In the dynamic, ever-evolving realm of education, where goalposts seem to be moved frequently and terminology updates, the nurturing of young minds and embedding of knowledge go beyond conventional practises. The foundation of a successful school lies not only in its infrastructure and curriculum but in the proficiency and continual development of its staff. Staff training (often referred to as CPD in education) stands as a crucial pillar that strengthens the foundation of a school, playing a pivotal role in fostering an environment conducive to growth, innovation, and attainment.

In this article, we discuss the significance of keeping staff updated and trained in the various aspects of school life to ensure teachers and support staff can confidently deliver high-quality teaching and offer the best learning experiences for their students.

Move with the times

The moving landscape of education demands adaptability from teachers and support staff alike. Effective training programmes cater to these requirements, ensuring that all educators are equipped with the tools to deliver new pedagogical approaches, technological updates, and social-emotional learning strategies. Continuous professional development empowers teachers to employ creative teaching methods tailored to diverse learning styles, ultimately enhancing student engagement and knowledge.

Open arms to tech

Educators trained in the integration of technology into their teaching practices can leverage digital resources to create interactive learning experiences that resonate with tech-savvy students. From utilising educational software to incorporating multimedia resources, adeptly trained staff can harness technology as a catalyst for enhanced learning outcomes.

Beyond the classroom

Also, staff training extends beyond academic enrichment. It encompasses areas such as behaviour management, integration of a new scheme, and student well-being. A flexible approach to the delivery of school professional development will give your training programmes more resilience, allowing for more practical training procedures, for example webinars, subject lead-led training and external visitors. Your CPD plan should be carefully thought through by senior leaders, ensuring your staff are trained across a wide range of areas including leadership, mental health, Ofsted, Research, SafeguardingSEND and teaching and learning.

Change brings the opportunity to do things differently: a cultural mantra schools can adopt to endeavour to provide the best education possible. This continual investment in school professional development can bring staff together to support their students.

Train as a team

Collaborative training programmes foster a supportive culture where educators can brainstorm, share innovative ideas, and collectively contribute to the school’s pedagogical advancements. Well-trained educators are more likely to stay motivated, engaged, and committed to their profession. Crucially, opportunities to train their peers, gives middle leaders the confidence to deliver messages and communicate ideas for development. If your training programme covers each subject through the academic year, then subject leads are able to plan, adapt and respond to the latest guidance in their field, as well reflect on their own personal development.

Hot training

Here are a few areas of education, besides the obvious like safeguarding, that require high-quality training that is monitored and reviewed:

  • Online safety
  • Cybersecurity
  • Mental health
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Sustainability
  • Autism and learning disability

AI full steam ahead – wait!

It is the elephant in the room. The role of EdTech is likely to grow significantly in coming years, particularly as a result of the rapid growth and growth of AI technologies, in particular, generative AI including ChatGPT and Bard.

Recent reports suggest that increasing numbers of students are using AI tools in their schoolwork, both with and without the direction of teachers and other educational professionals, as a result of the free accessibility of the growing number of tools.

AI training in schools facilitates ethical understanding and responsible AI usage. It introduces students to the ethical considerations surrounding AI, including privacy, bias, and the societal impact of automated decision-making systems. This ethical awareness is vital to ensure that as future innovators and leaders, students prioritise ethical AI development and usage, thus contributing to a more equitable and just society. The successful integration of AI training in schools requires adequate resources, well-trained educators, and updated curricula aligned with the rapid advancements in AI technology. Collaboration between educational institutions, tech industry experts, and policymakers is crucial to develop comprehensive AI education frameworks that cater to diverse student needs.

Six steps to success

Here are your school’s next steps if you are looking to review your current training programme and want to regenerate.

  1. Identify the needs of your school and your staff
  2. Design effective CPD to meet those needs
  3. Create a CPD action plan
  4. Discuss the plan with your staff
  5. Monitor progress and evaluate impact
  6. Capture your findings and record staff participation

In-house creativity

With school budgets increasing becomingly tighter and tighter, the need for schools to be creative with their training is vital. Inviting companies and speakers in can be expensive, so explore ways to approach your training programme frugally. There will be a plethora of knowledge amongst your staff cohort, so take advantage. By expanding your leadership groups, staff will feel encouraged and motivated to contribute towards training delivery, and as a result, inspired to propel the school forward.

Overseas focus

Schools across Asia often prioritise collaborative learning environments where teachers can exchange ideas and best practices. Some schools also encourage their staff to attend external conferences, further enhancing their exposure to innovative educational approaches. This allows schools in Asia to prioritise continuous learning and development for their staff to maintain high standards of education and adapt to the evolving needs of students and the educational landscape.

Throughout the American education system, ongoing assessments and feedback mechanisms are implemented to tailor training programmes to the specific needs of educators, ensuring they remain well-equipped to teach their students.

Final word

Staff training stands as an essential element in the continuous enhancement of educational standards within schools. Its multifaceted approach, encompassing pedagogical advancements, technological integration, and holistic student support, underscores its significance in nurturing a conducive learning environment. Training staff should not be merely a tick-box exercise but a priority on schools’ development plans. By prioritising and investing in ongoing staff training, educational settings pave the way for sustained growth, innovation, and academic excellence, ultimately benefiting both educators and students alike.

How Educater can help

Our Educater schools have the opportunity to enrol in tailored training packages hosted by our experienced Education Consultants. These sessions are designed to address specific needs, strengthen any existing gaps, and enhance various aspects of school life. You can freely sign up for any of our webinars or opt to book customised training sessions tailored to their specific requirements below:

About the author

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Andrew Timbrell

Andrew Timbrell is a primary teacher and freelancer writer with over a decade of classroom experience, passionate about teacher well-being and personal development. Alongside his teaching and subject lead roles, he has been a part of senior leadership and is acutely aware of the wider, holistic view of education.

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