“Building a culture where professional learning is at the heart is shown to be highly effective. Colleagues within schools or groups of schools where professional learning is embedded and is responsive are likely to flourish, thereby enabling their students to thrive”Alison Peacock, 2018
The standard for teachers’ professional development (2016) is clear that as educators, we have a collective responsibility to continually improve our practice.
The Alliance for Learning believes that continuing professional development is a fundamental part of improving teachers practice and therefore, it should be prioritised by school leaders as part of a school improvement journey.
Professional development should support teachers in developing their knowledge and expertise around evidence-informed practice so that they can confidently utilise educational research and evidence in order to become experts in their classroom, supporting sustainable improvements in student outcomes. Investing time in developing knowledge and skills helps teachers to grow professionally, remain competent, effective and innovative within the classroom.
The EEF has recently published a new guidance report (October 2021). The new report, ’Effective Professional Development’, aims to help schools make sure that professional development is of the highest possible quality, and in turn, that it has the biggest possible impact on teaching practice and pupil outcomes. The new report offers clear guidance for senior leaders and department leads in all educational settings as well as programme designers, so that they can ensure that their approach to professional development aligns with the evidence base.
Continuing professional development is most effective when it involves collaboration with peers and is steeped in evidence and research. Every professional development opportunity must seek to explore the collective expertise of the whole profession to be able to better understand its effectiveness in the classroom. The Alliance for Learning supports this by offering a range of coaching and mentoring programmes that cultivate a culture of ongoing effective professional learning. Our programmes seek to develop evaluative practitioners who are sufficiently equipped to consistently assess the impact of their practice and professional development on the students they teach. Alongside this, our range of programmes extend teaching repertoires, maximise performance in the classroom and develop and support school and system leaders to create a culture of professional development that is rich in research.
All of our programmes at Alliance for Learning have received outstanding evaluations; are challenging, engaging and have undergone rigorous quality assurance processes. Furthermore, as a responsive learning organisation, our programmes are driven by and rapidly respond to what is at the forefront of educational change.
 Weston, D and Clay, B. (2018) Unleashing Great Teaching: The secrets to the most effective teacher development. Routledge: Oxon
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