4 Ways To Be More Control Of Your Own CPD

Belonging, Change & Reinvention, Human First Leadership

What’s your 5, 10 and 15 year plan for your own professional development?

a) I’m all on it like a car bonnet.

b) Courses of course. I love a good lunch me.

c) What’s CPD?

I’ve spoken before about how many of the teachers I coach see CPD as something that is done to them – a bit like being unconscious and having your appendix out!

Some staff dread Inset, either finding the content irrelevant, or full of ideas but with no strategic plan to embed them. One teacher told me about her ‘Folder of Shame’ where she keeps the notes from courses that she has not yet had time to do anything with.

CPD is more effective when teachers take a leading role, deciding what’s wanted and needed, sharing good practice and learning from our own, and each others mistakes.

Education is on a par with professions like medicine and law – after all, we’re actually changing the world here people – but it’s not viewed that way. One way to enrol folks outside (and inside) education is to get our game faces on when it comes to our own professional growth.

The DFE recently released a White Paper setting out their vision for the next five years, or ‘four years and we’ll see how the election goes’. One thing I’ve noticed is that hard working teachers barely have time plan, mark, assess, go to meetings and actually have a life, let alone read a 130 page document.

Also, it’s not on FaceBook.

I’ve read the whole thing and pulled out the bits that are really useful for classroom teachers to know. This is 1 of a series of 11 and you can get the remainding 10 straight to your inbox by joining my VIP List.


The government wants teachers to be more autonomous so they plan to:

1) Support the development of an independent College of Teaching – a professional body run by Teachers for Teachers promoting evidence based research.

2) Introduce a new Teaching Standard for professional development to help school improve the quality and availability of CPD.


1) Get yourself down to a TeachMeet. It’s like speed dating for teachers, only with less snogging! They are free informal meetings, organised by teachers for teachers. Teachers share 2, 5 or 7 min presentations on something that has worked really well in their classroom so you connect with colleagues and leave totally inspired. Good Times!

2) Set your own TeachMeet! Ross McGill has set out the ultimate 5 minute plan to running a TeachMeet in your school.

3) Join Twitter. I’ve learned so much (and saved a shed load of time) thanks to generous sharing from top educators and teachers. Here’s a list of who to follow.

4) Check out the Education Endowment Foundation’s excellent Teaching and Learning Toolkit which puts research on what works tight onto the hands of classroom teachers.

Please share this with any teachers who want to be take control of their own destiny!


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