6 ways that the CPD landscape is seriously changing

Teacher development in England is undergoing rapid change. I’ve yet to find a school or CPD provider that is doing things the same way that they were five years ago and it’s never been a more challenging marketplace to work in. On the 22nd of February, Teacher Development Trust and BESA are coming together to explore some of the big changes of which schools and providers need to be aware.

Here’s my top five.

  1. Career-focused CPD is about to get much more important – one of Justine Greening’s last acts as Secretary of State was to put in motion a major consultation on creating routes for teachers who don’t want to be managers. Some might say that it’s AST status all over again, but it looks like there are even greater ambitions this time around.
  2. The same consultation also discusses the creation of a new ‘quality badge’ for CPD providers – this could be a big driver of change in the near future.
  3. More training and development is being delivered by schools, and this trend is set to continue. With more focus on teachers becoming specialists and the emergence of the Chartered College along with grassroots conferences like ResearchED and networks like #BAMEed, #WomenEd and #LGBTed, we’re going to see even more teacher-to-teacher support which means that commercial events will have to work even harder to distinguish themselves.
  4. Lots of new streams of funding from the government, with the Teaching Leadership Innovation Fund, the Strategic School Improvement Fund, and the soon-to-be-launched Teacher Development Premium, and many others. There’s a big emphasis on having a strong evidence base, aligning with the CPD Standards and partnering closely with schools. Successful bid-writers stand to gain a lot of increased scale and reach.
  5. The continuing growth of awareness of evidence and evaluation means that CPD providers will, rightly, be under ever greater pressure to show that their advice is aligned to a strong evidence base and that they take evaluation of impact seriously.
  6. The extraordinary growth of the international market for British education is seeing more and more teachers, consultants and organisations being drawn into work outside of the UK. Many systems are keen to adopt some of the training, curriculum and accountability policies that England has adopted, with many crediting these for London’s meteoric success. CPD providers in England could find themselves torn between working in UK schools where money is tight or being pulled into unfamiliar but potentially lucrative work elsewhere.


For my colleagues and I at the TDT, the key question is: how can every CPD provider offer more quality and impact so that we see greater success for students and an ever-more confident and capable teaching profession? We’ll be exploring all of these ideas in London on Thursday 22nd, with speakers from the Department for Education, the Chartered College of Teaching, and the British Educational Suppliers Association, among others. Please do join us.


David Weston is Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust and Chair of the Department for Education Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group. He is a governor and former teacher and was a founding Director of the Chartered College of Teaching. Follow him at @informed_edu