Tags: CPD | CPD Coordinator | Headteacher | School Leadership & Management | Standards | Teachers’ Pay

The progress report on CPD of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) to the secretary of state for education, Ruth Kelly, confirms that the new national standards for teachers will play a role in determining pay.

It also announces a strong push in the direction of subject-based training, the implementation of a research project to develop a comprehensive approach to CPD in schools, and performance development for all teachers to help them meet the standards of the Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda.

The report, which has recently been made available to CPD Update, was delivered by Ralph Tabberer, the outgoing chief executive of the TDA (see news story, below), shortly before Christmas. It follows the assumption of responsibility for CPD by the TDA and Ruth Kelly’s request for a report on its progress.

National standards

The report states that the new national standards will be ‘an essential part’ of the government’s plans for a new teacher professionalism. The standards will be used to achieve ‘fair, valid, reliable and consistent performance development for all teachers’, enabling them to meet the expectations within ECM and the recent white paper. They will ‘help to stimulate demand for professional development’ and they will ‘support school managers to make fair, valid, reliable and consistent decisions about pay, pay progression and career progression.’

Work has been in progress on developing the standards for two years, but now their link with pay has been made explicit. Due to the link between training and standards, it is to be expected that this will affect the role of the CPD leader.

The TDA will report on the standards again in April following the second stage of consultation, which ended in February.

More coherence for CPD

Other moves to give greater ‘coherence’ to CPD nationally include the formation of a National Reference Group for the training and development of teachers and the launch of a ‘testbed’ research scheme.

The reference group consists of a number of ‘national partners’, including trade unions, and is a forum for discussing and agreeing national policy.

The ‘testbed’ scheme is operating in 42 schools for a year to develop a comprehensive approach to the training and development of the school workforce and inform the work of the TDA in changing ‘the culture of training and development in all schools’.

Subject training and PPD

The report states that subject knowledge will be ‘strengthened considerably’ in the revision of standards and through the TDA’s cooperation with subject associations and other providers.

The Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) programme will be targeted to ‘address gaps in provision in relation to subjects and regions’, with an additional 3,900 places to be funded in the 2006-09 period.

Editor’s Comments:

In the next issue of CPD Update we will be looking more closely at the significance of this report, but for now one item in the report is very puzzling. It is the claim to continue to ‘develop, maintain and evaluate’ the regional CPD advisers.

In fact this team of 10 people, who have been spectacularly successful at establishing fruitful relationships between schools, local authorities and higher education institutions (HEIs), will have their contracts ended by the TDA at the end of March. This is all the more confusing because HEIs that are involved in postgraduate professional development (PPD) are required to work collaboratively and the regional CPD advisers have been instrumental in helping this to happen. To get rid of them when so much is riding on what they do looks like an own goal.

CPD Update has also obtained a copy of the terms of reference of the National Reference Group for CPD that we shall be sharing with readers. We can, however, tell you that, despite it being the only pot of money that the TDA controls for CPD, there is, as yet, no representation for the providers of PPD who have played a prominent role in the construction of the new national standards.

We also note that a detailed plan for CPD is yet to emerge (expected soon) and that a mysterious ‘strategic partner’ is being sought to make CPD happen. CPD Update has heard rumours of this for some time. We believe that, having reduced the capacity of the DfES to run education (see CPD Update Dec/Jan), and having written a white paper that takes much away from local authorities, the government will bring in another private company to fill the void.

One very encouraging note, however, is that Ralph Tabberer makes reference to the value and impact of voluntary quality indicators. This must include the use of the UCET framework for the evaluation of the impact of CPD/PPD, featured in issues 74-77 of CPD Update.

This article first appeared in CPD Update – Mar 2006

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