Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for teachers has a widespread impact on schools as we discussed in our previous blog . From teacher commitment and enjoyment to career advancement and retention investing in your continuous development, you can greatly improve the classroom experience for both yourself and your pupils.  

Now you know you want to invest time into your development but where do you start? Well, you need a clear CPD plan.  

Creating a development plan for teachers  

double-circle-child-2There will be areas of CPD which your school will require you to do as part of your ongoing learning, such as subject area refreshes and overarching teaching skills development, but it is also important that you focus on areas of development that are important to you.  

CPD should not be a one size fits all approach, it should be tailored to your individual needs and requirements, which is why having a plan can help.  

“Teachers need to have some autonomy over their development, otherwise there can be a reluctance to engage and a lack of buy-in.” 

Natasha Raheem, Assistant Vice Principal, Dixons Academy. 

Professional development ideas for teachers  

So, where do you start with your plan?  

Many teachers will have career aspirations and will focus their CPD efforts on courses relevant to those goals, e.g. taking safeguarding courses with a view to becoming a safeguarding lead within school.  

But what if you’re unsure of what your career aspirations are at the moment, or you are happy where you are? That’s completely fine! Start by looking into development which focuses on areas that you enjoy or you feel you could do with some extra skills or knowledge building The benefits of teacher development are wide-ranging and offer opportunities to teachers at all stages of their careers.  

Here are some development ideas to help get you started  

  • Develop ICT skills  
  • Develop skills within special educational needs  
  • Develop skills in identifying individual learning styles of pupils  
  • Develop safeguarding expertise  
  • Enhance subject-specific skills and knowledge  
  • Develop skills within child behavior  
  • Become a department head  
  • Become a head of year  

How to write a professional development plan  

Now you know what you want to do it’s important to write your plan down to share with school leaders and mentors that will be on hand to help you with your goals. Make sure your plan is clear and succinct to ensure you are able to get the best support.  

Steps to creating your development plan  

  • Identify where you currently are  
  • Highlight any specific career goals  
  • Take a look at potential relevant training  
  • What skills do you already have?  
  • What skills would you like to work on 
  • Highlight ways you can achieve your goals  
  • Create an achievable timeline for your goals (SMART objectives work really well!)  
  • Decide how you are going to measure your progress and success 

How to achieve teacher development goals  

Once you have written your plan you need to identify how best to achieve your goals.  

Here are some of the most popular methods of teacher professional development  

  • Mentoring and observation  
  • Accredited qualification courses  
  • Workshops  
  • Professional research  
  • Seminars  
  • School visits

Your own school may have other options for you to explore so speak to school leaders to ensure you have access to the best options relevant to your goals. 

pink-icon-ebookWould you like to learn more about the impact of CPD in schools? Read our CPD Whitepaper  


Whitepaper - Whats wrong with CPD and how to fix it 300px wide



An insightful and informative report exploring how schools and multi academy trusts can achieve quality professional development and build a highly engaged teacher workforce.

With contributions from influential education leaders, it’s a read you won't want to miss.

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