Why “YCPD?”

When I meet people, they often ask about the name “YCPD” – so I decided to write a blogpost about it!

It acknowledges questions I have heard from educators at every level right the way through my career in education:

‘That was a nice lunch, but not sure how I can implement that training in my classroom’ / ‘I remember learning that but never used it’ /  ‘Well it might work for them, but it’s not really relevant to my role/experience/class’ / ‘Great, something else I have to do, how can I do that and everything else that is expected?’ / ‘Well it was nice to talk and share but we haven’t done anything with it and it hasn’t been noticed’

In all of the above, CPD has been an unfocused add-on: skilled professionals have not understood the purpose or application of training they have participated in and are left asking themselves what the point was – “Why CPD?”

That astounds me – as educators, the first question we should answer is the rationale for our CPD approach. The second thing is to communicate that to our skilled colleagues. It was central to my work as a Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher and is at the heart of what we do, so I made it the name of the organisation: YCPD

Allowing Staff to Influence Coherently Planned CPD

Teachers’ perceived influence over their professional development goals is associated with higher job satisfaction and greater intention of staying within teaching. Not only is more CPD likely to improve their teaching, but it may also improve the wellbeing and retention of teachers.
(Jens Van Der Brande & James Zuccollo, EPI/Wellcome Trust Report: “The effects of high-quality professional development on teachers and students: A cost-benefit analysis”, April 2021)

It’s easy to make a case to Senior Leaders for offering high-quality CPD to staff – the evidence is clear both that the quality of our staff is the key determinant to providing the best possible pupil outcomes & that participation in professional development promotes staff retention. Indeed, you’d struggle to find a senior leader who doesn’t expect that their staff should be provided with learning activities that develop and enhance their abilities, continually up-skilling and re-skilling to keep up to date with the current educational climate.

But unless it’s coherently planned, acknowledges staff expertise and builds from their starting point, there is a very real risk of alienating skilled staff working in an already pressured environment.

The Benefits of Coherently Planned CPD

The potential benefits lost of a coherently planned approach are huge:

  • Improved Pupil Outcomes
  • Improved Staff Morale & Wellbeing
  • Improved Career Progression for Staff
  • Improved Staff Retention & Recruitment
  • Strengthened Distributed Leadership model
  • Improved Reliability of Assessment
  • Improved Relationships between Staff, Pupils & Parents/Carers

Strategic Planning Tailored to Specific Contexts

At YCPD, we start in conversation with you to identify your goals and objectives, then work with you and your staff to align CPD objectives with staff strengths, expertise, roles and context. We translate the objectives into incremental CPD steps, planning the rhythm of activities and Senior & Middle Leadership involvement to effectively embed practice and a culture of improvement.

YCPD? – Because we value the people at the heart of our schools & are passionate about school development. That’s why!

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