What next? The future of CPD for teachers

The Importance of CPD in Teacher Quality and Teacher Autonomy in CPD Choices cover image

The Teacher Development Trust (TDT) published a new report last month in response to Labour Party plans to introduce a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) entitlement for every teacher; should they win a general election later this year. The TDT hopes that introducing an CPD entitlement “can help to transform the teaching landscape, creating a sustained cycle of improvement and professionalism that is sorely needed against the backdrop of recruitment and retention crises and declining morale and wellbeing”.

 

Whilst research has consistently concluded that the single most important in-school factor affecting pupil outcomes is the quality of the teacher at the front of the class; CPD budgets have been squeezed in recent times. Investment in the professional development of teachers is an investment in children. In recent years, we have seen DfE investment in CPD in the form of Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) training courses. However, many educators are now asking: what next?  

 

The Importance of CPD in Teacher Quality and Teacher Autonomy in CPD Choices

The need for teacher autonomy to choose what CPD they engage with comes across very clearly, with only 1 in 10 teachers favouring a system of external approval for funded CPD. Similarly, 9 out of 10 teachers feel that they have a clear understanding of their own professional strengths and weaknesses, further underlining the need for professional trust in any CPD entitlement. With current DfE data indicating that the ongoing teacher recruitment and retention crises shows no signs of slowing, listening to the teacher voice on this has never been so crucial. 

 

Emphasis on the learning and development of educators through professional pathways and CPD entitlements is an important and positive step forward. Interestingly, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) report from 2021, whilst muting the idea of introducing a CPD entitlement, highlighted that  “policy makers should focus their attention not only on increasing CPD spending to fund the entitlement but also on improving the quality of CPD teachers participate in”. 

 

At Minds Ahead, we believe that high quality, evidence based mental health and wellbeing CPD for educators has a transformative effect. We design and deliver mental health qualifications, training and strategic consultancy that empower educators with the knowledge and tools to ensure that the whole school community can thrive.

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