Created in collaboration with our Ofsted expert
Within the present educational climate, and particularly with a lot of schools facing crucial spending cuts, many schools have looked at their budgets and areas where they can save. Schools have looked at what they have been spending on staff training and CPD and how they can get better value for money. The traditional concept of teachers going on courses for the day and being replaced by a temporary cover teacher is becoming a thing of the past – this method is becoming very expensive and ineffective in terms of whole-school impact.
Ofsted has no particular preferred method or approach towards training and CPD; however, inspectors will want to see summative evidence of training and CPD to support any judgements on teaching and learning, leadership and management, and overall effectiveness.
Safeguarding is, perhaps, the only area of inspection in which inspectors will want to see meticulous staff training records – these records should include training on the following:
- The Prevent duty
- Female genital mutilation (FGM)
- Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
- Level 1 general safeguarding
- Acceptable use of ICT
- General awareness of Keeping children safe in education
Schools that do not have thorough training records for safeguarding are not performing their statutory duties, and ultimately a school’s judgement for leadership and management and overall effectiveness may well be ‘inadequate’ as a result.
NQTs and recently qualified teachers (RQTs)
It is important that school leaders keep detailed records of training and CPD undertaken by NQTs and RQTs, so they can show how the school is supporting the most inexperienced staff.
In line with statutory requirements, NQTs and RQTs must receive safeguarding training; however, sometimes they receive little additional training. Good schools can evidence a strategic approach to supporting NQTs and RQTs by having a clear induction policy in which CPD is a central part of the programme to ensure these staff members become effective teachers. CPD for NQTs and RQTs is often bespoke, but keys areas include behaviour management, assessment, SEND provision, teacher questioning and the use of a TA.
Ensuring the most inexperienced staff are supported by a broad package of training and CPD provides detailed information to inspectors that school leaders are investing time in these staff and ensuring that teaching and learning will significantly improve.
Subject leaders and middle leaders
Whilst inspectors’ focus may not be on schools providing meticulous records to highlight training and CPD for middle leaders, inspectors will look at the impact of training on improving effectiveness.
Middle leaders, particularly in larger schools, have crucial significance in improving a school’s effectiveness and outcomes for pupils. Throughout inspections, school leaders will be questioned in great detail about how they have supported middle leaders to become effective.
Middle leaders will be asked by inspectors about the impact their training has had and how it has improved outcomes for pupils.
Good schools will heavily invest in CPD for all staff including TAs – TAs must be supported with a raft of training to become effective in their role. Many schools ensure that TAs receive high-quality CPD in phonics, maths, effective questioning, assessment for learning, SEND support, behaviour management and restraint.
Strong senior leaders will provide evidence during inspections of the impact of such training on outcomes for all pupils.
To be effective in their role and to hold school leaders to account, governors need to have their training records catered for – effective governing boards have a strategic approach to developing CPD and the needs of governors. This highlights to inspectors that the governing board has taken a strategic approach to their effectiveness and know that governors need support to hold leaders to account.
In underperforming schools, training and CPD for governors is often highlighted as a weak area.
The role of CPD and training within the school development plan (SDP)
Lead inspectors must judge the quality of the SDP (also known as the school improvement plan (SIP)), and judge whether it is effectively meeting the needs of the school to further improve. Often, training and CPD is not given high priority within the SDP and its significant impact on raising outcomes is sometimes not appreciated.
Schools, particularly those undertaking new initiatives, must clearly highlight the impact of training and CPD on staff and directly link this to outcomes. The following is an example of what could be included in the SDP with regards to training and CPD:
Area for development – Problem solving in maths across the whole school.
How – Training of the maths subject leader focussing on developing problem solving across the school. The subject leader will lead staff training to all teachers to model good practice.
Impact – As a result of training, teachers will use problem solving in maths to accelerate the progress of all pupils in each year group.
Our Training and CPD Policy addresses the identification of training needs, the provision of training, costs and repayment, and measures to effectively evaluate CPD.
You can use our Staff Training Tracker to keep up-to-date records of the training staff have undertaken – the tool also provides a breakdown of the money spent on training.
Related terms: continuing professional development, staff development, statutory training, newly qualified teachers