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What do I hope CPD will be?


The start of this school year sees a new challenge.  While I continue to lead Priory Geography, I have also taken up the role of Professional Tutor.  Basically this involves looking after the learning needs of adults, NQTs and PGCE students.  It’s very much a ‘put you money where you mouth is’ moment as I’ve often been quite vocal and critical of school based CPD in the past.

The photograph at the top of this post was taken in Gibraltar during an Air Cadet summer camp.  I’ve used this here as, when a 15 year old Cadet Sergeant, I was often involved in delivering training.  The new role though will require a step back – to allow others to do the training.

The presentation below was shared with staff and tries to encapsulate what we are aiming CPD to become.

  • We are a mixed ability group of learners

CPD should be contextualised and personalised for individual teachers.  CPD should be delivered in a style that models the teaching and learning that we are aiming for.  Teachers should take the responsibility to manage their own CPD and identify their needs, communicating this.  So far this has meant creating a range of workshops that teachers choose from.  In addition, I’ve tried to improve the induction process for new staff and NQTs.

  • Use what we have but better

Quite often it can seem that CPD involves new initiatives.  Learning should use what school’s have but better.  This may be software, existing structures and most of all the existing school development plan.  We have an excellent plan at my school, and it’s important that what we do is linked to it.

  • If we don’t use it, it’s not CPD

This is vital.  If what we do doesn’t impact upon our dealings with young people, what’s the point?

  • If you’re not creating trouble, you’re not creating much

This relates to challenging the status quo as much as it does to using guerrilla tactics.

  • Staff and teachers as agents of change

This is something that I came across on Simon Renshaw’s blog.  It relates to the fact the real work of school improvement is completed by teachers and young people in partnership with support staff.  For me, this means that any member of staff or young person should be able to develop and deliver training.  During the first couple of inset days I was really pleased that we had some Year 9 students running a workshop as well as a range of teaching and support staff.


Anyway, it’s a start.


  1. Interesting to read this. I too am Head of Geography and Senior Leader responsible for Satff Development, so I already feel a resonance with you. But more than that, I like the value statements you have included here and I wish you well in your new role. I have also just started following you on twitter and look forward to hearing how things go and indeed perhaps getting the chance to interact a little!

  2. Very interested in your comments - especially about using the same learning and teaching methods for CPD as trying to aim for - I am at the receiving end paying for a part-time PGDE course as a mature student. Good luck! I hope you share more insightful comments as the year progresses, good to hear potential employers expectations


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