When it comes to CPD having a tailored plan to address each teacher’s areas for improvement is far more beneficial than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We know that by improving our teachers we improve the quality of learning for students. But without access to the relevant information leadership teams struggle to set a unique CPD plan for each teacher.
We spoke to Danielle Finlay, Deputy Head at Sandringham School, to find out how she has used the ProgressTeaching platform in her career to transform the quality of feedback that Senior Leadership teams give to their teachers.
What would you say the first step should be for people wanting to develop CPD?
“The first thing that the leadership team should look to do is increase the number of observations they do. When teachers have at least one observation per week they get high-quality feedback. This means their CPD plans can be actively tailored to the individual rather than being compliance-based. Having rich qualitative data rather than quantitative data really transforms the conversations you can have with your teachers. You can actually talk to them about how they can best improve their practice.
Too often we see a focus on compliance rather than actually improving the quality of teaching and learning and CPD. It’s something that can easily be addressed especially when you have a platform like ProgressTeaching that makes the process of observing and giving feedback so quick and simple to do.”
Have you found that teachers are happy and open to being observed more than the usual once every few months?
“Sometimes it can be perceived that being observed more is a bad thing but that really isn’t the case. We know that we need feedback to improve on anything we do. We give students feedback in every lesson so why wouldn’t we do the same for our teachers?
Everyone has their off-days. If feedback is based on ‘the one-off day’ that you may have had in the last 3 months it isn’t a true reflection of the quality of your provision.
Having high frequency low stakes observations means more meaningful, accurate and high-quality feedback for staff. Once people see the positive impact that regular observations have on developing a CPD plan to improve their teaching and learning we see a positive shift in culture. Instead of just ticking a box for compliance we see an improving in engagement and CPD becomes more ‘for staff, by staff’.
The continuous feedback also embeds a culture focused on self-improvement. When people have a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses they want to address any points for improvement. After all we all want to be the best teachers that we can be so that our students are getting the education they deserve.”
How has ProgressTeaching helped you to develop CPD?
“The ProgressTeaching platform gives everyone a single version of the truth. You have the ability to view progress over time and identify trends in an easy to understand format. It also lets you prepare for an observation in minutes instead of hours. Getting that time back is so beneficial!
The platform sets a standardised approach to feedback so that it is always specific and relevant. You don’t have to chase people up to get their feedback. It is all documented within the platform for you to access in just a few clicks.
Having the information so readily to hand means that Senior Leadership Teams can regularly review teaching and learning feedback in daily meetings. This means they can constantly improve teaching practices and work with their teams to decide the best CPD plan based on their specific needs.”
Progress Teaching is a Platform that delivers the insights you need to empower your staff, improve student outcomes and achieve vital efficiency savings. The platform drives better teaching and learning through enhanced teacher development, student progress and parental engagement. Progress Teaching was built by teachers for teachers.
If you’d like to know more about how Progress Teaching can help you, get in contact with us.