- Teacher Professional Development
- 3 Minute Read
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in education is pivotal for the growth and effectiveness of teachers. This is the second in our series of blogs exploring the latest Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) "Improvement through Empowerment" report. The report highlights the urgent need for a departure from traditional, one-size-fits-all CPD approaches. Instead, it advocates towards a model that empowers teachers and schools to innovate and improve based on their unique contexts and the specific needs of their student cohorts.
The report outlines that despite advancements, the current CPD landscape in England falls short of offering the personalised, evidence-based support that teachers require to thrive. With an infrastructure that too often favours short-term initiatives over sustained, coherent development strategies, teachers are left navigating a fragmented system that inadequately addresses the diversity of their professional needs and aspirations.
"Skilled, empowered teachers are our best hope for improving schools. Yet compared to other OECD nations, the professional development offer we provide to our teachers is woefully inadequate. This makes it harder for them to do their job properly and undermines retention – damaging pupils in the process and resulting in unsustainable costs to the taxpayer."
This stark assessment underscores the critical gap between the potential of England's teaching force and the reality of the support it receives. The report illuminates how the inadequacy of professional development not only hampers teachers' ability to enhance their practice but also exacerbates issues of retention, indirectly affecting student outcomes and leading to financial inefficiencies. This analysis serves as a call for a systemic overhaul to ensure that teachers receive the comprehensive, high-quality development opportunities they deserve.
A more tailored approach to teacher CPD is not just beneficial but essential. It recognises the distinct pathways of teacher career progression, the specific contexts in which they teach, and the unique needs of their students. By fostering an environment where CPD is closely aligned with individual and school-wide goals, educators can more effectively enhance their practice, leading to improved student outcomes.
The IPPR report argues for a CPD framework that is adaptable, allowing for deep, subject-specific learning alongside general pedagogical development. This approach acknowledges the complexity of teaching and the necessity of supporting educators at all stages of their careers with high-quality, relevant professional learning opportunities.
Crucially, the report champions a system that empowers schools and teachers as agents of their own development. By providing stable, multi-year funding and revising the CPD frameworks to be more inclusive and evidence-based, the next steps for policy could greatly enhance the professional landscape for educators in England.
"It is now time for a long-term and coherent approach which empowers teachers to build fulfilling careers as trusted professionals"
Here, the report champions a paradigm shift towards sustainable investment in teacher development:
"Commit to stable, multi-year funding for a clear, evidence-based professional development offer. England’s school sector has rallied to the challenge of building a new school-, and professional-led landscape of teacher training and development. But funding has too often been linked to short-term, rapidly churning initiatives. It is now time for a long-term and coherent approach which empowers teachers to build fulfilling careers as trusted professionals."
Critiquing the transient nature of current funding models highlights the necessity for a stable, long-term approach that supports the continuous growth of educators as professionals. Such a strategy acknowledges the evolving nature of teaching and learning, ensuring that teachers are not just equipped for the challenges of today but are also prepared to adapt to the educational demands of the future. This vision aligns with the broader objectives of empowering teachers and enhancing educational outcomes across the nation.
In line with the report's recommendations, the adoption of ONVU Learning’s 360-degree video lesson capture technology in schools represents a pioneering approach to personalised CPD. This technology is already enabling educators to gain an unparalleled insight of their teaching practices and how they impact every student, promoting authentic self-assessment and targeted improvement strategies. Teachers can review, refine and realise improvements from one week to the next.
Placing teachers in control of their own video footage for self-evaluation and lesson observation purposes, is not only empowering them but also addressing common fears associated with traditional lesson observations. This technological solution aligns perfectly with the IPPR's vision for a more empowered, evidence-based, and personalised CPD landscape, ultimately aiming to enhance student outcomes and elevate educational standards across the board.
The "Improvement Through Empowerment" report underscores a pivotal moment in education: the move towards a system where every teacher's development journey is respected, supported, and tailored to meet the evolving needs of teachers and students alike. By advocating for policies that recognise the diverse needs of educators and students, ONVU Learning can ensure that our teachers are not just competent but truly empowered to lead our schools toward excellence.
Did you miss our opening Insights on the IPPR Report? Discover: Transforming Lesson Observations
You can download the full Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR),"Improvement through Empowerment" report at: https://www.ippr.org/files/2023-11/improvement-through-empowerment-nov23.pdf
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.