The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Lizzie Gait

Twilight training – when is CPD most effective?

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending our Growing Excellence in Learning and Teaching conference to run a focus group with a selection of highly engaged leaders of teaching, learning and CPD from across the country. For me, the aim was to find out more about what schools view as effective CPD, and how the quality of training can be improved across schools. During the discussion, my colleagues raised some fascinating points which I have been reflecting upon ever since.

When do we deliver CPD in schools?

Twilight training sessions often take place at the end of the school day. However, I’ve recently heard of a number of schools that finish their school day earlier once a week to allow for specific, designated time for regular staff training. So, I asked myself the question: Is training better when it takes place during the school day?


  • It’s more valued by SLT: When training actually takes place during school time, it shows staff that the SLT see it as a priority. This isn’t a motivating factor for everyone, but it does help to raise the importance of training across the whole school.
  • It doesn’t eat into the evening: The fact is, the school day starts early. By the time the scheduled training starts at 4:00, staff are tired. Is that really the time for innovation and engagement?
  • There’s already so much to do outside of school hours: Teacher workload is undoubtedly high, and marking and planning are time-consuming. Do colleagues really engage when they’re twitching about how much they still have to do?


  • It takes time out of the teaching day: Less teaching time means less learning time, surely? Doesn’t it just mean you’ll have to work late on another day when you’ll be equally tired?
  • It requires a whole timetable overhaul: That’s no mean feat... Although academies have the flexibility to overhaul their timetables, the impact of this will often be felt the school over.

What do you think works best?

When do you run your training sessions in your school? Comment below and let us know what you think’s best.

Further reading

You will need to log in to access the pieces below but if your school or setting does not have a membership then simply take out a free trial to read for free. Eight steps to successful CPD Developing an internal CPD culture Planning and delivering CPD for TAs: different kinds of support


Similar Posts

Charlie Roden

Wellbeing podcast: teacher mental health

In the first episode of the Optimus wellbeing podcast, Charlie Roden explores the causes of poor teacher mental health, and what can be done to improve staff wellbeing. Concerns over teacher mental health are on the rise. The most recent Teacher Wellbeing Index found that over a third of education...
Liz Murray

Flexible working in action: planning and communication

In the first of a blog series, Liz Murray shares her experience of setting up a new job share. As teacher, SENCO, and educational consultant, I haven’t shied away from publicly advocating the importance of embracing flexible working across all sectors. I recently wrote about my zig zag career path...
Elizabeth Holmes

An inclusive approach to menopause

Support for female teachers experiencing menopause symptoms is key to their wellbeing and retention. Elizabeth Holmes looks at what genuine provision can be put in place to help staff at this stage of their lives and careers. Menopause, the end of a woman’s menstrual periods, can be a challenging...