TES Extra - CPD - Top tips for making CPD work

17th October 2008 at 01:00

Do use Investors in People. Its four strands - leadership and management, recruitment and selection, worklife balance and learning and development - are useful stimulae. IiP gives you a real understanding of your own school when external assessors come in.

Don't delay: if a need presents itself, consider it there and then.

Sue Rogers is school business manager at Woodchurch High School specialist engineering college, Merseyside.

Do get teachers talking to each other. Professional dialogue is powerful both for their development and for improving pupils' learning.

Don't ignore pupil voice. Find ways (questionnaires, panels) to use pupil feedback in evaluating the impact of CPD, then use it to inform planning.

Angela Kempson is assistant head and CPD leader at Bexhill High School, East Sussex.

Do disaggregate your five days' in-service training provision to give the most flexible timings of CPD sessions.

Do assess the impact of all CPD on pupil learning. It may pleasantly surprise you. We've used pupils in pilots to test the use of electronic voting pads in mathematics. (And do approach companies to sponsor free trials of their products, by the way.) When we asked their opinion they spontaneously suggested other uses in history and geography.

Don't think that you have to keep everything in-house. Look outside: everyone will benefit from the experience. Making links with local schools means that you can share the costs of bought-in training. Linking coaching to buddies from other schools can make lesson observations more honest and helpful, with no need to preserve social niceties.

David Gunn is assistant head and CPD leader at King's Heath Boys' Mathematics and Computing College, Birmingham.

Do pick and choose external CPD provision. National Strategies training is free, but is it relevant to the school's needs? If a course costs Pounds 300 plus Pounds 140 for cover, can it be justified?

Don't forget to track the impact of every CPD course on individual members of staff, pupils and the school. And don't be afraid to give negative evaluations: to know something is no good is useful.

Pamela Hepworth is assistant head and CPD leader at Ashfield School, Nottinghamshire.

Do be open to everyone's needs and respond to everyone immediately, even if it's a no. Then they will know you have paid attention and not just dismissed their concerns and desire to improve.

Don't assume that everyone knows what you know. Communication is key to managing CPD. And don't ask staff to give CPD in their own time.

Sharon Golze is school business manager and assistant head at Don Valley School and Performing Arts College, Doncaster.

Do tie all CPD to the school development plan, so that everyone knows what their CPD is for, internally and externally.

Don't squander the budget. Assess if courses are worth it and if so, who would benefit most? How could the learning be cascaded to other staff?

Do have a sense of humour.

Matthew Gunn is assistant head and director of CPD at the Mandeville Upper School, Aylesbury.

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