With so many high-quality materials available to schools, the challenge these days is not the what of CPD, but the how. Applying recent EEF research into the mechanisms of effective CPD, Robbie Burns advises on designing a whole-school CPD cycle


According to Joe Kirby (2021), we are living in a “golden age of CPD” with “a treasure trove” of resources at our fingertips. I am inclined to agree.

Erudite educators regularly share free resources, blog posts, reflections on their experiences in classrooms, and videos of talks across the length and breadth of social media.

We live in a time in education where there is no shortage of professional learning content. For leaders of teaching, then, it may seem that most of the hard work of gathering, refining and developing good quality content is done for them. Is it that simple?

Clearly, it is not. Designing high-impact CPD is no easy task. But if Joe Kirby is right, the content of professional learning is not the issue. A few clicks and ready-made CPD is available for delivery in staff meetings across the country. The problem is not the what of CPD, but the how. The forms, programmes and mechanisms of effective CPD need to be deeply understood by all those who develop teachers to make sure that teachers are growing week by week, year by year.

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