Why the NPQLTD was right for me...
By Kate Atkins, Deputy Director of the Julian Teaching School Hub.
"I had worked with NQTs/ECTs and ITT students for many years and was starting a new role as Induction Tutor for my school. I had experience of delivering in-school CPD, but had never had any training on how to design, implement and monitor effective CPD. My new role required me to look at training and learning for new recruits to the teaching profession and their mentors, so I decided that the NPQ in Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD) might be useful on both fronts – helping me work with teachers in a new way, while ensuring I provided quality training for them moving forwards.
I was pleased to see that the course was a combination of face-to-face training, online webinars, and access to online learning modules. This gave the training variety, and allowed me opportunities to network with colleagues on the same course, but in different settings. For the independent aspects of the training, I was able to decide how I undertook my own study (small chunks or larger blocks, depending on my other commitments).
The course had three themes, which gave pace to the learning. There was a clear through-line from learning the new content to applying it through case studies - and at times within my own school. The facilitators were knowledgeable and took on board and responded to what participants said in the seminars and through the online platform, making me feel valued and listened to.
All the learning was developed in response to the most recent research and focused on models and skills recommended by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). This gave me confidence in my learning, knowing this wasn’t a fad or the ‘next new thing’.
I was quickly able to start applying the learning in my own context, thinking about how we delivered CPD and whether it was, in fact, CPD at all. As a senior leadership team, we revamped our provision and focus for the summer term based on my new understanding of what makes effective CPD. I realised that ECTs faced different challenges from experienced teachers and that the CPD on offer needed to take this into account. The changes were well received by staff, they appreciated the greater emphasis on their personal journeys and level of understanding of the content we were sharing, and we moved away from the one size fits all model.
Partly as a result of successfully completing the NPQLTD I have secured a new position within my MAT, as Professional Development Lead and have started an exciting exploration into how MAT-wide CPD can be used more effectively."