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Careers advice from Theodora Griff

Am I entitled to CPD?

What is my entitlement to continuing professional development (CPD)? I request it every year but it's always rejected. My employer is a large independent school - surely it could fund some courses for me?

Whether you are in an independent or maintained school you do not have any specific entitlement to CPD, 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 students. Much will depend on budget constraints but a large independent school should not have too many of those. Staff development is a line on the budget drawn up by the senior leadership team and bursar; it supports training that will be beneficial to the school, in particular in helping it to achieve its development plan.

There are groups of independent schools (such as the Girls' Day School Trust and United Learning) where there is a clear expectation that you will develop yourself with their support and this is built into the yearly appraisal scheme.

These groups actually run a lot of CPD days themselves for the staff in their different schools, and particularly encourage those wishing to move to middle leadership, or from middle to senior leadership, by offering developmental activities. There is a lot to be said in favour of working in schools that offer such opportunities.

However, do not think that the only option for professional development is to 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's development plan and see if there is anything that you could tackle, then go and see a deputy head about it.

In many cases this is the best possible development opportunity for moving into leadership.

Meet Theodora Griff online on the TES Jobseekers forum or in person at a TES Careers Advice Service seminar or individual consultation. bit.lyuWhqN2.

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