CPD in contest for council cash

2nd May 2008 at 01:00
Funding for teachers' continuing professional development now has to compete with "wheelie bins and road bumps", Scotland's national CPD co-ordinator said last week
Funding for teachers' continuing professional development now has to compete with "wheelie bins and road bumps", Scotland's national CPD co-ordinator said last week.

Margaret Alcorn warned the national conference of CPD co-ordinators from across Scotland that the concordat between national and local government on funding meant the case for continuing training now had to be made more vigorously than ever, since it was no longer ring-fenced.

"We have to show that what we do results in improved learning for young people. At the moment, we are just at the foothills of that journey," she said.

"This is a different game we are playing now; we are in a different place. We need to build up good quality measures showing the impact that CPD makes."

Glenn Rodger, director of education and lifelong learning in Scottish Borders Council, issued a similar warning.

"The removal of ring-fencing is going to have a significant impact," he said. "We also know that when resources are tight - as they are and as there is every indication they will continue to be - we will have to fight hard to ensure training and development are included and maintained. It's a quick, easy cut."

Most local authorities were maintaining ring-fenced funding this year because it was too late to make significant changes, he said. However, the next few years were "going to be telling in terms of these resources and how they are allocated".

The role of CPD was particularly important in the implementation of A Curriculum for Excellence, Mrs Alcorn added. "There is some really good practice emerging, but it still has a long way to go."

The national CPD team will be funded for the next two years, but it has severed its links of the past year with Learning and Teaching Scotland and returned to its former home with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

The CPD team is now located alongside the Teacher Capacity Team (formerly know as the Teachers' Agreement Communications, or TAC, team), which is also based at Cosla.

"As local authorities explore the implications of the concordat, it is clearly important to build strong relationships and links with them," Mrs Alcorn said.

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