department for Education, but which operates independently, cites evidence showing that the expertise of individual teachers matters much more than the school that children attend when it comes to educational outcomes.
However, it says that too many teachers are “isolated” and are “not being given systematic opportunities to learn from each other and with each other”.
The new Professional Development Standard will seek to help schools to identify and provide the kind of professional learning opportunities that are effective in raising outcomes.
Chairman of the group, David Weston – who is also chief executive of the Teacher Development Trust – said: “Our priority is to listen carefully to teachers, school leaders and CPD providers to understand everyone’s aspirations, concerns and suggestions so that the new Standard represents the best of our profession, inspired by the best ideas and firmly rooted in the practical realities of busy school life.”
Mr Weston cited examples of effective CPD, including schools that allow teachers to engage in joint-planning and supportive peer-observation, schools that engage with high-quality research and expertise, and who “create an environment of professional trust and respect where staff flourish”.
He continued: “These schools see professional development as more than merely an add-on to the job, it is put at the beating heart of the job, driving school improvement for our pupils and improving morale and expertise for staff.”
The aim is to begin trialling and refining the new Standard from early next year. As well as setting out a clear description of effective practice in professional development, the Standard will also “clarify common misconceptions” about CPD.
Vice-chair of the group, Hélène Galdin-O’Shea, a teacher in London, added: “As a classroom teacher I feel it is essential to be engaged in the best professional development to improve my practice, year-on-year. Schools and CPD providers need guidance about how to design this development that is based on high-quality evidence about what works.”
She continued: “I helped to found the grass-roots researchED movement as a result of a genuine desire to reclaim our professionalism and it quickly became clear that many colleagues have the same thirst.
“We hope that the new CPD Standard will support everyone involved in teachers’ professional learning and be a positive force for our profession.”
The call for evidence is open until October 16 and interested parties can visit http://tdtrust.org/cfe/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org