Cramlington Learning Village is a successful Comprehensive School in the North East of England that has been graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in the last four inspections. Ken Brechin, Deputy Head of Cramlington Learning Village explains the CPD that is carried out in this outstanding school.
“For many years we have been proud of our CPD programme and believed it has been key in helping us achieve outstanding at Ofsted 4 times in a row. Since we restructured our school day in 2001 we have had access to 2 hours of CPD time per week which we use dynamically- experiential inset using Advanced Skills Teachers’ (AST), time in departments for collaborative planning …[and] Professional Enquiry Groups, which meet every half term… In recent years, in order to move our CPD programme forward to better meet those needs we have moved towards setting up a ‘training school’ within Cramlington Learning Village”
He describes how Cramlington is constantly looking to external sources to find the best possible Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
“As a school we seek to provide staff at Cramlington Learning Village with access to the best CPD possible, with the aim being that best practice is commonplace within the school. Each year we scan the horizon for best educational practice in terms of CPD and also listen to feedback from staff about our CPD programme and to the various CPD needs of staff. We then annually shape our CPD programme and offer a programme to meet the needs of staff at different stages of their development.”
Following a meeting with David Weston, Chief Executive of Teacher Development Trust, Ken’s thinking was challenged.
“However, there is a difference in believing you have a good CPD programme, and actually knowing that you do and knowing the impact that this has on learners in the classroom – this is where our relationship with organisations like the National Teacher Enquiry Network (NTEN), run by the Teacher Development Trust, and Sheffield Hallam University has really challenged us and helped us move forward.”
As part of the National Teacher Enquiry Network, schools are peer audited against a CPD Quality Framework. It supports schools to implement evidence based, effective professional development and is used to inform and help schools reflect on their current CPD processes.
“within minutes we were really challenged on how we reflect on the impact of our CPD programme on student outcomes and really excited about engaging with the NTEN…Within a few hours [of meeting David Weston] we felt the bar at Cramlington had been raised in terms of CPD making an impact on pupil outcomes. We have signed up for the full professional CPD audit with the NTEN in September and expect this to challenge us and help us reflect forensically on all aspects of CPD and how this will impact on the classroom.
We look forward to on-going engagement with NTEN, to being challenged in improving our CPD even further both within the school and now across the Teaching School Alliance. This will have a positive impact on many students across the North East.”
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