Stark differences in per-teacher CPD spending

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

At least 17,000 teachers and teaching assistants are working in schools where there is hardly any budget for CPD, a new analysis has revealed.

Furthermore, the figures show stark geographic differences in the amount of CPD investment teachers receive each year.

Analysis by the Teacher Development Trust (TDT) – a national CPD charity – has raised concern about the 748 state primary and secondary schools in England that spend less than £500 on staff CPD. These schools teach more than 300,000 pupils

The research reveals that the average amount spent by state schools in 2016 was £752 – an increase from £719 in 2015.

However, this ranges from as little as £384 per full-time teacher being spent in Solihull compared to £1,207 in Newham, London.

The five areas spending the least were Solihull (£384), Bury (£396), Stockport (£432), Derbyshire (£453) and Redcar & Cleveland (£453).

The five areas spending the most were: Newham (£1,207), Hampshire (£1,115), Durham (£1,085), Haringey (£1,077) and Bromley (£1,050)

The analysis warns that schools rated by Ofsted as inadequate “consistently” spend less on staff training. Furthermore, secondary school staff seem to be missing out the most, with an average of £456 being spent on CPD in comparison to £802 in primary schools.

David Weston, CEO of the TDT said: “This is a really worrying variation in spending. Effective teacher development is like cooking – you’ve got to invest in good ingredients if you want to create quality. Even a great in-house process won’t have impact if schools don’t have the money to find quality experts, courses and training tools. It will be pupils that ultimately lose out.

“Yes budgets are tight, but there’s no correlation here between background funding levels and CPD levels. Cambridgeshire is one of the lowest funded authorities but their schools are in the top third for investing in CPD, while generously funded Westminster schools are in the bottom 10 per cent of areas. If we want the best for our teachers, we simply have to prioritise money and time for development.”

The research has been published alongside the launch of a new TDT project to establish five CPD Excellence Hubs. The programme will provide expert advisors to “intensively support” schools in Blackpool, Northumberland, Sheffield and Doncaster, Stoke-on-Trent and South Central.

Elsewhere, the TDT is also promoting its free, online tool – the CPD Spending Benchmarking Tool – which aims to help schools improve the impact of their CPD spending.

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