Continuous Professional Development (CPD) 2018

Research into perceptions, provision, and barriers to engaging in CPD within a Multi-Academy Trust (2018).

The aim of the study was to conduct research into perceptions, provision and barriers to engaging in CPD in a Multi-Academy Trust.  Research was conducted in a Multi-Academy Trust in the South West of England.  The research objectives were as follows;

  1. Describe approaches currently used in planning CPD in secondary academies
  2. Identify teacher perceptions of CPD in a MAT

Grounded Theory Methods were employed to conduct research, with document analysis and semi-structured interviews used to develop themes.
Findings show that perceptions of CPD and barriers to engagement in these academies were affected by;

  • Quality and frequency of Professional Development Dialogue
  • Type of CPD on a Continuum of Choice
  • The extent to which there was choice with Personalised Provision
  • Lack of Knowledge of Available CPD

These themes were impacted by leadership approaches to CPD, an academies improvement journey, and associated ‘phase’ of development – Foundational, Developmental, Enrichment and Renewal (Day et al., 2016).

With the exception of dialogue, which is a cultural issue, key concepts would require a means of funding to reduce or eliminate barriers to CPD. One could conclude that decentralisation has become a barrier to teachers engaging in CPD; albeit implicitly. It is unlikely that funding will become centralised with control of CPD provision returning to local authorities.

Academies have the potential to pool resources and exploit efficiencies of scale to more effectively utilise funds, share staff and resources. This will require great leadership and even better strategic planning.

More detailed research findings are available upon request:

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