Improving standards for teachers’ professional development

In July 2016 the Department for Education (DfE) published the “Standard for teachers’ professional development”. The expert group noted that, “Effective professional development for teachers is a core part of securing effective teaching. It cannot exist in isolation, rather it requires a pervasive culture of scholarship with a shared commitment for teachers to support one another to develop so that pupils benefit from the highest quality teaching.”

As a teacher and deliver of professional development for schools I must admit that the classic model of delivering single day activities has not been effective.  “Evidence suggests that a one-day course as a stand-alone activity without a specific focus is unlikely to have a lasting impact on pupil outcomes.” The most participants seem to get out of it is a nice lunch, time to network and some new ideas. sadly once they are back into the fray of the classroom little impact is achieved.

Reviewing feedback from my development courses over many years shows that the model that has the biggest impact are those that are sustained over time, involves collaboration and support. As such a “professional development programme” approach that involves many activities designed to sustain and embed practice, including, individual and collaborative teacher activity but essentially expert input who acts as coach, mentor, guide.

The importance of professional development is fundamentally important and must ultimately make a difference to the young people we educate. As such I have reviewed the DofE standards and developed a range of programmes that focus on supporting and developing teachers through a model of face-2-face meetings, mentoring and coaching to have impact both in their own practice but across their school.

All my programmes are three-four months in duration and consist of ½ day face-2-face meetings that provide the support and guidance required to develop participants, intercessional tasks to ensure application of skills and opportunities to reflect, develop. Ultimately each programme will help participants to develop and implement a whole school improvement strategy.

Participants will be supported and guided by a very experienced mentor/coach who is a Specialist Leader in Education for science.

Department of Education Standard for teachers’ professional development

This is an exciting time for Professional Development, the barrier might be the marketing of this approach to schools who are so use to sending teachers on a ‘day out’ to improve, or, because of previous experience, not supportive of CPD..

Programmes I have developed:

  • Developing the role of the science subject leader
  • Developing whole school assessment in primary science
  • Effective Teaching and Learning in science
  • Developing a whole school science curriculum

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