Key Voices #109 – A culture of improvement: reviewing the research on teacher working conditions with David Weston

“So it was very clear to us that the ‘make or break’ is not the choice of CPD process. It’s not about saying “I want to do coaching” or “I want to do lesson study”. It’s the conditions and the leadership in those schools that seemed to make the difference between teachers saying “I love it, I want to do it” and improving, and them seeing it as just another thing to do that doesn’t feel relevant.” 

This week we talk to David Weston, CEO at the Teacher Development Trust about his recent report reviewing the evidence around the impact teacher working conditions have on other aspects of a school.  David explains how teacher working conditions link to effective CPD and tentatively to school improvement and better pupil outcomes. David also tells us about how the findings of the research reviewed in the report, underpin the Teacher Development Trusts (TDT) curriculum for their NPQs and ultimately, how schools can make sure both their teachers and pupils continue to thrive and learn. 

We talk about: 
  • The new options and opportunities the pandemic has unlocked for staff CPD
  • The introduction this September of a suite of new National Professional Qualifications (NPQs), the Early Career Framework and the emphasis on CPD from government  
  • How the right kinds of collaboration and professional development will actually help teachers cope with the complex demands of returning to face-to-face teaching 
  • What the literature review tells us about what effective working conditions look like 
  • How collaboration between teachers might work and how best to support new entrants into the profession 
  • Empowering staff to take ownership of their own development as well as feeling that they have a stake in the school’s development and direction
  • Creating conditions for teachers to learn and thrive in their professional practice 
  • The TDT’s plans for future research in this area 
  • How the TDT’s new NPQ will put the evidence in this report into practice, alongside a further exploration of leadership skills in general and knowledge specific to schools 


You can read the research paper we discuss here 

You can read the blog by Dr. Sam Sims that David mentions here 

You can find out more about the TDT’s NPQ's here

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