Letters: Let's change the record on CPD

30th October 2009 at 00:00
IfL website redesign and CPD

I read with interest your article on the Institute for Learning in last week's FE Focus.

It was stated clearly that only 59 per cent of teachers have complied with IfL guidelines on continuing professional development. I was particularly taken with the suggestion in the editorial ("What price professional independence?") that the reasons why teachers might not have logged their CPD contained "a whiff of `the dog ate my homework'".

A good teacher would naturally question why 41 per cent of their cohort had come to class with "the dog ate my homework" as an excuse, and further investigation would no doubt uncover more significant factors at play.

A key detail from my experience could be the IfL website being out of action during our staff development week at the end of the academic year so that no one was able to access their online profiles during the allotted sessions.

Another reason (alluded to in the editorial) could be the overly cumbersome website, which is difficult to navigate and time-consuming to use, even for what should be simple functions such as updating our continuing professional development summaries during the year.

A final reason could be that reflection, as a tool for teaching improvement, works best as a dialogue rather than an individual feeding information into a computer.

I question whether scanning and copying my qualifications helps my teaching development in the quest for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status, and I'm disappointed that the IfL is not able to insist on funded mentoring and a whole-college approach to CPD, rather than individuals doing it themselves.

Name and address withheld.

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