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Continuous Professional Development (CPD)


What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is any developmental activity designed for members of the school workforce and the wider school community that adds to their knowledge, enhances their skills and is at the heart of enabling pupils to learn more effectively.

The Heart of the Matter:

“If the pupil intake, buildings and school budget share remain relatively constant, how can school improvement be realized…

There is no sustainable school improvement, without sustainable staff development.”

Why CPD is important


CPD is at the heart of:

School improvement; the key to raising standards of attainment and achievement through high quality teaching and learning. The DfES define CPD as including “any activity that increases knowledge or understanding and effectiveness in schools. It can help raise children’s standards and improve job satisfaction”. In other words, it is a vital element of school improvement and not a bolt-on addition.

The workforce becoming versatile, reflective practitioners; helping them adapt to ever-changing needs and circumstances. CPD is for all those involved in the whole school community.

Improving children’s learning; all staff are motivated, developed, updated and aware. Evidence suggests effective CPD raises confidence, self esteem, motivation and participation.

Supporting Personalised Learning; emphasis on assessment for learning, creative use of learning styles, better use of classroom data and partnership with others beyond the classroom.

Creating vibrant and exciting learning communities; all staff and pupils learning together producing an ethos of creativity, reflection and instilling a passion for lifelong learning.

Broadening staff and school horizons; especially through learning together within the school and with other schools, in the wider community and with the school’s inter-agency partnerships.

Recruiting and retaining good staff; providing people with the skills and abilities to support them in the classroom and if they wish, to prepare them for the next stage in their career.

Providing recognition; additional skills, knowledge and competencies acquired by staff, including through formal accreditation.

Safeguarding the school community; developing the technical competencies and understanding to make schools safe and secure environments.

Inclusive CPD

If our schools are to be fully effective, then everybody who is involved with the school needs to do their job well. CPD Leaders in schools therefore need to consider the frameworks of provision for the Continuing Professional Development of all members of the school community. Good school leadership will also develop ways in which the staff can support each other.

CPD is an entitlement for all staff where they are supported and encouraged to reach their potential. CPD policy and practice should:


Continue from Initial Teacher Training

Support Induction and Early Professional Development

Support the development of leadership skills, as subject/aspect leader/manager, team leader, head of department, etc.

Support career progression to working at consultancy level, for example Excellent Teacher (2006), Advanced Skills Teacher, Headteachers etc.

Support experienced teachers.

Support Staff

Provide entry routes

Continue into the Induction stage

Provide opportunities to be effective in a support role

Provide a staged progression of CPD activity, including opportunities to gain appropriate National Qualifications and to work towards Qualified Teacher Status if appropriate


Recognise the entitlement and responsibility of individual members of the school workforce to pursue their own professional development needs

Ensure that the school workforce is aware of the opportunities available for professional development locally, nationally and internationally

Plan for the professional development of all staff, linking to School Development/Improvement priorities, School Self Evaluation, Performance Management outcomes, and the broader needs of the individual

Professional Development Portfolios

A professional development portfolio is a confidential and voluntary collection of material that records and reflects the work you have undertaken. It is a way of using past experiences and present activities to demonstrate and reflect on:

  • Skills learned
  • Identify future learning needs and priorities
  • Inform and plan prospective learning development

It provides a mechanism, together with your performance review, for thinking about your work practice in a planned and systematic way.

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The learning platform itself will always be "a work in progress" and as such content should not be taken as definitive statements of Blackburn with Darwen Education Department policy.