Session 27: Promoting collaborative in-school CPD

In the current climate should schools be seeking to promote collaborative in-school CPD instead of external courses?
The discussion was supported by some pre-reading available here

Session Summary

The discussion was fast and furious and so there were inevitably several threads running at once throughout the session. It also worth noting that there were 1,001 tweets in the hour of discussion. There was a sense that the question was creating a false dichotomy between the two forms of CPD and that it was important to consider the best form of CPD for the specific positions in which schools find themselves.

It was recognised that we were a slightly unrealistic group of professionals as we were undertaking CPD in our own time online. The hour started with a discussion of the quality of CPD and the value placed on external CPD by many teachers.  Tweeps commented on the poor use of PowerPoint leading to a lecture style of delivery and too many teachers leaving training early. There were few stories of external CPD leading to internal dissemination or strategically plans for sustainability.

What became clear from the discussion was that all felt that CPD was an important part of a teacher’s work and that the economic climate meant that it was important that decisions over how the CPD could impact on practice and on more than one teacher.  The theme which struck me the most was the one about teachers identifying their own CPD needs and taking some responsibility for it. There were some excellent examples given of how schools had done this both with high quality external CPD and internally including a whole staff which had undertaken independent research that was fed back to all colleagues.

My interpretation of much of what was discussed is that we are moving, in England, from a period of centralised training and plentiful budgets to a time of austerity when schools will need to drive their own vision. (The latter half of the sentence is true for all areas of the UK at the moment.) Therefore schools and teachers are going to have to undergo a change in mindset in the way in which they regard CPD and how they share practice across the school. The use of collaborative approaches such as mentoring, coaching and lesson study (where affordable) were discussed as methods of in-house CPD as well as colleagues sharing quick win tips at the beginning of staff meetings and the need to be more imaginative about the use of whole school INSET days.

The archive will show just how hectic the hour was and why so many of those taking part admitted that their heads were spinning by the end.

Eye Catching Tweets from the Session:

@Janshs  some ppl have told me they only want CPD if they are being ‘trained’ ie not interactive, colab, reflective #ukedchat

@CreativeEdu: I think CPD can be too focused on the day itself. We should look to measure impact & revisit focus areas.

@Arakwai: #ukedchat Teachers also need support/time to implement/follow up ideas from internal or external CPD…. reflection time!

@tonycassidy Most interesting cpd experience- turned up at a hotel, it was in a bedroom, with the deliverer and another attendee- shock!

@tonycassidy I knew a colleague who’s head made them all arrange visits to different schools on one of their inset days a year #ukedchat

@CreativeEdu Why do we put up with CPD that is of a far worse standard than a lesson we would teach our pupils?

@Smichael920  1 of best CPD was when all staff undertook relevant small piece of research & presented it 2 rest of staff over series of meetings #ukedchat

@islayian #ukedchat cpd has many layers Subject knowledge, Teaching, pedagogy, inter and intra personal, skills – It’s not a single thing

@Carolann #ukedchat You can take a teacher to a course or a course to teachers but you can’t make them get anything out of it. Even a good course.

@AntHeald There is a secret to my best teaching. And I want to know what it is! Back to reflection as CPD #ukedchat

Tweet of the Week

@janwebb21 I like the pay-it-forward principle – if we learn something from someone else, we have responsibility to share it #ukedchat

Useful Links shared during the Session

@SMichael920 By staff for staff – a simple, effective model of CPD:


About your Host:

Bill Lord
Literacy Adviser with a strong interest in pupil voice, engagement and children’s literature
Grantham, Lincolnshire

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