The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Professional development

Elizabeth Holmes

The Standard for Professional Development: a timely reminder for all

The Standard for Professional Development is clear about the importance of effective training to effective teaching. What are its most important messages? The recent publication of the Standard for Professional Development offers us the impetus to focus on CPD with a fresh perspective and renewed...
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Owen Carter

Visible leadership for better learning

How well do you know your school, and how well do your staff know you? Here's why schools need visible leaders. Are you a leader wanting to improve outcomes in your school? Well, a good bet would be focusing on teacher learning. Viviane Robinson led an analysis of 30 research studies on the...
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Owen Carter

Putting CPD at the heart of school success: case study

We spoke to Healing School in Grimsby about how it’s redesigning its professional development programme to help all teachers continually improve. Almost every teacher in the world wants to improve. But the demands of the job, time pressure and mental fatigue means that reflection time often gets...
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Alex Masters

SBMs: Why 2016 could be your most significant year

The school business management profession is a varied and challenging one but a new set of professional standards will set the SBM role on a path to dramatic growth. Stephen Morales, NASBM CEO, discusses the future of professional development for SBMs in his interview with Alex Masters. Someone...
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Gareth D Morewood

SENCo resolutions for 2016

Gareth D Morewood takes a look at what resolutions SENCos can set in order to achieve effective whole-school provision for SEND. Happy New Year! As we start 2016 I am reminded of one of the first articles I had published about the role of the SENCo . After achieving some decent down-time over the...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Using a range of activities to make CPD count

Do you tweet? Are you involved in peer networking? Are you a member of a working group? Do you include these activities under the broad definition of CPD? And indeed, should you? What does – and what does not – constitute CPD (continuing professional development)? At a time when grass roots...
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Gareth D Morewood

5 steps to a successful SENCo year

At this time of year there is the usual proliferation of back to school advice through blogs, articles and tweets. I thought it may be useful to consider what the SENCo year is all about and what our priorities should be in this ever changing and challenging world of education. There are some...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Developing Great Teaching: 8 key points from the TDT report

A major international review of CPD has recently been published, revealing what many of us have long suspected. There should be ‘an urgent move away from models of one-off, one-day continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers to more effective longer-term programmes of support and...
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Lizzie Gait

How to engage staff in CPD

NTEN recently held a ‘How to engage staff in their CPD’ event at Blue Coat Academy, Nottingham. Lizzie Gait, training development lead, shares her thoughts and provides a brief summary of their latest research. As a CPD enthusiast, I found this be an incredibly useful event and was excited to be...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Presentations: top tips to engage your audience

As schools utilise in-house expertise, teachers are not only educating children and young people - but colleagues too. What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail? -Eleanor Roosevelt I’ve seen poor presenters with great content and slick presenters with poor content – never be taken in by...
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