Designing and Delivering Effective Professional Development

Designing and Delivering Effective Professional Development

Designing and Delivering Effective Professional Development in our CPD programmes

As we move forward in the development of our school leader and school expert led resources for the new suite of NPQs, I have had the great pleasure recently of ‘interviewing’ and listening to many colleagues from all parts of the country, talk about their experiences and accounts of good practice, that will support the next generations of NPQ participants learning in partnership with OLP/BPN. The wide range of recordings and written accounts that we are putting together will drive the contextualisation of our programmes for participants and enhance our collaborative approach with delivery partners 

As Director of CPD and Accreditation at Best Practice Network, one particular programme stands out for me, and that is the new NPQ for Leading Teacher Development. The programme is based on strong, evidence-based principles of professional development, for example: 

  • Effective professional development is likely to involve a lasting change in teachers' capabilities or understanding so that their teaching changes. 
  • Whilst professional development may need to be sustained over time, what the time is used for, is more important than the amount. 
  • More effective professional development is likely to be designed to build on the existing knowledge, skills and understanding of participants. 
  • Professional development is likely to be more effective when design and delivery involves specialist expertise from a range of sources. This may include internal or external expertise. 
  • Teachers are more likely to improve if they feel that they working within a supportive professional environment, where both trust and high professional standards are maintained. 
  • Teacher developers should choose activities that suit the aims and context of their professional development programme. 

At BPN, the home of OLP, these are principles that we aim to embed in all of our CPD programmes, for all school staff and not just teachers.  

Our Diploma for School Business Leaders programme for school business professionals, our Higher Level Teaching Assistant programme for TAs and indeed our National Award for SEN Co-ordination programme for SENCos and aspiring SENCos are all designed and delivered with our vision that effective professional development changes individuals in a positive way and these changes impact positively on pupil outcomes, whatever the role of the participant within a school. We believe it is this focus that has helped to ensure that this academic year, despite the obvious challenges, we have maintained typical evaluative feedback of 98% - 100% of participants agreeing that they would recommend our programme. Maintaining high-quality when expanding is always a challenge; the ‘fragility of excellence’ is always on our mind and we send our thanks to all our team and partners for their involvement in growing participant numbers and maintaining quality across all three programmes this year. 

HLTA is particularly pleasing. Having been a proud forming partner of the HLTA National Assessment Partnership in 2012, delivering across three government office regions, we left our friends at HNAP in May 2019 to enable us to work on a national basis with our growing number of national school partners. Our experience and expertise in HLTA, and our processes of moderation and standardisation on a national scale provide the independence, rigour and credibility of the award of the status, that schools look for in an HLTA provider. Opportunities exist to join our growing network of HLTA partners so please do get in touch if you are a school network and would like to know more. 

In June we were also delighted to support the SBS School Business Leaders Day, a day designed to ‘champion the vital role SBLs play in their schools.’ Our DSBM programme manager, Val Andrew and School Business Professional Lead Assessor, Nickii Messer, contributed a podcast to discuss the changing role of the school business leader. To listen please click here. 

I would end by highlighting something that we see so often in our provider role, which isn’t always acknowledged perhaps. This is the sense of achievement and pride and rise in confidence and self-esteem that so many of our participants enjoy and celebrate with their colleagues, friends and families. Adults as successful lifelong learners have a great role to play in supporting, teaching and modelling to children and young people!