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Teachers: Standards

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what his most recent assessment is of the operation of the system of continuous professional development of teachers; (322301)

(2) what his policy is for the future of the system of continuous professional development of teachers.

It is clear that initial teacher education programmes, schools and the quality of teaching and learning have all improved in recent years. However, we recognise that there is still more to do to ensure that every child experiences high-quality teaching in every lesson, and that teachers are equipped to deal with the challenges posed by the 21st century schools system.

Good CPD has a positive impact on teachers' practice and leads to improvements in pupil attainment and other outcomes and the Department is working with the Training and Development Agency (TDA) and other partners to take significant action to improve the quality and take up of CPD provision.

In November 2009 TDA published a new professional development strategy (PDS) which includes plans to strengthen CPD leadership, impact evaluation and training for support staff, and is underpinned by three key priorities of embedding a learning culture within schools, increasing coherence and collaboration and improving quality and capacity. The PDS can be found on TDA's website:

www.tda.gov.uk/partners/cpd/pds_cwds.aspx?keywords=professional+development+strategy

Teachers in the north-west and challenging schools are now eligible for enrolment for the new Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL). The MTL builds on Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and induction and will have immediate relevance to teaching and learning in the classroom, focusing on developing and honing teachers' practice through inquiry and use of evidence. The MTL will also help schools to develop an increasingly collaborative culture of professional development.

Additionally, the new Licence to Practise alongside a CPD entitlement will ensure that all teachers have access to the CPD they need to guarantee they continue to be effective in the classroom.

Ofsted's 2006 report on CPD, ‘The Logical Chain’ found that the most effective CPD takes place in schools. With this in mind our White Paper ‘Your Child, Your School, Our Future: Building a 21st century schools system’ gave TDA and the National College a joint remit to provide advice on how a nationwide network of quality assured CPD can be delivered through school clusters, utilising existing provision such as Training Schools, Teaching Schools and Leadership Development Schools. Ministers have welcomed preliminary advice on how this can be achieved and further advice is expected in spring 2010.The ministerial advice can be found on TDA's website:

http://www.tda.gov.uk/upload/resources/pdf/t/training_ schools_ministerial_letter221209.pdf

To help ensure that schools and teachers become more informed consumers in identifying effective and quality assured professional development TDA has now also rolled out a new national database with an associated code of practice. There are currently over 4,000 opportunities for professional development listed on this database:

http://www.tda.gov.uk/partners/cpd/cpdzone.aspx? keywords=CPD+database

We are confident that our policies will ensure that schools and the school work force are equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st Century School and, thus, improve outcomes for children and young people.