Training and Development Agency
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Give Headteachers the tools they need to break barriers to professional development

Give Headteachers the tools they need to break barriers to professional development

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SCHOOLS News Release issued by The Government News Network on 1 August 2008

Nearly three-quarters (70 per cent) of people responsible for the professional development of staff in schools lack awareness of the range of continuing professional development options available, according to new research from the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) carried out research among over 1,500 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) leaders to better understand their role and what they need to carry out effective CPD in schools. When questioned, over a third of those surveyed (35 per cent) suggested they would find toolkits for training and development the most helpful to support them.

When asked how they stay up-to-date with new developments in CPD, over three quarters (76 per cent) said they looked online. However, only a little over a third (36 per cent) admitted that they networked with leaders from other schools for information. Also, two-thirds (68 per cent) of CPD leaders felt that an improved knowledge of the standards for all staff would help them more effectively lead CPD in their schools.

The TDA, which leads on supporting staff development in schools, provides a one-stop-shop of helpful resources and initiatives to help CPD leaders, including:

* 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;
* a national database of CPD from which schools and LAs can select provision, due to be launched in September;
* working with the National College for School Leadership to develop a training and development programme for CPD leaders to be available from September 2009;
* funding for local authorities to set up CPD leader networks, to share best practice;
* sets of standards for teachers and support staff with guidance on the professional attributes and skills expected at each career stage.

Graham Holley, Chief Executive of the TDA said:

"We know that good CPD in schools raises standards in the classroom. We are already seeing progress, with clear evidence that teachers are using the professional standards to plan their professional development.

"But we need to do more and the research shows the challenges ahead. I want all schools to know that the TDA is here to help them develop all their staff to the best of their ability. That is why, this autumn, we will be launching a major campaign to explain the benefits of CPD for the whole school workforce and promoting awareness of the guidance we offer schools.

"We know that far too many teachers feel that CPD is something that is done to them, rather than something that is of help to them. Effective CPD comes from having a clear understanding of the skills and attributes each individual needs at each stage of their career development. Performance management can reduce the burden of planning CPD for heads, and helps create personalised CPD for teachers. Teachers themselves tend not to view CPD as extra work when it matches their needs."

The TDA and social partners have developed a national framework of professional standards for those teachers and staff who support teaching and learning to help them identify the development needs of their staff and skills expected at each career stage.* Over 75 per cent of teachers plan to, or have used the standards in CPD discussions.

Matthew Gunn, Director of CPD at The Mandeville School in Aylesbury adds:

"We need to emphasise the importance to all staff, not just teachers, that CPD - if it's done properly - has the potential to help you to do your job more effectively and to help students to reach their goals. It's not just about training, it's also about understanding which skills you need to push onwards and upwards in your career. In our school we use a range of resources to help with things like objective setting, analysis of strengths and weaknesses and identifying training needs."

Information on CPD, the standards, plus the information and guidance offered by the TDA is available by visiting

* The TDA's professional standards can be downloaded from

Notes to Editors
* This news release applies to England only.
* 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).
* 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.
* Further resources the TDA provides to help CPD Leaders include the School Improvement Planning Framework (SIPF) helping schools to deliver and demonstrate improved standards and achievement through putting the child at the centre of school improvement planning and 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.
* 313,104 copies of the professional standards for teachers have been distributed to schools and LAs since they were launched in June 2007.
* Wave three of TDA stakeholder tracking research identified how many teachers used the professional research.
* CPD Leaders can sign up to the CPD database at

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