Essential Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

by | Nov 16, 2021 | Leadership, Curriculum

Essential Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

Research tells us that high quality teaching has a significant impact on ensuring all pupils have the same opportunities whatever their background and starting point. Promoting effective professional development for all staff in schools and colleges plays a vital role in improving education quality. The Learning Cultures research and curriculum teams weave the findings of research across all of the CPD we offer to schools and colleges

There has never been a more critical time to ensure that there are planned opportunities for senior leaders, subject and middle leaders, teachers and Teaching Assistants to know that they are valued and invested in.  There is an imperative to provide positive learning experiences that will help all staff to make the right decisions and develop effective strategies to build strong futures for their learners and their organisation. We are a coaching organisation, our coaching CPD has a course for all those involved in the delivery of quality education outcomes for all. Have a look at our coaching CPD offer.

Here at Learning Cultures we have the expertise, the experience and the reputation to build the CPD solutions that will make a difference to the success of your organisation, your leaders, your teachers and all those who have a support role to know the part they play in achieving the best possible outcomes for learning.

CPD solutions for high quality education systems

Creating the right CPD solutions and answering deeply challenging questions?

The Education Endowment Foundation has just published a review of professional development in education which is a follow up to a guidance report published in 2019.  Guidance Report: Effective Professional Development (2019).  This echoes what I have said above and highlights the real need to find strategies for ensuring professional development is an essential part of planning the school vision and ambition for high quality curriculum impact and positive approaches to managing the professional development needs of staff.

Senior leaders in education need to approach the planning of CPD in the same way as they plan for high-quality education outcomes linked to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Continuing learning for adults is defined by similar principles to those we expect to see in the design and implementation of a well-structured curriculum. The strategy has to ensure that what is planned in terms of the curriculum will be delivered with great skill, outstanding professionalism and deep subject expertise.  Constructing systems that ensure that the curriculum builds on prior learning, allows for the sequencing of knowledge and is planned towards clearly defined outcomes will not happen unless there is careful consideration given to the skills and expertise of those who will shape the detail.

Designing a balanced CPD Programme

Where CPD is an integral part of the school or college development plan positive change takes place. Taking time to consider the training needs of all those who will be responsible for translating the curriculum intent into curriculum implementation has a powerful impact on what ultimately defines success for the school, the senior and middle leaders, their teams and teachers and their support staff.

Creating a balance that leads to sequential learning for all.

There needs to be a balance that requires a systematic review of the processes that will deliver sustained excellence and create the evidence that outcomes are of a high-quality and are clearly defined in terms of the impact the curriculum has had on all those it touches including pupils, teachers and those who lead.

For those with a strategic leadership role this should include:-

  • Having the generic knowledge to build strong teams of subject expertise
  • Building the right strategies for change, challenge and curriculum innovation
  • Creating the tools and techniques that will deliver high quality outcomes
  • Embedding a culture that celebrates ongoing professional learning
  • Defining the vision for continuing professional learning for all staff

Without the above, defining the curriculum intent or the wider school or college vision is unlikely to deliver what it set out to achieve. It is the expertise of staff, the motivation of learners both adults and pupils, the identification of gaps in skills, knowledge and understanding and opportunities to build on prior learning, develop new techniques, reflect on positive change and continue to practice and grow as professionals that are the absolute keys to success.

How do you create a learning culture?

Below are some of the guiding principles that underpin the philosophy that defines the Learning Cultures approach to training for all those in education.  They should also be in the forefront of the minds of those who lead when planning for change, defining their vision or creating a strategy for implementation.

  • CPD is not an add on, it should be an integral part of the process of planning
  • Leaders must have the generic expertise to guide all those who deliver subject specific or skills focused learning
  • Planned CPD should align with clearly identified needs linked to positive appraisal and the identification of expertise across the curriculum
  • Participants must be able to set their own learning goals and have the time to reflect on how their learning improves their role and that of members of their sphere of influence
  • Existing mechanisms such as meetings, INSET, networks and lesson observation all provide profound opportunities for informal or formal CPD
  • Use the expertise within the school or college setting to create opportunities for learning within cross-curricular and inter-departmental sessions.

Powerful coaching questions create the challenge that leads to profound learning.

At the heart of all of the above is the principle of coaching. Creating opportunities for individuals to learn from each other, engage in professional learning conversations and build confidence in their own ability to experiment, take risks and find their own solutions provides the evidence that there is a symbiosis that will deliver the highest quality outcomes for all who educate.

Visit Learning Cultures’ website and and start your journey towards a CPD strategy that will improve performance, motivate staff and that will create a culture of professional learning and the sharing and good and outstanding practice. Call us on 01746 765076 or Glynis’s mobile 07974 754241. Email us at

New Books


The book ‘Primary Curriculum Design and Delivery by Glynis Frater‘ has now been published.

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