I stress, this has not happened to me yet: I am an unreliable witness; I may be giving duff advice. Although we have been living on the promise of an Ofsted visit for several months now, the call has not come. My CPD file sits, ready to proffer to Ms Inspector, but still as yet uninspected. I have had a lot of time to think about it. There will be no excuse if I get this wrong.
From what we have heard about the questions Ofsted will ask, CPD leaders will be under scrutiny. My roles include improving teaching, leading on pedagogy (including literacy and AfL), appraisal, NQT induction, professional studies for student teachers, and running our school-based MA. No doubt some of this will be considered as luxuries by less imaginative inspectors, but I will be hoping to impress upon them the impact of this development work.
Some advice I have picked up:
- Don’t produce a file (I’ve ignored this)
- Be able to answer the question, So what? (As in, ‘you have done all of this, so what difference has it made?’)
- Point to impact – on student outcomes, on individual teachers, departments, a pedagogical area, the school overall.
- Other factors will have contributed to progress, so what part of it might be down to CPD?
This file I have put together is organised into several sections, according to the priorities I have worked on and for which I can claim some credit for the impact of CPD. Some of these:
- Case Study 1: Improved outcomes in Maths (impact of CPD on student outcomes in a curriculum area)
- Case Study 2: Development of NQTs (impact of CPD on a staff group)
- Leadership: measures to ‘manage talent’ and enhance career development (impact on leadership)
- AfL, Literacy, Independent learning: use of staff development time (impact on pedagogical areas)
- Moving to Good: mentoring of selected teachers (impact on teacher effectiveness)
Each section is fronted by a summary template which asks…
– What we needed
– What we did
– What impact has it had?
… and includes sample supporting evidence. I have exemplars of good assessment practice, printouts of NQT blogs, internal reviews and learning walk reports, reports on outcomes of teacher mentoring. Where possible I have tried not to create a document just for the file, but to use what I already had. This feels more authentic. In fact (whisper it quietly) it has been an exercise in personal reflection for me. I work very hard in my role, but it is only right that I should be asked, So what? The file is my answer so far.
We await the call.