Professional Learning Blog from IRIS Connect

Video-based CPD - is it worth the investment?

Posted by Celia McCarthy on 6 July, 2017

Video is a powerful professional learning tool. It enables key learning interactions - reflection, feedback, analysis and collaboration. Video can make CPD more personalised, engaging and effective at transforming classroom practice. Most importantly, video-based CPD helps teachers to feel in control of their own professional development.

But do the benefits outweigh the costs?

The cost of video-based CPD

Costs vary depending on the type of video technology, the software and the support provided alongside it.

It’s likely to be around £1,800 – £3,000 a year for a primary school and £3,300 - £4,500 a year for a secondary school. That's for secure video capture tools, software and technical support.

When comparing different video-based CPD options, it’s essential to consider data security regarding how videos are captured and stored. Using flip cams and the video app on an iPad can seem like a cheap option, but you will be vulnerable from a data protection and safeguarding point of view.

For further information on security and safeguarding click here >>



Our video-based CPD platform costs around £3.30 per pupil in a secondary school with 1,000 pupils. When compared to the average cost of £33 per pupil on CPD, you can see significant savings (Teacher Development Trust 2017).

For £3.30 per pupil annually, your CPD can exist in-house, use existing expertise and increase the impact of activities.
This includes video technology, licences for every staff member, access to content, CPD resources and support. 
More pricing information can be found here>>


View teacher training as an investment

Unlike traditional strategies, video-based CPD offers teachers easy access to CPD content. This allows them to develop their practice whenever needed, whilst helping to reduce CPD hours.

Investing in improving your teacher’s professional development can produce long-term noticeable benefits. This includes higher levels of staff and student engagement, and a more positive learning culture.

  • Analysis of recent Ofsted data found that 64% of schools regularly using IRIS Connect's video-based CPD improved by at least one grade in the last inspection. Compared with 42.5% of other schools.
  • Ainslie Wood Primary School invested in video-based CPD. It increased the percentage of their children achieving Level 4 in reading, writing and maths from 43% to 78% in three years. Video-based CPD also increased the percentage of their teachers rated as Good or above from 5% to 95%.
  • Broadford Primary School moved from Special Measures to Outstanding in two years. After realising that watching themselves teach moved their practice forward in a short space of time, they embraced video-based CPD. Staff therefore gained confidence in their skills and capabilities.

How could it save you money?

  • High quality CPD helps to develop a sense of self-efficacy. Research shows this reduces staff turnover, saving money on recruitment fees. Retaining staff will help avoid forking out crippling recruitment costs on a yearly basis. This is particularly significant in the case of staff in whom you have invested time and money training them as students and NQTs.
  • A benefit of video-based CPD is its ability to enable a more flexible approach to observations, meaning less money needs to be spent on lesson cover.
  • The use of video-based CPD reduces the need to bring in external support. It’s more cost effective and time efficient to tap into the wealth of expertise within your school, rather than seeking expensive external input.
  • Introducing scalable collaboration eliminates travel expenses. Video can be used to share and observe practice, and provide coaching over distance. This is a huge cost saver for Multi Academy Trusts, Teaching Schools and ITE providers who support teachers over wide geographical areas.


Analysis of the Department for Education’s consistent financial reporting framework (CFR) data shows schools regularly using IRIS Connect spend 8% less on cover teaching and 9% less on CPD compared with schools not using IRIS Connect. This equates to a saving of £8,474 and £1,186 respectively. That’s a total saving of £12,247 a year!


4 ways to guarantee a return on your investment

Ensuring return on investment is important. If you do decide to invest in video-based CPD, follow the steps below to ensure you make the most of it:

1. For video-based CPD to have a maximum impact, pay as much attention to change management as the technology you are investing in. Taking steps to develop positive change management can increase the success of new initiatives, such as the use of video-based CPD.

2. Communicate the benefits to your staff clearly, and address concerns early. Ensure that staff buy-in from the offset and reassure them that this is a supportive and developmental tool.

3. You should incorporate the use of video into existing projects and CPD programmes to make them more effective and efficient. Ensure that your staff have time to engage in professional learning.

4. Standardise the use of video for lesson observation and feedback. This will bring you notable savings, simply by being able to cut back on lesson cover.


Is video-based CPD worth the time and money?

Of teachers using IRIS Connect as a video-based CPD tool, research revealed:

  • 94% said they felt their teaching had improved
  • 84% said their confidence had risen
  • 88% said there had been a positive impact on collaboration.
  • 86% of IRIS leads consider IRIS Connect good value for money.


What could video-based CPD do for you?

Topics: Blog, effective professional development, cpd budget

iris connect film club
guide to creating a positive professional learning culture

Get blog notifications

Keep up to date with our latest professional learning blogs.


Recent posts