Best Practice

Getting subject-specific CPD right

The role of subject-specific CPD and curriculum development in effective teaching is vital. Maria Cunningham looks at the research and some best practice approaches

In 2015, the Developing Great Teaching report, commissioned by the Teacher Development Trust (TDT), found that in terms of impact on pupil outcomes, sustained subject-specific CPD is more effective than the one-off generic pedagogic activities that UK schools have traditionally favoured.

Indeed, our visits to schools around the country and activity in our hubs confirms that there has been a growing recognition of the importance of teachers’ subject knowledge, as well as their understanding of how generic CPD can be contextualised to respond to specific learning issues in the subjects they teach.

In the past, the issue was often that it tended to be classroom teachers who were more interested in subject-specific development than senior leaders. Particularly in schools struggling for budget or resource, these colleagues tended to have much less influence over the design and content of professional development across the organisation.

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