Report summary

Progress towards the Wellcome CPD Challenge: first interim evaluation report

Teachers in England have no entitlement to high-quality continuing professional development (CPD), even though there’s good evidence that it can significantly improve pupils’ attainment. The Wellcome CPD Challenge is exploring how schools might implement a CPD entitlement.

The three-year pilot study, which started in September 2018, is running in 40 schools across South Yorkshire.

Key findings 

  • Since joining the Challenge, schools have made significant progress towards ensuring that staff access at least 35 hours of high-quality CPD each year. 
  • Named CPD Champions have been critical in identifying staff needs and leading the challenge in their school – although they’re often hampered by a lack of time.
  • CPD Facilitators have played an important role in coaching and mentoring CPD Champions, especially in the early stages of the pilot.
  • While significant progress has been made, schools are hindered by a number of operational difficulties. These include workload pressures and budget, which are inextricably linked.
  • Although schools are only part-way through the challenge, perceptions of CPD have improved. CPD has had a positive impact on teaching, confidence and leadership skills. 
  • Almost all staff believe that 35 hours of high-quality, subject-specific CPD is feasible, if given the right support.

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