How to set teacher CPD free

Few people can say for certain the best way to address continuing professional development in schools, but many are in agreement on one thing: the way it’s done in Scotland needs a shake-up. Henry Hepburn reports on the trend towards more rough-and-ready grassroots approaches to sharing best practice


Headteacher Gavin Clark draws breath to make his opening remarks. The mic’s not working. After a bit of jostling with the stand, he gets going, joking about the wonky equipment and the unusual design of the 1960s assembly hall (a chunk of the audience has to crane their necks to watch from a diagonal section to the left). And everyone has to try not to be mesmerised by the glitter ball dangling from the ceiling.

This is the learning festival at Preston Lodge High School in East Lothian. It’s been an annual fixture since 2014 when it became one of Scotland’s first secondaries – some say the ...

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