Sustainable CPD was the theme of last week’s fifth annual CPD Update national one-day conference in London. This issueI take a whistle-stop tour of the themes and topics that were the burning issues of the daypdf-3995132

CPD Week Info Sheet – CPD Update Conference.pdf

The aim of life is self-development. To realise one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.
Oscar Wilde

Hot ideas for sustainable CPD
The conference heard from a wide range of speakers on all the top issues of the moment in the world of professional learning in schools today. Here is a selection of wisdom which was shared on the day to inspire you over the months to come…

Sharing good practiceWe openly speak about the need to share, in the true sense of the word, all the great practice that takes place in our schools. It helps us to develop knowledge; it improves performance, builds our experience base and helps develop resilience in the face of change. But what’s the best way of achieving this? The conference was told about easy, cost-effective methods to take this forward.

A fundamental feature of a school in which good practice is shared effectively is the presence of the ‘CPD mindset’ – in other words, the mindset that is willing to see the potential for development every day, that lets go of the need for perfection and that operates with a spirit of mutual vulnerability and collaboration. Once all this is in place, schools can start to consider ways of disseminating information so that all staff members have the opportunity to contribute their knowledge, skills and understanding.

Find out more from this week’s information sheet.

Making the most of your school’s expertise
A key issue that the conference was asked to consider was: How do we convert individual learning into organisational knowledge? This involves exploring the following questions:

  • What are the ways in which tacit knowledge is shared in your organisation?
  • What are the ways in which tacit knowledge is lost in your organisation?
  • How can you retain the tacit knowledge of individuals who leave your organisation?
  • What are your key systems for converting tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge?

Impact evaluation
Key questions for schools to ask when evaluating impact of learning were suggested to the conference:

  • Why should we evaluate impact?
  • For whom do you want to make a difference? By when?
  • Does the learning make a positive difference?
  • How great is the difference made?
  • How do we know this? What is the nature of our evidence?

Find out more from the London Centre for Leadership in Learning, Institute of Education at

Mentoring and coaching
The conference was told about the five core skills that professional learners need. These are the ability to:

  • respond proactively to modelled expertise to acquire and adapt new knowledge
  • respond positively to questions and suggestions from your mentor
  • take an increasingly active role in constructing your own learning programme
  • observe, analyse and reflect upon your coach’s practice and make this explicit
  • think about and act honestly on your developing skills and understanding

Find out more from the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education at

This e-bulletin issue was first published in November 2009

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.