Your entitlement to Continuous Professional Development
What is my entitlement to Continuous Professional Development? I request it every year, but it’s always rejected. My school is a large independent school – surely they could fund some courses for me?
Whether you are in an Independent or a Maintained school, an Academy or a Free school, you do not have any specific rather than a general entitlement to CPD as set out in STPC, unless there is some local agreement.
Most schools of any type, however, are keen to help their staff develop, as they know that this benefits pupils, and therefore the school overall.
Much will depend on the budget constraints, but a large independent school shouldn’t have too many. Staff development is a line on the budget drawn up every year by the SLT and Bursar; it supports training that will be beneficial to the school, in particular achieving its School Development or Strategic or Improvement Plan.
This means that your desire to go on a course to improve your Sanskrit is probably not going to be accepted, but some other course that does support the Strategic Plan, and your request can show this clearly, is more likely to get the go-ahead.
There are groups of Academies and Independent Schools: GDST, United Learning, etc., where there is a clear expectation that you will develop yourself with their support, and this is built into the yearly appraisal scheme for staff where you are asked what development you want or need, and this is then fed back into SLT.
Many schools, both in these groups and others, have in fact someone in SLT who is specifically in charge of promoting Staff Development – it may even be an Assistant Head who has this as a sole role.
Groups like these actually run a lot of CPD days themselves for the staff in their different schools, and encourage in particular those wishing to move to middle leadership, or from middle to senior leadership, by offering developmental activities. There is a lot in favour of working in schools that offer such opportunities.
However, don't think that the only form of professional development is “I go on a course”.
You can also get development through identifying a need within your school, and offering to lead on this area. Have a look at the School Development Plan and see if there is anything there that you could get a grip of, then go and see a Deputy Head about it.
In many cases this is the best possible development opportunity for moving into leadership.
See also the article: No CPD to put on the application form!