Best Practice

Identifying education’s CPD priorities

How can we give teachers the freedom to lead and innovate? This was the topic under discussion at a recent education roundtable debate. Keith Wright reports.

Leadership isn’t just a case of a strong headteacher or senior leadership team. If schools are going to fully realise their ambitions, leadership has to run through the core of the organisation and involve professionals at every level.

Schools that take this approach have a number of key characteristics. They give teachers freedom to learn from and with each other, use performance management systems focused on personal professional growth, and develop structures and systems that allow every member of staff to make a direct contribution to school improvement.

But this isn’t happening in every school. Barriers include a fragmented education system and the persistence of a strong tradition of top-down decision-making, perhaps reinforced by the current inspection regime. This creates accountability pressures which can, in the words of the Teacher Development Trust, shape and distort the professional development of school leaders.

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