The teaching profession, like many other industries, has recognised the need for training in order to keep abreast with new ideas and methodologies. Surprisingly though, CPD is not as clearly defined nor structured as one might expect.
Christine Blower, the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “Securing the Continuing Professional Development of teachers remains a challenge for the education sector. It is a policy that no government has yet got right. Establishing a right CPD would bring a principle that has had productive effects in other countries. It would serve to strengthen the long-term commitment of teachers.”
Furthermore the Confederation of British Industry explains that “strengthening CPD and career opportunities are crucial strands in re-motivating teachers and improving practice and, as a result, education outcomes. We also need to get away from the feeling that CPD is something ‘done’ to teachers as they are professionals and part of that professionalism should be a sense of personal ownership of development.”
The Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) summarise in their report on Continuing Professional Development that the Government should initiate urgently a process of developing & funding a long-term programme of CPD for teachers of mathematics that meets their needs at various stages of their careers.
A new importance has been placed on Continuing Professional Development for teachers in Scotland. CPD is now a statutory component of a teachers’ working life, and with this the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) has released new guidance for teachers looking to engage effectively in the process of CPD. The GTCS explains, “If teachers are to maintain and enhance their professional practice, teachers will need to be making effective use of their CPD. CPD is what you do to keep your professional practice fresh, up-to-date and stimulating. Effective CPD provides the reward of greater professional satisfaction. The more teachers feel this way, the greater the positive impact will be on the ethos in schools and on the profession. Teachers in Scotland are required to undertake 35 hours of CPD per year, based on a mix of personal and school or local authority needs.”