The New Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development

First posted on the Reach Free CPD blog on 2 October 2016.

According the the DfE, effective teaching requires considerable knowledge and skill, which should be developed as teachers’ careers progress. Although we know this already, there is now more emphasis than ever on continuing to develop professionally as opposed to merely training and becoming more experienced. In fact, the the DfE’s current thinking on CPD envisions schools that are ‘steeped in rigorous scholarship, with professionals continually developing and supporting each other so that pupils benefit from the best possible teaching’ (DfE, 2016).

This is evident in the DfE’s new ‘standard for professional development’, which was released in July this year. The standard sees CPD as being a partnership between school leaders, classroom teachers and external agencies, such as universities, think-tanks and educational charities.

Moreover, the standard is broken into five key components. These include:

1. Professional development that should have a focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes.

2. Professional development that should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise.

3. Professional development that should include collaboration and expert challenge.

4. Professional development programmes that should be sustained over time.

This is all underpinned by, and requires that:

5. Professional development that must be prioritised by school leadership.

Importantly, to ensure we meet these components, The Reach Free School will be embarking on an ambitious whole school CPD programme that includes sustained and collaborative action by staff. This will happen in the form of working groups, or Lesson Study, which is a Japanese model of teacher-led research in which a triad of teachers work together to target an identified area for development in their students’ learning. Staff will incorporate existing evidence from their previous experience and training to collaboratively research, plan, teach and observe a series of lessons, using ongoing discussion, reflection and expert input to track and refine their interventions. This certainly begins to embed some of the points of the new standard.

DfE (2016) Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development. (London:DfE). See here: 160712_-_pd_standard.

The featured image is by Filip Pticek and used here under a Creative Commons licence.

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