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Careers advice from Theodora Griff

I haven't had any CPD

After more than a year working at this school, I have never had any continuing professional development because money is tight. Obviously I am most concerned with making sure I keep abreast with things, but I'm also worried how it will look when I start applying for another job because I'll have to leave empty the section on the form about my professional development.

I'm going to begin by disagreeing with you, because I bet that you have had some professional development. It's just that you don't realise what it was.

Many people think that professional development just means "I went on a course". And I can quite understand that many school budgets cannot afford these nowadays; the courses alone can be #163;300 or more, plus the cost of paying for supply. But professional development means a lot more than that.

What happened at the beginning of the year in September? Didn't you have a refresher on child protection and safeguarding? Most schools do that then, and that is CPD. What about other in-house training that has been done at school? Can you remember what was covered on your training days last year?

Another source of CPD that people often forget is the weekly or fortnightly staff meetings, which often have a short item on useful teaching and learning tips. You might also have these in your department or key stage meetings, too. All these are CPD, as is feedback from colleagues who have been able to go on a course.

I suggest that you keep a file in which you jot down the subject and the main points of all these types of session, to jog your memory for when you need to use them. This will help with the keeping abreast of things. And for any future applications, just include a sentence on the application form along these lines: Regular attendance at in-school training sessions on subjects such as X, Y and Z.

As for the cost of going on a course, the TES careers advice service does half-day seminars on a Saturday (no cover costs) that are very competitively priced and highly rated by participants.

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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