Best Practice

CPD that meets students’ needs

How can you ensure that your teachers’ professional development is being driven by your pupils’ learning needs? Bridget Clay advises

Recent research suggests that school leaders can design high-impact CPD that helps improve outcomes. However, the report, Developing Great Teaching, goes on to suggest that this needs staff buy-in and needs to focus explicitly on student learning.

The most common criticism of professional learning in school is that it is “irrelevant” or a “waste of time”. Equally, leaders of CPD often struggle with wanting to “personalise” professional learning, while also trying to meet whole-school needs.

We know that professional development for all staff is one of the most effective ways to improve outcomes for all students (Robinson et al, 2008). In a New Zealand study, classes where the teachers had taken part in high-quality professional development were improving twice as fast as those in other classes.

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