As we enter into the last half term of this year, we inevitably reflect on what has happened in this school year, whilst stepping up our thinking and planning for 21/22.
We all hope that we (in the UK at least) are moving out of the pandemic, and I am sure that like me you have a sense of excitement (and trepidation) about what comes next.
Now during the first lockdown we saw an explosion in CPD opportunities – some excellent, giving us access to brilliant thinkers and experts, and some not quite so useful…
It’s safe to say that the last year or so has changed the face of CPD forever, and after the year we’ve had, it will become more important than ever.
Training shouldn’t just be about meeting requirements or ticking a box for Ofsted. Training can completely change your school for the better.
Here are four key reasons to focus on training and CPD for your teachers this year.
1. A lot has changed or is changing.
We’re not just talking Covid here!
With the new academic year, you will see the following changes coming into place.
- The Early Career Framework Reforms. Find out more here.
- The Early Years Foundation Stage Reforms 2021. Find out more here.
- The statutory RSHE requirements. These got knocked off course by Covid, but will need to be in place during the new academic year. Find out more here.
Rather than muddling through the raft of changes that the government have decided to push through next year, it’s a good idea to find yourself a trusted training provider to support you with these areas.
2. Creating a good, learning culture at your school.
A good learning culture at a school should be mirrored across the staff team.
Training and CPD bring a fresh perspective, encouraging positive change, trialling new ideas and an enthusiasm and passion amongst teachers which will be passed on to pupils.
Encouraging staff to keep up to date with the latest practices, theories and standards really is the best way to keep an invigorating, progressive culture at your school.
Stagnating is not an option!
3. Staff retention.
As a school, you want your best teachers to stick around! And many of your best teachers will be the enthusiastic ones who are excited to learn, adapt and try new things (as mentioned in point 2).
If there is one thing a teacher needs, it’s the ability to adapt, especially when classes can be so different across year groups and with the broad spectrum of pupils you might end up teaching.
Those eager-to-learn staff members who will go above and beyond for their role simply won’t stick around if there are no opportunities for them to progress and improve their practice. They will look elsewhere.
4. Networking and community.
You don’t just learn from your course leader at training events.
A well-run course will provide an invaluable opportunity to learn from your peers and to build relationships that can grow after the course has taken place.
Hearing ideas and insights from other schools really can be priceless, and building a network where you can share experiences (good and bad) would undoubtedly boost education across a region, not just in your school.
At Services For Education we are looking at how we construct communities of practice and teacher networks to share, reflect and peer learn, both in the real and online worlds, and developing more courses that are structured over time to contain action research, and gap tasks.
But at what cost?
Don’t get me wrong, training is an investment.
But the return on that investment is absolutely worth it.
The better trained your staff are, the more positive a culture they will build and the better your school will perform; the less emergency training and school improvement you will need to buy into and the less staff you will lose.
It’s about being proactive rather than reactive.
The world has changed massively since February 2020.
Online training is now so widely adopted and provides a flexibility for teachers and school staff that might not have existed pre-Covid.
At Services For Education, our overnight transition to remote delivery was a steep learning curve, but we have received much positive feedback about our live online training events, and next year we will continue to deliver a significant proportion of the training online.
People like the flexibility – and not having to worry about rush hour, parking and not getting home from work until late. And let’s be honest, these days, teachers rarely find themselves with time to miss a day of work for training.
So the world of CPD has changed enormously and hopefully for you in schools, now provides a more accessible and flexible means of developing professionally.
At Services For Education, we strive to ensure that our CPD is of consistently high quality, is relevant, evidence based, and enables current thinking to be translated into better classroom experiences and improving schools.
Our team of advisers are here to work with you through these changes, guide you to ensure not only that you meet statutory requirements, but also provide the best and most effective possible learning experience for pupils.
If you need any help with the following, please do get in touch:
We can also support you with other training needs.
About the Author
Andrew Cooper – Head of School Support, Services For Education
Andrew is the Head of the School Support Service. He has extensive experience in PSHE from his early career as a secondary school teacher, through working as Health Promotion Specialist in HIV and Substance Use, to his role as a local authority Health Education Service adviser, where he led on a number of areas including Relationships and Sex Education, and Safeguarding. He was the Healthy School Co-ordinator for Birmingham for 10 years, and also Regional PSHE Adviser for the West Midlands.
In a step outside of the world of children and young peoples’ physical and emotional health, he spent four years managing an initial teacher training provision. He became Head of the School Support Service for SFE in 2014 and now leads a team of advisers delivering support, consultancy and training to schools across the UK. During this time he has led on the development of the SFE digital offer, provision of pupil and family services, and the growth of the face to face training offer. He is currently a Trustee for the PSHE Association.