CPD Week explores the new professional standards for teachers, linking them directly to professional development agendas in schools, around the key themes of professional and personalised learning

Last week saw the Optimus Education Teacher’s Development Summit in London. It was another superb day, packed with thought-provoking presentations and discussions, which gave everyone attending much inspiration and food for thought. Further to those discussions, this issue of CPD Week explores how we might take the new professional standards for teachers and link them directly to professional development agendas in schools, around the key themes of professional and personalised learning. We also take a look at the consultation on the apprenticeship framework for teaching assistants.

Quote of the Week

“A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.”
Alistair Cooke Practical Tips: Making connections – CPD and the new professional standards Having a set of professional standards for teachers at almost every level could potentially build a meaningful framework for continuing personal and professional development in schools. By linking directly to standards, we can use them to focus our professional and personal learning, helping us to make meaning from some of the latest agendas facing schools (for example, the personalised learning and children’s agendas). To see this in action, consider the Training and Development Agency for Schools suggestion for the core standards that link most directly with the personalised learning agenda:

  • C10 Have a good, up to date working knowledge and understanding of a range of teaching, learning and behaviour management strategies and know how to use and adapt them, including how to personalise the learning experience to provide opportunities for all learners to achieve their potential.
  • C19 Know how to make effective personalised provision for those they teach, including those for whom English is an additional language or who have special educational needs or disabilities and how to take practical account of diversity and promote equality and inclusion in their teaching.

The TDA has also highlighted those standards which link most effectively with professional development as a whole:

  • C7 Evaluate their performance and be committed to improving their practice through appropriate professional development.
  • C8 Have a creative and constructively critical approach towards motivation, being prepared to adapt their practice where benefits and improvements are identified.
  • C9 Act upon advice and feedback and be open to coaching and mentoring.

One of the most effective ways of including the standards in planning for CPD is to ask three simple questions:

  • How does each particular CPD goal or target link to the standards?
  • What standards are being supported by each CPD activity?
  • Did the CPD activity lead to greater accomplishment of the standards?

Think of this approach as following a before, during and after pattern. If you are mindful of the links between training and development and the standards at the planning stage, and make sure that the standards remain in the forefront of your mind during any training, it will be easier to determine precisely which ones you have made progress on. It may seem that this is reducing CPD to a box-ticking exercise, but it’s actually much more about anchoring CPD in our reasons for teaching and our commitment to the standards to which all teachers must work. To that end, using the standards in this potentially productive way can help to bring them alive Find out more

  • The professional standards for teachers can be found on the Training and Development Agency for Schools website www.tda.gov.uk

Issues and Information: Apprenticeship framework consultation

The current apprenticeship framework for teaching assistants needs to be revised to incorporate the new national vocational qualifications (NVQs) in supporting teaching and learning in schools. To this end, the TDA is seeking the views of anyone willing to complete the consultation (this should take about twenty minutes) on its proposed revised apprenticeship framework.

If you are interested in making your views known on this issue, you can find the consultation form here

This e-bulletin issue was first published in November 2007

About the author: Elizabeth Holmes qualified as a teacher at the Institute of Education, London and is the author of several books specialising in the areas of professional development and teacher well-being.