Examining the fundamentals of what the role of CPD coordinator involves is always useful, not least when it comes to the effectiveness of CPD

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
Peter F Drucker As the Drucker quote above says, there’s a significant difference between efficiency and effectiveness. While no one could argue there isn’t a need for efficiency, without effectiveness, our efforts are wasted.

When it comes to effective CPD, especially as the new academic year gets fully underway, it is useful to revisit GTCE research into what makes CPD effective. In drawing together the findings of more than 20 studies into effective CPD, the GTCE concluded that the following points are key:

  • Collaboration − Working on your own means that decisions about how and what you should learn as part of your CPD are far more difficult to make. Positive outcomes for both teachers and the children that they teach are most likely to emerge from collaborative working with colleagues.
  • Teaching and learning − It is important to keep CPD focused on teaching and learning to ensure that it remains most effective. According to Ofsted, many schools already do this, but revisiting the focus of CPD in your school on a regular basis is a useful habit to be in.
  • Expertise − Drawing on the expertise of others, which may be inside your school or may be drawn in from external sources of support, can help schools and staff within them to make the most of the CPD opportunities available to them.
  • Senior support − It is important for heads and senior staff to be fully behind the CPD policies of schools, and actively to promote and support CPD. In addition, those who lead CPD should be involved at a senior level, and local authorities should also support it.
  • R and R − Reflective and reflexive practice in CPD remains important and schools which encourage that, as well as supporting research and professional learning communities, help to make sure that CPD is most effective in its impact.

Over to you…

In your capacity as CPD coordinator, what, in your experience, makes CPD effective? Please post your ideas and comments below and we may feature your school in a future issue of CPD Week.

Find out more

The General Teaching Council for England has explored the idea of effectiveness in CPD in great depth. You can find out more here.

Click here to find out how Shaun Allison, assistant headteacher at Littlehampton Community School, uses a variety of ways to cross-pollinate in-house skills and expertise to meet each teacher’s training needs.

Effectiveness and induction − what works best?

The induction period can bring ups and downs for even the most competent of new teachers, and for this reason, the effectiveness of the induction they receive is everything. According to the General Teaching Council for England, relationships are crucial when it comes to induction success. Research carried out recently on behalf of the GTCE, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Training and Development Agency for Schools showed that strong professional relationships can help to minimise the perceived negatives of the induction period and help to ensure success. Further, NQTs typically linked a positive induction experience with being accepted and trusted as a teacher, as well as with having healthy relationships with colleagues and pupils. A negative induction experience was typically linked with a lack of work/life balance, having to deal with poor behaviour and challenging relationships with colleagues and pupils. While this may be very predictable stuff, the conclusion reached by officials was that it is even more urgent for support for new teachers to be personalised, and for induction tutors to be given sufficient time and training in which to achieve this effectively.

Find out more

You can download a copy of Newly Qualified Teachers’ Experiences of their First Year of Teaching here.

This e-bulletin issue was first published in September 2007

About the author: Elizabeth Holmes is the author of CPD Week.