What is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) describes the wide range of learning activities that school professionals can engage in throughout their careers to develop their expertise in being able to support and educate children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Professionals should regularly undertake CPD to ensure that their knowledge and skills are both up to date and effective.
Examples of effective CPD activities
The guidance below provides examples of a range of activities to help school professionals identify opportunities for, and methods of, CPD. This is to ensure that CPD for SEND is proactive and based on a range of experiences. The categories are not exclusive and can be complementary. Some of the activities listed under each heading could equally be listed under another.
Effective CPD should always be balanced. It should:
- Build Knowledge
- Motivate staff
- Develop teaching techniques
- Embed practice
(Education Endowment Fund, 2021)
In order to develop knowledge of SEND, policies and procedures, there are different forms of CPD that people can engage in. Delivered learning often involves training and courses that are delivered by others, whilst self-directed learning is where individuals may seek their own information or knowledge.
These forms of CPD involve being directly ‘trained’ by others on courses or similar activities.
- Courses run by external providers in or out of schools
- Further or higher education courses.
- Conferences or professional events.
- Courses accredited by a professional body.
- Webinars and short online courses.
- In-service training.
These forms of CPD that may be independently undertaken, often alone.
- Reading journals or articles
- Reading books
- Specialist websites
- Writing articles or papers
- Involvement in research
- Social media
Develop Teaching Techniques and Embedding Practice
Often described as ‘on the job training’. This is where people can learn though observation or working with, or alongside others as part of their day-to-day role. These activities often follow on from, or incorporate, delivered or self-directed learning.
These are forms of CPD where school staff can learn as result of their school-based activities.
- Lesson study
- Consultation with specialist staff
- Observing colleagues
- Being mentored
- Peer review
These forms of CPD are where individuals can learn through their engagement in a professional role.
- Supervising student teachers.
- Delivering school-based training
- Auditing and/or reviewing provision
- Planning training
- Coaching others
Strategically planning CPD
In the video below, Alex Grady, Head of Whole School SEND and Dawn Cranshaw a Whole School SEND Regional SEND Leader discuss the work of Whole School SEND and effective school approaches to CPD.