Giving teachers access to career-long learning is essential as far as education reform is concerned. Investing in a formal system of professional development for classroom teachers, and asking them to take responsibility for running it, would be effective and a non-confrontational way to improve school standard.
The support that can enable qualified teachers to enhance their pedagogical skills, their understanding of learning and child development and their subject knowledge in a culture of continuous improvement, will increase the quality of teaching and create beneficial outcomes for pupils. This is common and a great education system of the world.
However, in England the picture is very different. In contrast to other professions, like law, accountancy and medicine, there is currently no expectation that teachers should undertake a structured programme of certified and accredited career-long continuous professional development or CPD. The most ubiquitous CPD activity across English schools continues to be the five contractual Inset (in-service training) whole-school training days.
Research shows however that when teachers return to their classrooms after an Inset day only 7% of schools check to see if there is any effect on student attainment. As a result of this 1% of training has been found to be transforming classroom practice. The government’s approach presents a tremendous opportunity for the teaching profession to take this challenge on and for individual teachers to take more personal responsibility as professionals, for undertaking the professional development they require.