Research reveals CPD's impact on student outcomes

The impact that quality CPD can have on improving pupil outcomes is an under-researched field, but emerging evidence shows that the two are closely linked. Chris Parr reports

High-quality CPD has a greater effect on pupil attainment than interventions such as performance-related teacher pay or introducing longer school days.

A study published by the Education Policy Institute last month (Fletcher-Wood & Zuccollo, 2020) concludes that the impact of high-quality CPD on pupil outcomes is comparable to the impact of having a teacher with 10 years’ experience in front of a class instead of a graduate teacher.

The research – a meta-analysis of 53 controlled trials of professional development interventions – was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust and also finds that “CPD has similar attainment effects to those generated by large, structural reforms to the school system”.

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