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Excellence in CPD 'should be promoted for all teachers'

12/07/2017 Joanna

Continued professional development (CPD) is essential to ensuring primary school and secondary teachers across the country are able to deliver the best levels of education to their pupils.

This is the conclusion of Kulvarn Atwal, headteacher of Highlands Primary School in London, who argued that in the modern school environment there must be a focus on formal and informal learning for all professionals.

Fostering an environment where teachers are encouraged to think creatively about how best to engage with pupils on different subject areas in order to achieve the best results is essential to success. As a result, there are a range of activities that schools should now be implementing to enhance CPD for staff.

Mr Atwal offered a range of best-practice tips on how to achieve this, including:

  • Ensuring all staff engage in research-based learning to provide evidence of successful changes in practice
  • Allowing teachers to choose their own primary focus for CPD, ensuring their ongoing training rests in areas where they have a strong interest
  • Mixing individual and team-based CPD sessions that can ensure collaborative professional dialogue surrounding skills development
  • Ensuring all CPD activities are intellectually challenging
  • Making time available to staff to engage in formal professional learning activities
  • Tailoring all activities to reflect real-life learning experiences for pupils and teachers' day-to-day practices
  • Involving teachers in non-judgmental lesson observations focused on collaborative support and feedback

Schools must ensure they are properly supporting teachers to enhance the learning experience for pupils whenever possible; through CPD, teachers are able to develop new skills and insights into their own behaviour and ability to teach.

Mr Atwal concluded that by implementing a best practice-approach to CPD in schools up and down the country, the ongoing support that these measures provide can help in ensuring teachers continue to feel valued within the profession, as well as opening an ongoing professional dialogue focused on supporting children's learning.

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