How effective is your continuing professional development?

Most teachers have a love-hate relationship with continuing professional development (CPD) and it’s often because they feel unsatisfied with existing CPD methods. When when it’s delivered well it can be inspiring, impactful and form a key part of effective recruitment and retention strategies, but we regularly hear dissatisfied teachers’ complain that training isn’t relevant or personalised enough, and that CPD is a time-consuming box ticking exercise.

Frustrations around teacher development are often rooted in a lack of formal guidance on aligning CPD with a school’s workforce strategy and this makes it extremely difficult for school leaders to implement good quality CPD that’s relevant and cost-effective.

There are steps that you can take to address this though and with the right amount of planning and wise budget spending, you can refocus your CPD to be better aligned with your school objectives and help your teachers to love CPD again. To do this, we’ve highlighted some key areas to focus on:

1. Make the time to assess the impact of CPD

Review your current CPD provision and the impact that it is having. Realising what works and (perhaps more importantly) what doesn’t can free up time and budget that can be better spent elsewhere. Listen to your staff to see what delivery methods work best and be open to trying new ways to deliver training outside of traditional approaches. CPD doesn't only need to be delivered face to face and innovative online solutions can deliver economies of scale. 

2. Link CPD to school and individual improvement

CPD should be intrinsically linked to both school and individual objectives, as well as forming a key part of school improvement. Doing so will mean the CPD that you invest in is cost effective and ensures that the school is improving staff in its biggest priority areas. For example, if KS2 boys' reading is a key objective for school improvement then this needs to be an appraisal priority and hence a CPD priority. Set out your top three school goals and link them to your school-wide and individual teacher CPD priorities.

3. Keep your funding and time focused

Be strict with your budget and time, remaining focused on what will have the greatest impact in the areas that need it most. It is easy for schools to take a blunderbuss approach with lots of staff undertaking various CPD, but often this will have less of an impact on school improvement as it isn’t focused on the areas that need it most. Keep referring back to your CPD objectives in order to stay focused.

4. Make sure CPD is worthwhile

CPD should be more than a box-ticking exercise and your staff should always take away practical resources and strategies that can be used in the classroom. Ensuring the CPD that you provide is fulfilling will give you the best value for money.

5. Find the best time for CPD and act now

For many schools, September to October is still a key time for staff to undertake CPD. Planning what you want to deliver (and achieve) should begin now though, particularly if you need to source new CPD to cover priority areas. Finding CPD that is flexible enough to fit around your staff’s busy timetables is crucial if you need to reignite your staffs’ relationship with professional development.

The Learn platform: helping teachers love CPD again

Finding and deploying effective CPD that works for your teachers as well as your school may seem difficult but it might be easier than you think, particularly if you deliver it through a platform like Learn. The new online learning platform from Tes Institute gives you access to hundreds of high quality, interactive learning sessions that can be used to supplement or enhance your development.

Sessions range across subject knowledge, pedagogy and professional studies and can be aligned to both school and individual objectives. The Learn platform also provides each member of staff with their own personal asset store for them to attach evidence of their achievements.


Register an interest in seeing the platform today and you could also get a 10% discount* on any sessions that you later purchase. Simply submit an enquiry and one of our enrolment advisors will be in touch.


*Terms and conditions apply

Get advice on your CPD strategy

See how our enrolment advisors can help you to deliver effective CPD.

Tes Institute's Learn platform can:

  • Align your continuing professional development with school or national standards
  • Set trackable objectives for your teachers linked to their CPD
  • Help your staff collect and store evidence as they progress their career

Register an interest today and experience the platform for yourself.