What they did
Everyone at Challney High is a trainer. Pupils, teaching assistants, senior management and experienced teachers all contribute to the training programme. Pupils take part in staff training days so that teachers can learn from their views. The school has used an electronic e-portfolio to monitor, assess and develop teacher training, and this has revolutionised the way that trainees and staff can record their progress. Challney is the founding school of the Chiltern Training Group, which has played an important part in recruiting and retaining teachers in Luton.
The school organises its continuing professional development to make the best use of teachers' research, and staff build up points towards a masters degree. Teachers report research findings in the autumn term so that pupils' results can be used to measure its impact. Other schools share in the continuing professional development (CPD) programme.
Challney is an 11-16 comprehensive and 86 per cent of its pupils have English as a second language. A third have free school meals. The school says: "We have achieved our success by maintaining a relentless focus on pupil achievement and a programme of staff development aimed at improving the quality of teaching and learning."
It is also one of Ofsted's 12 "star" secondaries, featured in a paper on successful schools in poorer communities published earlier this year.
What the judges said
The judges said: "Challney is setting the highest possible standards for staff development. It has a tremendous commitment to working with teachers outside their own school. The range of CPD opportunities and strategies is excellent and the school should be commended for its approach and achievements." They spoke of "an impressive range of outstanding practices".
You could do it too
Sharing CPD with other schools is an excellent way to spread resources and get the most out of your training budget. Other schools in this category used different approaches, such as holding a whole-school teaching and learning conference; a series of informal and formal observations; 30-minute bite-size training sessions and building relationships with local primary schools to give their teachers a taste of CPD.
About the awards
The TES Schools Awards, or TESSAs, celebrate and reward the professionalism and flair of those teams making an outstanding contribution to primary and secondary schools in the maintained and independent sectors. This year's event attracted hundreds of entries and the panel of judges was impressed by their range and quality. Next year's TESSAs will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on June 17, 2010, and are open for entries at www.tes.co.ukawards.
Each week we profile one of this year's winners. For more details on entering the 2010 TES Schools Awards visit www.tes.co.ukawards.