7 essential CPD topics for 2022

How can leaders best support their staff in 2022? Here are seven areas where real training gains can be made.

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Essential CPD topics for 2022 image

The idea of continuing professional development can still raise eyebrows among some staffroom sceptics. When planning CPD, leaders need to introduce programmes that target specific needs and don’t waste valuable time.

Stuart Farmer, a former physics teacher who is now the Institute of Physics’ education manager for Scotland, told Tes Magazine that teachers want to understand how to teach their pupils better so that learning and outcomes improve, but that, too often, professional development time is filled with “busy activities” that do nothing to help staff develop and grow as teachers.

“People in leadership positions do not necessarily understand what good quality, subject-specific professional learning looks like but, nevertheless, they feel a responsibility to provide teacher professional learning.

“Teachers need more subject-specific support – not another motivational speaker parachuted in for an in-service day with no follow-up to enable teachers to embed anything in their practice.”

So, what are the areas of expertise that could really make a difference this year? Here we look at seven areas and the flexible, expert-written courses available on our online training platform, Develop, that can provide staff with the knowledge and confidence they need.

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How do you provide the best education for every student with a class of 25 learners who are all at different levels of ability? That’s where the art of differentiation comes in.

“We’ve known for a long time that in order to learn, each student needs to be challenged and each student needs success,” says expert Carol Ann Tomlinson. “But that challenge and success can’t look the same for everybody all of the time.”

By adopting a differentiated teaching strategy staff can ensure that learners at different levels can succeed.

Tomlinson explains that this is commonly misunderstood as a wayto dumb down work for children who aren’t achieving well”.

She says: “The truth is that we should be doing what I call ‘teaching up’ – planning first for the most advanced children in the classroom and then saying, ‘How do I build in scaffolding to enable other pupils to access this, too?’

“Differentiation ought to lift us up and never put us down, and I think not too many teachers have had the opportunity and the support to even encounter that notion, let alone understand it deeply.

Read the full interview with Carol Ann Tomlinson via Tes Magazine

Courses that can help:

  • Adaptive Teaching (Differentiation) – 5 hours

  • Adaptive Teaching to Facilitate Inquiry Based Learning – 5 hours

These courses help teachers to explore ways to meet the needs of individual learners, select and adapt materials, and devise their own differentiated learning resources and activities.

  • Adaptive Teaching Made Simple (with Mike Gershon)  – 1 hour

This course helps teachers to apply their knowledge of differentiation in a practical context, including supporting less-able and stretching more-able students.

These courses are included in our professional studies training package.

Learning strategies

How can teachers ensure that knowledge and skills are being picked up quickly and efficiently?

Learning and revision strategies aren’t that difficult to train, role model and use, says Professor John Dunlosky: “Just a little extra instruction about strategies spaced across each school year may be all that is needed to help students become more habitual users of effective strategies.”

And if doing so helps them learn more efficiently, he explains, then time may be saved in the long run. “Just imagine students beginning a higher-level course and not remembering most of the key ideas that they had learned earlier – a great deal of instructional time will be needed to review the prior material,” he says.

“But, if students had learned those key ideas well enough to retain them, then I suspect time would be saved in the long run.”

Read the full interview with Professor John Dunlosky via Tes Magazine


Teachers are all too aware that any dips in behaviour can have a profound effect on children’s ability to learn. Researchers have found, for example, that children with reported behavioural problems at age five tend to perform more poorly on vocabulary tests as teenagers.

Professor Alice Sullivan, from the UCL Institute of Education, says: “This won’t surprise teachers because, when you look at the kinds of factors that feed into the scales of measuring childhood emotional and behavioural problems – irritable, disobedient, restless – these kinds of behaviours make learning more difficult.”

Read the full interview with Professor Alice Sullivan via Tes Magazine

Courses that can help:

  • Behaviour Basics (with Tom Bennett) – 1 hour

This course provides teachers with some key classroom strategies to manage behaviour.

  • Classroom Problems (with Tom Bennett) – 1 hour

This course helps teachers to understand and learn how to manage the most common classroom problems, including lateness, low level misbehaviour and confrontation.

  • Positive Behaviour Management (with Mike Gershon) – 1 hour

This course helps teachers to establish a well-ordered classroom by considering how rules regulate behaviour and allow everyone to co-exist peacefully and successfully.

