Best Practice

Beating the teaching plateau: Professional Inquiry Programme

New teachers often make rapid improvements in their practice before hitting a ‘performance plateau’. Alex Beauchamp explains how a professional inquiry programme has helped overcome this challenge


Drawing on lessons and research taken from Kolb (see Kolb & Fry, 1975), instructional coaching, disciplined inquiry, and Lesson Study, Hunter’s Bar Junior School in Sheffield has been trying out a powerful CPD model to strengthen teacher development, improve staff culture, and help everyone focus more deeply on impact for pupils.

Research confirms what many teachers know – that after rapid improvements in the first few years, it gets increasingly difficult to keep getting better.

Hobbiss et al (2020) support this notion by stating that teachers, on average, “become rapidly more effective during the early years of their career but tend to improve increasingly slowly thereafter”.

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