Helping Staff Develop in Schools


Sara Bubb & Peter Earley

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  • Education at SAGE

    SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets.

    Our education publishing includes:

    • accessible and comprehensive texts for aspiring education professionals and practitioners looking to further their careers through continuing professional development
    • inspirational advice and guidance for the classroom
    • authoritative state of the art reference from the leading authors in the field

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    List of Tables

    Table 2.1 Features of strong and weak staff development leadership and management 10

    Table 2.2 The diagnostic framework for staff development leadership 15

    Table 2.3 Staff development leadership and management structures 16

    Table 2.4 Staff development job titles 17

    Table 4.1 Comparing the hours worked by teachers in a week in March 31

    Table 4.2 Hours worked and spent teaching 31

    Table 4.3 How classroom teachers spend their time in one week 33

    Table 4.4 A new model of the teachers’ year 39

    Table 5.1 Proportion of the last INSET day spent on training and development 41

    Table 5.2 Views of usefulness of development days in the last 12 months 41

    Table 5.3 Pros and cons to having after school sessions instead of whole development days 42

    Table 5.4 Briefing for trainer 46

    Table 6.1 How the impact of training and development is evaluated -teachers and support staff 56

    Table 6.2 Development activity form - application/planning, evaluation, planning and impact 57

    Table 6.3 Five levels of professional development evaluation 60

    Table 6.4 Levels of impact 61

    Table 6.5 An example of different levels of impact from one development activity 62

    Table 6.6 Evaluating the impact of training on teaching assistants 63

    Table 6.7 Sources of evidence of impact 64

    Table 6.8 Questionnaire with quantitative and qualitative responses 65

    Table 6.9 Staff views of the impact on pupils as a result of the writing project 66

    Table 6.10 Cost-benefit analysis of different staff development activities 68

    Table 7.1 An example of who typically identifies whose needs 71

    Table 7.2 360 Feedback 72

    Table 7.3 Individual development plan A 78

    Table 7.4 Individual development plan B 79

    Table 9.1 Which kind of development is most useful? 93


    This book has been written to help staff develop in schools. As such, we would like to thank all the people whom we have spoken to as part of our research, particularly on the Staff Development Outcomes Study and From self-evaluation to school improvement as well as those we meet on courses at the Institute of Education. These people have been an inspiration to us in writing what we hope is a very practical book.

    The folk at Sage are wonderful, so particular thanks must go to Jude Bowen and Amy Jarrold as well as the marvellous Jeanette Graham and all involved in the production of this book.

    Most of all, we must thank our families and friends - especially Paul, Julian, Miranda and Oliver - for their encouragement and tolerance.

    The authors are grateful to all those who granted permission for material to be reproduced in this book including: the CfBT Education Trust, Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), especially Chris Brown, CPD Leader, Teachers TV (all Teachers TV material was correct and available at the time of going to press), Human Resource Development Quarterly, Office of Manpower Economics, Teachernet, South Yorkshire LEA, Professor Chris Day and Professor Thomas Guskey.


    Great staff make great schools. The organisations that make most impact on their pupils are the ones that choose their staff carefully and help them develop so that they are very effective, highly motivated and feel fulfilled in their work. By ‘staff’ we don't just mean teachers. In many schools, teachers are less than half of the total workforce. So we need to think about the development of everybody, whatever their role, so that as a group they can make a fantastic difference to children and their communities.

    The last decade or so has seen a growing recognition in schools and colleges that people matter and that attention must be given to their needs, especially those concerning their professional and personal growth. Staff development is a field in which there is growing interest because people see it as such a vital part of school improvement, raising pupil achievement and enhancing their wellbeing. We hope that this book will help people think more deeply about the development and training of staff - all staff - in schools and other organisations. It is related to our second edition of Leading and Managing Continuing Professional Development, which might be a valuable source for those wanting greater detail than provided here. But in this book we have tried to be concise, practical and useful so that it will lead to even stronger staff development practice. This is vital, particularly in the current climate of schools having more responsibility for their own people, and indeed working with other schools in staff development clusters and networks.

    Perhaps the most important developments in recent years have been the growth of the wider children's workforce and integration of a broader range of people into staff development systems. To be successful, we should know what individuals need, have plenty of ideas of how to help them progress and know that the impact of activities really does make a difference so that they can be even more effective in contributing to pupils’ achievement and well-being.

    We hope that this book will help improve human resource development and its management and leadership so that more people get a better deal and that their development is given the attention it merits.

    In writing this book we have tried to do two things. First, we have summarised the most recent relevant research - some of which we have been personally involved in - to highlight the issues and current state of affairs. This gives a firm foundation for leaders and co-ordinators leading and managing staff development. Secondly, we have given examples and case studies of good practice drawn from a wide range of schools.

    It is important to remember that development cannot be forced and that staff who are excited and motivated by the experience of their own learning are likely to communicate that excitement to pupils. Throughout the book, we draw upon the latest research and examples of good practice, where possible giving case studies and pen portraits.

    Although our focus is predominantly on schools, staff development has to be well led and managed at three levels: that of the school, the local authority and at a national level. The key goal of all educational organisations is student learning, whereas the ongoing learning of teachers, support staff and other employees is not always prioritised or adequately resourced. Creating a culture of learning is crucial and this is shaped essentially by the attitude and approach of school leaders and governors towards staff development. There is a need to ensure that personal development is not marginalised - it is crucial to individual effectiveness and thus to the success of the school and young people. Schools need to achieve a healthy complementarity between system and individual needs. People matter and this has recently been recognised with the national training and development programmes for the leaders of staff development.

