Best Practice

CPD: Creating the right conditions for professional learning

Is your school leadership creating the right conditions for professional learning? Maria Cunningham looks at the links between your staff’s working conditions and their development, expertise and efficacy


The education sector has undergone so many changes in recent years and that is without even considering the pandemic-induced upheaval of the past 12 months. We have seen new frameworks released by the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted, a sway towards knowledge-based curricula, changes to assessment requirements, and greater awareness of evidence-based pedagogy.


People-powered improvement

As a leader, you will recognise that there is one thing that underpins all this and which makes or breaks whether such changes embed successfully in our schools – the expertise and efficacy of staff.

It is through the development of the people in our schools that we unlock improvement and, as is highlighted in the Standards for Teachers’ Professional Development (DfE, 2016), for CPD to be effective it must be prioritised by leadership. So why are we not more ambitious in our expectations about school improvement being about creating the conditions for teachers to thrive?

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