Cynicism about the real agenda of training

25th July 2003 at 01:00
OLDER teachers are often cynical that in-service training days are used to promote government priorities, a survey reveals.

But overall, teachers value any kind of professional development, except for the poor training offered on using information technology.

A team from Manchester Metropolitan University and Education Data Services analysed questionnaire responses from more than 2,500 secondary, primary and special school teachers about their experiences of continuing professional development.

The Government's Learning and Teaching strategy, published in 2001, puts professional development at the heart of school improvement. But there are fears that budget shortfalls will mean less training for staff.

The research team found most teachers are getting some form of training.

Attitudes towards CPD varied enormously between and within schools, and according to the age, gender and responsibilities of teachers.

For example, older teachers were much more likely to consider that the five annual in-service days focused too much on national government strategies like the key stage 3 strategy, and were the least positive about CPD.

Newly-qualified and secondary teachers were more likely to do courses out of "personal interest". NQTs spent more time on improving their teaching skills and subject knowledge.

Women also focused on these areas, whereas men were more likely to concentrate on developing their professional, leadership and management skills.

Primary teachers did most CPD, and were most likely to be doing literacy and numeracy training. Special school teachers complained about the lack of training tailored to their needs.

Most of the training (71 per cent) on Inset days was provided by school staff. But teachers gave higher ratings to training provided by external consultants.

The Government's New Opportunities Fund ICT training programme came in for particular criticism because it did not meet teachers' needs.

"Teachers' Perceptions of Continuing Professional Development", DfES research brief number 429,

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today