  • Reinforcing Boundaries (with Tom Bennett) – 1 hour

In this course, teachers learn how consequences, sanctions and rewards work in conjunction with each other.

  • Structures and Routines (with Tom Bennett) – 1 hour

This course helps teachers to understand the importance and benefits of structures and routines, and how to set them.

These courses are included in our professional studies training package.

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Schools and colleges are in a unique position to be able to support prevention and embed early intervention in children’s mental health, but don’t always have the time and resources to achieve this.

Jaime Smith, from the Anna Freud Centre, says there are some simple strategies that leaders can implement to make their schools more “mentally healthy”.

Establishing a mental health action group that represents staff across the setting and meets at least termly and advises senior management, works really well,” she says. It’s also crucial for schools to “create the mechanisms for pupils, parents and carers, and staff to share feedback on wellbeing issues”.

Read more tips from Jaime Smith on how to promote mental health and wellbeing in schools via Tes Magazine

Courses that can help:

  • Mental Wellbeing in Children and Young People (with Young Minds) – 4 hours

This course helps staff to understand what mental health is, identify some common issues, signs, symptoms and risk factors, and learn how they can support their students' mental health and emotional wellbeing.

  • Supporting Staff Wellbeing in Schools – 2 hours

This course considers the meaning of wellbeing, its impact on individuals and the workplace, common mental health issues and work-related stress, and explores what positive staff wellbeing means in practice.

  • Mindfulness in the Classroom – 2 hours

This course introduces teachers to the concept of mindfulness both as a personal practice and in the classroom, helping them to support both their own wellbeing and that of their pupils.

These courses are included in our safeguarding and duty of care training package.

CPD improves retention


Ofqual and the Department for Health have asked schools to prepare for the possibility of further A-level and GCSE exam disruption in 2022.

They say schools should aim to build in assessment opportunities for teacher assessed grades evidence in advance “to protect against further disruption”.

Those assessments “should provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding across the full range of content they’ve been taught”, and teachers should “guard against the risk of over-assessment”.

For further guidance on assessments in 2022, go to Tes Magazine


Supporting literacy in the early years is vital because problems that emerge early on in school persist throughout primary and into secondary school – and as children get older, the learning deficit becomes entrenched and harder to address.

Teacher Rachel Ward believes the common barriers to good literacy are “book handling, conceptual understanding of how print works, phonological awareness, the application of phonic knowledge in reading and writing, building oral language skills and comprehension”.

So, how can we tackle these barriers and ensure that every child has the literacy skills to succeed throughout their school experience?

The key to overcoming them, Ward says, is to ensure staff are “focused on the whole child”, and thinking in three dimensions: “what each child knows how to do, their early experiences and their attitudes to reading”.

Read the full interview with Rachel Ward via Tes Magazine

Duty of care/safeguarding

Teachers need to be kept abreast of the new Keeping Children Safe in Education document update on safeguarding, which includes how to deal with “nagging doubt” and more guidance on “peer-on-peer” abuse.

Michael Clack, regional head of schools for Orbital Education and a member of the international taskforce on child protection for the Council of International Schools, says the 2021 update places a big focus on school culture and suggests that this is in direct response to the stories shared on the Everyone’s Invited website, which exposed how young people “experience a normalised culture of misogyny and sexual harassment while growing up in this country”.

For classroom staff, there is also greater responsibility to be aware of and report “low-level” concerns. “This goes far beyond the ‘harm threshold’ for referral to the local authority,” says Clack. “Staff are encouraged – indeed, required – to report ‘low-level’ concerns to the responsible person for safeguarding.”

Find out more about what teachers need to know in relation to safeguarding via Tes Magazine

Courses that can help:

  • Child Protection in Education – 5 hours

This course covers the fundamentals of safeguarding and protection for anyone who comes into contact with children, young people and their parents in an education setting.

  • Child Protection Refresher 2021 – 3 hours

This course refreshes staff knowledge on child protection, keeps staff up-to-date with recent changes in legislation and guidance, and provides key learning points from recent serious case reviews.

These courses are included in our safeguarding and duty of care training package.

Manage your CPD strategy with Develop

Discover how you can get unlimited whole-school access to over 140 flexible, online training courses covering safeguarding, professional studies and subject knowledge, on our online training platform Develop.

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