Training and Development Agency
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TDA launches drive to improve continuing professional development in schools

TDA launches drive to improve continuing professional development in schools

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SCHOOLS News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service. 17 October 2008

- New database launched to promote high quality CPD courses for all school staff -

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) is today launching its first major campaign to tackle the barriers to effective continuing professional development (CPD) in schools. Spearheaded by education guru, Tim Brighouse, the campaign commences with the release of a national CPD database offering guidance on quality CPD courses.

The online database is the first of its kind in England and will provide a single source of information to schools on professional development provision across the country. It will provide intelligence on the type of CPD offered nationwide enabling the TDA to see and respond to areas of demand and identify where provision is in short supply.

Recent findings from a TDA study of CPD leaders1 have underlined the urgency of supporting schools in changing their approaches to implementing CPD with a large percentage not taking advantage of the support available within their own schools, locally and nationally. 41 per cent of schools never consult with a national organisation for help and assistance in CPD, 26 per cent never consult with universities or colleges on courses, and 10 per cent never network with other schools.

Tim Brighouse, former London Schools Commissioner and teacher stated: "Of all the professions, school staff deserve and need the very best CPD. After all what they do in schools underpins our society's skills and future economic prosperity - indeed the core values of social justice and political freedoms. Moreover, CPD provides the intellectual curiosity without which school staff struggle to unlock our young people's potential. They deserve access to the very best of CPD. Through this campaign, the TDA is getting schools out of their current thinking about CPD to offer authoritative guidance which will help schools understand what CPD can offer and provide signposts to both its own and other organisations' resources."

The CPD campaign aims to reform the system by working with schools, encouraging them to review their CPD strategy, helping school leaders better understand how CPD helps improve standards in schools, and urging them to appoint a CPD Leader who can drive improvements on the ground. The campaign also aims to challenge the view that CPD is all about courses by showcasing the many forms that CPD can take, from excellent lesson observation, to mentoring and networking, and even online self-study.

Graham Holley, Chief Executive of the TDA, commented: "CPD is as much a part of the school environment as the teachers, support staff and the pupils themselves. Ofsted recognises that effective CPD raises standards in schools. What better motivation for heads to invest in re-energising the hearts and minds of their staff? The new Masters in Teaching and Learning will lead the way in demonstrating how effective CPD can result in happier, more motivated and better-prepared teachers alongside higher-performing students."

As well as the TDA authored standards and guidance for teachers, HLTAs and support staff, school leaders can access resources to help unlock the potential of support staff and link CPD outcomes to the Every Child Matters agenda. CPD Leaders can also benefit from an e-directory of best practice on CPD across the country. Further information and guidance on CPD is available by visiting and the CPD database can be accessed by visiting

- Ends -

General TDA media enquiries
Contact: Alex Walker-McClimens
Tel: 020 7023 8081

Notes to Editors

* This news release applies to England only.

* Further help and resources the TDA provides to help CPD Leaders include:

- A free on-line directory for CPD leaders which includes everything they need to do their job effectively: advice, toolkits, policy guidance and job descriptions.

- Sets of standards for teachers and support staff with guidance on the professional attributes and skills expected at each career stage.

- The School Improvement Planning Framework (SIPF) - helps schools to deliver and demonstrate improved standards and achievement through putting the child at the centre of school improvement planning.

- The Senior Leadership Team Toolkit - Unlock the Potential of Your Support Staff - providing a guide on the resources, processes and thinking, which will help them bring out the best in their support staff.

- Funding for local authorities to set up CPD leader networks, to share best practice.

* Case studies are available for interview, including:

- Liz Meadows and Geoff Barton from King Edward VI School. New schemes include maths teachers taking French lessons to improve their micro-skills (body language), visits to schools in different areas, employing a teaching and learning mentor and a whole school 'blink' review to better understand the key ingredients of good/bad lessons.

- Matthew Gunn at The Mandeville School in Aylesbury. Pupil performance has improved with a 22 per cent increase in exam performance. Staff performance is on the up with a 10 per cent increase in 'outstanding' teacher performance in the classroom and a whole school increase of 11 per cent of 'good or better' observed lessons.

* The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) was established under the Education Act 2005. Its principal aim is to secure an effective school workforce that improves children's life chances.

* Continuing professional development (CPD) consists of reflective activity designed to improve an individual's attributes, knowledge, understanding and skills. It supports individual needs and improves professional practice.

1 The research into the role of CPD leadership in schools was commissioned by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) and carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) surveying around 1,500 CPD Leaders.

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