£500 extra for CPD 'could stop thousands quitting'

Thousands of teachers could be retained if each got 35 hours of formal high-quality CPD per year, says think tank

Teacher CPD: Spending an extra £500 per teacher 'could stop thousands quitting'

Thousands of teachers could be prevented from leaving the profession every year if schools spent an extra £500 per teacher on high-quality CPD.

That’s according to think tank EPI (Education Policy Institute), which today publishes analysis showing the cost to the government of every teacher receiving a formal entitlement of 35 hours of CPD per year.

The benefits of such an entitlement were outlined in earlier EPI research, which showed it could prevent up to 12,000 teachers leaving the profession every year and could boost pupil attainment by an extra two-thirds of a GCSE grade – which, in turn, translates to extra lifetime earnings of more than £6,000 per student.

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Today’s report shows that the total cost of the CPD would represent less than 1 per cent of the government’s total budget for schools in England (if added to existing school spending on training and development for teachers).

Call for extra investment in teacher CPD

Report author James Zuccollo said the cost was “very much achievable” – it would cost the government just over £200 million a year.

“Rather than spending big on additional CPD for teachers, the government could meet this commitment by largely improving on the quality of the existing CPD training that teachers participate in," he said. "With relatively low costs and large potential returns, the government should continue to look at how it can drive up the quality of its CPD offer for teachers.”

EPI has already said that secondary school teachers in England spend fewer hours a year on CPD compared with other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development nations, and that “it is also likely” that the majority of CPD currently being provided in England does not meet the criteria for high-quality CPD.

An EPI spokesperson said: “The new EPI study, published today, shows that schools typically spend an average of around £3,000 a year per teacher on CPD, which is already much of the cost of an improved, high-quality entitlement to teacher CPD. 

“Most schools are found to be spending just under 3 per cent of their school budget on CPD, which is higher than previous estimates.

“In order to meet the cost of boosting their current offer with a full entitlement to quality CPD for all teachers, the research shows that schools would have to be able to maintain their current spending levels and commit around an extra £500 per teacher per year on average, taking the spending up to around £3,500.”

The Department for Education has been contacted for comment.

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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