The Chartered College of Teaching has launched a consultation for a new project that has the potential to improve the quality of continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers across the profession. This is an important focus, as the average teacher in England spends only four days on CPD per year and that the CPD they do undertake is not always of a high enough quality.
A number of consultations have reported that opportunities for teachers in England: are insufficiently evidence-based; do not focus sufficiently on specific pupil needs; are too inconsistent in quality; lag behind those experienced by colleagues elsewhere internationally.(Cordingley, Higgins et al., 2015)
Alongside the Teacher Development Trust and Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University, the Chartered College is undertaking a project jointly funded by Wellcome Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation to design and test a system to quality assure the provision of continuing professional development for teachers.
In addition to seeking to improve the quality of CPD accessed by teachers, whatever their subject, the project will first and foremost provide school leaders and teachers with an easy-to-use system for finding high-quality, impactful CPD. It will also work towards ensuring the widest range of providers are incentivised to participate in the quality assurance process. If it is shown to be feasible, the project aims to provide a long-term solution that will be a powerful addition to the CPD landscape.
As part of this exciting piece of work, we will consult widely across the teaching profession in order to understand the perspectives of all stakeholders who might be affected. This will include teachers, school leaders, CPD providers and more. To ensure that our approach is evidence-based, we will also conduct an evidence review looking at CPD quality assurance systems in different countries and in different professions to understand more about the different approaches that have been taken elsewhere and how effective they have been.
Evidence shows that the most important in-school factor for improving pupil outcomes is the quality of teaching (Hanushek and Rivkin, 2012; Burgess, 2015) and that this can be improved by engagement in high-quality continuing professional development (CPD). However, as not all CPD is effective, it is important that school leaders and teachers understand what is meant by, and are able to access, high-quality CPD (Timperley et al., 2007; Kraft et al., 2018; Cordingley et al., 2015). Despite this, there is currently no widely used system of quality assurance of CPD provision for teachers in England. This is in contrast with other countries and other sectors where there are established methods to direct professionals toward high-quality CPD.
Access to all – not just the largest providers
We recognise that this project presents a number of challenges that need to be considered carefully. For example, we must avoid developing a solution in which only the largest CPD providers are able to gain accreditation; it should be equally possible for schools to obtain accreditation for their own programmes, where these are high-quality and underpinned by evidence. There is also a substantial challenge in how to measure and evaluate the quality of professional development, in its many forms, on a national scale. It will require a nuanced approach to judging quality and effectiveness, centred on its impact on both teachers and pupils.
It is crucial to the success of this project that we hear from as wide a pool of stakeholders as possible and we have therefore been careful to include a variety of different opportunities for as many stakeholders as possible to contribute to the consultation.
We encourage you all to get involved in whatever way that you are able, and very much look forward to hearing your views as we shape this project together.
How to get involved
We are holding a series of face-to-face consultation events where we will be seeking detailed feedback from teachers, school leaders, providers and other stakeholders about our findings from the initial consultation and conducting some co-design of the potential CPD quality assurance system.
We are holding one final face-to-face consultations – you can register to attend at the link below:
- London: 14th November 2018: 16.30-20.00.
In order to ensure a productive meeting environment, we will cap each meeting at 30 attendees.
We understand that not all stakeholders will be able to attend one of the face-to-face events and are therefore providing the opportunity to register for a webinar that will explore similar topics.
The webinar will take place on the 13th November from 18.00 to 19.30 and you can register here.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact Sarah Harrison on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hanushek, E. and Rivkin, S. (2012). The distribution of teacher quality and implications for policy. Annual Review of Economics, 4, pp.131–57.
Burgess, S. (2015). Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education. COEURE: Cooperation on European Research in Economics.
Timperley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H. & Fung, I. (2007) Teacher professional learning and development: Best evidence synthesis iteration. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education. http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/series/2515/1534.
Kraft, M. A., Blazar, D. and Hogan, D. (2018). The effect of teacher coaching on instruction and achievement: A meta-analysis of the causal evidence. Review of Educational Research, 88(2).
Cordingley, P., Higgins, S., Greany, T., Buckler, N., Coles-Jordan, D., Crisp, B., Saunders, L. and Coe, R. (2015) Developing Great Teaching: Lessons from the International Reviews into Effective Professional Development. London: Teacher Development Trust.