    Structure of the book

    The book consists of ten chapters and is divided into two parts: Leading Staff Development and Making Staff Development Count. We begin by looking at the leadership of staff development and its management (Chapter 2), before considering why staff development needs to be strategic and what that means. We often hear the claim that there is simply no time for staff development, so in Chapter 4 we look at ways in which time can be found for workforce development. The five development days (commonly called INSET days) are the focus of Chapter 5 and we investigate how we can make the most of this time.

    The focus of the second part of the book is on the training and development cycle and how to get the maximum impact from your staff development resources. We begin with the area of impact evaluation and stress how important it is to plan for impact right at the outset. Needs identification is the focus of Chapter 7 where we consider procedures for identifying teachers’ and support staff's needs. We argue in the following chapter for the need to personalise learning and consider what we know about how adults learn. Chapter 9 is concerned with the all important area of meeting needs and it considers the range of activities that are available to develop people, such as coaching-mentoring, observation and the growing world of e-communities. In the final chapter we outline useful publications and resources which we feel will be helpful to you.

    Throughout the book we share what we know by drawing upon research, often our own, and providing examples of good practice. We address the practical considerations and management and leadership implications to help you develop your strategy for developing the school workforce: so that they and the organisation are learning-centred.

    SaraBubb and PeterEarleyInstitute of Education, University of London

    About the Authors


    With an international reputation in the induction of new teachers and staff development, Sara speaks at conferences and runs courses throughout the country and abroad. She is England's Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) network leader and has featured on and been a consultant for many Teachers TV programmes. She sits on the Training and Development Agency's (TDA) Professional Teacher editorial board and its Research Advisory Group. Sara has worked as an academic at the Institute of Education since 1995, leading research projects such as The Sinnott Fellowships: the impact of the outward facing school, the Staff Development Outcomes Study and From Self-evaluation to School Improvement. She was the consultant for Chartered London Teacher status from 2005 to 2008. For six years she has been the new teacher expert at the Times Educational Supplement, writing a weekly column and answering questions on its website. Sara is an assessor of advanced skills, excellent, overseas-trained and graduate teachers and higher level teaching assistants and has inspected 25 schools. She has written many books, papers and articles.


    Peter is a professor of leadership and management at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the Institute of Education, University of London. Formerly a school teacher and further education lecturer, on returning to England after a five-year spell teaching in an Australian university, he became a full-time researcher at the National Foundation for Educational Research. It was during this time that he worked on several projects on school leadership, including the well known study on newly appointed secondary headteachers (Weindling and Earley, 1987). His central research interest has remained leadership and leadership development. Recent research projects include studies of fast-track or accelerated leadership development programmes and the evaluation of the pilot of the National Professional Qualification for Headship.

    Sara and Peter have worked together on several projects including the role of professional development in high performing schools and the evaluation of the Future Leaders programme. Both have published widely in the field of school leadership, school evaluation and professional development and their co-authored books and reports include: Leading and Managing Continuing Professional Development (2nd edition, 2007, Sage); Managing Teacher Workload: Work-life balance and wellbeing (2004, Sage); From self-evaluation to school improvement: The role of effective professional development (2008, CfBT); Staff Development Outcomes Study (2008, TDA); and What do we know about school workforce development? A summary of findings from recent TDA-funded research projects (2009, TDA).


    AST Advanced skills teacher

    BETT British Educational Training and Technology Show

    CA Classroom assistant

    CIPD Chartered Institute of Personnel Development

    CPD Continuing professional development

    DCSF Department for Children, Schools and Families

    EAL English as an additional language

    EPD Early professional development

    GTC General Teaching Council

    GTCE General Teaching Council of England

    GTCS General Teaching Council of Scotland

    GTP Graduate Teacher Programme

    HEI Higher education institution

    HLTA Higher level teaching assistant

    HMI Her Majesty's Inspectorate

    HoD Head of department

    ICT Information and communications technology

    IEP Individual education plan

    INSET Inservice education and training

    ISCTIP Independent Schools Council Teacher Induction Panel

    ITT Initial Teacher Training

    LA Local authority

    MFL Modern foreign languages

    MPS Main pay scale

    MTL Masters in Teaching and Learning

    NAPTA National Association of Professional Teaching Assistants

    NCLSCS National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services

    NOS National Occupational Standards

    NQT Newly qualified teacher

    NVQ National Vocational Qualifications

    Ofsted Office for Standards in Education

    OTT Overseas-trained teacher

    OTTP Overseas-trained teacher programme

    PGCE Postgraduate certificate in education

    PLC Professional learning community

    PM Performance management

    PPA Planning, preparation and assessment

    QTS Qualified teacher status

    SDP School development plan

    SEF Self-evaluation form

    SEN Special educational needs

    SENCO Special educational needs co-ordinator

    SIP School improvement plan

    SLT Senior leadership team

    SMT Senior management team

    SSAT Specialist Schools and Academies Trust

    SSSNB School Support Staff Negotiating Body

    STRB School Teachers’ Review Body

    TA Teaching assistant

    TDA Training and Development Agency for Schools

    TES Times Educational Supplement

    TSN Teacher Support Network

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    Author Index

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