At last…we have clear, concise and sensible recommendations for teachers' professional development. We welcome its arrival and if you care about teaching and learning, you should too. Here’s why:
What does the new standard mean for the teaching profession?
Together with the development of the College of Teaching, the standard for teachers’ professional development marks an important step towards professionalising the profession. It clearly sets out the importance of giving teachers the support they need to develop and improve. If the guidance is implemented effectively it should also have a positive impact on teacher recruitment and retention, a critical challenge facing many schools.
The standard gives recognition to the need for something far more holistic than traditional methods of CPD, that are still prevalent in many schools.
It promotes an approach that’s woven into the fabric of school life, research-based, teacher-led and has student outcomes at the heart.
Implementing the guidance
Now we need meaningful, practical ways to implement this guidance. It’s the responsibility of the providers of professional development to work closely with senior leaders to ensure that what they offer delivers on the standard and has real impact.
From the outset, our mission at IRIS Connect has been to drive improvement in educational outcomes for young people through more effective professional learning for teachers. It’s great to see our beliefs about what professional learning should look like being echoed by the Department for Education.
The steps we have made to bring teachers, school leaders, experts and providers together in one place to learn and develop have all stemmed from this goal. Through our research and a recent EEF project, we’ve developed a structured, ongoing professional learning programme, the core components of which we are pleased to see mirrored in the standards.
If schools are going to develop a genuine culture of professional trust, then teachers, leaders and professional development providers alike need to seek new and innovative ways of making professional learning accessible and effective. The new school year will be an interesting one in terms of how these challenges are met, I look forward to seeing how things unfold.
What do you think of the standard? Is this a professional development culture that's already prevalent in your school? How do you think your school could improve? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.