Upskill yourself and develop teachers in your school

Upskill yourself and develop teachers in your school

The professional development of their teams has long been a priority for headteachers, writes Yvonne Gandy.

The national standards for headteachers emphasise this important responsibility, requiring heads to “ensure staff have access to high-quality, sustained professional development opportunities, aligned to balance the priorities of whole-school improvement, team and individual needs”.

 Heads are also asked to ensure that professional development opportunities “draw on expert provision from beyond the school, as well as within it”, including nationally recognised career and professional frameworks and programmes to build capacity and support succession planning.

That standard is echoed in the national standards for teacher CPD, which say that for CPD to have long-term, positive impacts on students’ learning - school leaders, teachers and external providers or experts need to work together.

 The new NPQ for the leadership of teacher development (NPQLTD) will make it easier for schools to meet those expectations.

Our NPQLTD programme is a fully-funded for all schools in England. It is a specialist programme for teachers who have, or aspire to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school. These responsibilities might include the development of all teachers across a school, or specific groups, such as trainees or teachers in the early stages of their career.

 This new and accredited programme will give participants the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful leadership of teacher development in four key areas:

  1. teaching
  2. designing effective professional development
  3. delivering effective professional development
  4. implementation.

Participants will learn, for example, that teaching quality is a crucial factor in raising pupil attainment and that helping teachers improve through evidence-based CPD, explicitly focused on classroom teaching, can be a cost-effective way to improve the academic outcomes of pupils and narrow the disadvantage attainment gap.

Additionally, they will learn a range of core skills in the leadership of teacher development. These include how to select evidence-based approaches and design effective professional development that avoids unnecessary workload and common teacher assessment pitfalls, as well as delivering effective professional development to create change – and sustain that change in the long term.

Many colleagues taking this qualification may already indirectly manage a team of mentors or coaches and are focused on supporting initial teacher training, early career teachers as well as the wider development of all colleagues across the school. Many will be senior leaders or members of the middle leadership team.

Professional development will strengthen their skills and knowledge and help them to be even more effective in their roles. As the DfE states, those in the teacher development role should have a deep understanding of their context, community and the pupils and adults they work with. They also need to have expertise across a number of specialist areas related to their role, for example designing and implementing professional development and understanding how to contribute to a culture in which staff and pupils are able to thrive while at the same time maintaining the highest professional conduct as set out in the teacher standards.

Our programme takes a fully blended learning approach, combined with coaching and enrichment activities, and is aligned to Master’s credits that can be a springboard onto Liverpool Hope University’s MA in Leading in Education or the MBA in Educational Leadership.

 For me, the programme is fundamentally about giving teachers the means to do their very best for the children and young people in their schools.

 One of the contributors to our NPQLTD programme, a primary middle leader with responsibility for teacher development, summed it up for me recently when he told us:

“For me leading the professional development of teachers is helping them to reconnect to this larger sense of what we as educators are here to do. Ensuring that our children have passionate, amazing teachers in front of them who will do anything to ensure that they get the best start in life is what really drives me.”



It’s a sentiment that I’m sure also drives those colleagues who will be joining us on this exciting new programme.