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National CPD Team Initiative to Support Authorities in Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Professional Review and Development (PRD) Process for Staff in Schools. Phase 1 Report: December 2010 “Instead of checking a box, the primary role of professional learning must be to raise the performance levels of teachers and their students. All of a school system's functions, including professional development, should align to improve teacher effectiveness and student learning. Too often, though, teachers have no stake in or commitment to their professional development, resulting in little or no meaningful impact for them or their students.” Hayes Mizell, The Misuse of Professional Development (Online Article 2010) Introduction The importance of ensuring that every teacher, if not every member of school staff, has a proper and meaningful PRD experience, was identified by the CPD Network in 2008, and has continued to be an issue throughout 2010 as schools and authorities drive forward CfE implementation. At a workshop convened by the Scottish Government in September 2010 to discuss how, collectively across Scotland, we can better support leadership in Scotland’s schools, the following key point emerged in discussion centred on the leadership of learning and teaching: “A key role for those in more formal leadership roles is to enable and support opportunities to get involved, in part through professional review and development (PRD), but fundamentally all teachers need to own their own learning. Resources are available to support that collegiate approach – for example the different roles that Chartered Teachers, EIS Learning Representatives and local authorities can play in supporting colleagues.” (Supporting Leadership in Scotland’s Schools: National Workshop: 2 September 2010) It is also already clear that PRD leading to focused CPD and the maintenance of an up to date record of professional learning will be a key requirement as GTCS develops a system of reaccreditation for all teachers. Finally and pragmatically, in times of straitened finances, it makes eminently good sense for CPD budgets to be spent judiciously and after careful reflection in supporting full implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.

Report on Phase 1 Engagement with authorities The National CPD Team wrote to Directors of Education in April 2010, inviting authorities to collaborate with the Team in an initiative aimed at enhancing the experience of and effectiveness of professional review and development for staff in schools. This builds upon recommendations made in the Team’s 2008 paper on Professional Review and Development: It was envisaged that the CPD Team would work with and support authorities in taking forward the initiative in a way that best suited the perceived needs of that authority. All members of the Team have been involved in progressing this initiative, which is seen in the wider context of leadership development. Interest in the initiative was expressed by 17 authorities and exploratory meetings have been held with all but two (Visits to Orkney and Shetland were disrupted by bad weather but will be re-scheduled) Online support A PRD Glow Group has been set up to enable discussion to take place. Usage volume has not been high. It is hoped as time progresses that colleagues will make use of this resource to discuss the issues and celebrate good practice. Online survey The CPD Team also made available to authorities a set of survey questions, using the Survey Monkey tool, aimed at establishing a baseline for further development based on staff perceptions (anonymous) of their experience of PRD from both the reviewee and reviewer perspectives. A consultant has been employed to interpret the results of the survey for participating authorities and to report on the over-all picture, Of the authorities expressing an initial interest, 8 have issued the survey, which has been completed (at November 2010) by almost 1100 school staff. Two further authorities intend still to issue the survey. Several authorities decided not to issue the survey on the basis that they had recently conducted a similar survey on their own account. Others had recently reviewed their procedures or do not have the capacity at this time to undertake a significant initiative on PRD but are nevertheless interested to be kept informed and to contribute to the discussion about how PRD might be enhanced. In summary, the surveys reveal that, for reviewees: •

1 in 3 of the respondents was working towards an additional professional qualification

65% had had a PRD interview in the past year

75% (of the 65%)maintain a CPD record

80% (of the 65%) valued the experience

89% (of the 65%)believed it had improved their professional practice

74% (of the 65%) claimed to have evidence of improved practice

44% (of the 65%) received ongoing support in overtaking their professional learning plan

72% (of the 65%) felt their reviewer was well prepared

Of those conducting PRD reviews: •

88% had prepared thoroughly for the meeting

73% used a coaching style in conducting the review

100% tried to be encouraging

83% tried to be challenging

85% claimed to give ongoing support to those they reviewed

56% felt adequately skilled in conducting a review

Significantly, these percentages vary markedly from one authority to another, reflecting the successes as well as the gaps in provision. Respondents were predominantly teachers to the extent that the numbers of non teaching staff completing the survey were not statistically significant. Overall, on the basis of the information supplied and in relation to the previous school session, it is clear that:

almost one third of teachers did not have a PRD interview;

many teachers do not maintain a record of their professional learning;

there are still many teachers who do not find the PRD process to be of value

almost half of those conducting PRD reviews did not feel adequately skill for the task

Sharing interesting practice In one authority, where it was decided not to issue the survey, the CPD Team is working closely with authority staff in interviewing staff in volunteer schools, to gain an insight into how PRD fits in to the school’s strategy for implementing change and building capacity.

Discussions with authorities and schools have also focussed on existing good practice, of which there are many examples both at school and authority-wide levels. It is clear that the quality of the PRD process cannot be seen in isolation. Where it works well it sits within a context of distributed leadership, collegiality and a genuine commitment to the principles of a learning organisation. The lead given by the head teacher is critical. Similarly, at authority level, the integrity of the process of head teacher review sets the tone for what is expected at the individual school 1


See appendix for summary of good practice within schools / authorities

PRD workshop A workshop at the CPD Network meeting on 3 November 2010 was used to gain insights from authority CPD Managers. Views expressed were broadly in line with the survey findings: •

make sure purposes of PRD shared and understood

invest in training for reviewers

protect time for PRD

ensure adequate preparation

focus on self-evaluation

focus on impact of PRD and CPD – it needs to make a difference

introduce greater accountability

make it a worthwhile experience (concern that PRD not valued at present)

Engagement with other stakeholders

Meetings have been held with GTCS to discuss the initiative in the context of the GTCS’ work in preparing proposals for a scheme of teacher re-accreditation. It is clear that, in this context, teacher s will be required to show evidence of having taken responsibility for their ongoing professional learning and that PRD will be a vital stage in matching identified professional learning needs to appropriate CPD experiences.

Meetings have also been held with the EIS. EIS is supportive of the initiative, regarding improvement in teachers’ PRD as a core process in gaining the support of the profession for any scheme of teacher reaccreditation. A planned meeting with SSTA has yet to take place.

A further meeting with GTCS and EIS is planned for December 2010 to further consider emerging issues.

PRD Guidelines

The Professional Review and Development guidelines (2002) predate Curriculum for Excellence and are not therefore expressed in terms of support for implementation of the new curriculum. However, in virtually all other respects they remain relevant to the current requirement for teacher professional review. It is not considered appropriate, therefore, to undertake a re-write of the guidelines.

Phase 2 Proposals

Results of the survey have been analysed in depth for those authorities for whom the closing date for completion of the survey has now expired. Others will close in the next few weeks and these will be analysed also. Two further authorities intend to launch the survey early in 2011

The process has commenced of discussing with 8 authorities, individually, the significance of the findings, based on detailed analysis as they relate to that authority.

The CPD Team will also support authorities, as appropriate and as capacity allows, in addressing the issues as identified. However, an important principle is that ownership of the initiative, as devised and adopted by an authority, rests with that authority.

In light of the issues discussed in this report, and within the constraints of the time available, the team remains open to discussing with authorities how they might improve PRD for staff in schools.

The Team will produce a support pack of illustrative practice to assist authorities and schools in further developing their PRD provision.

Outcomes will be shared in the spring of 2011.

Appendix National CPD Team: PRD Initiative Summary of good practice as identified in visits to authorities / schools (See also Page 4) At Authority Level: •

Clear and succinct statement of policy and procedures

User-friendly – uncomplicated and uncluttered - documentation which supports professional dialogue between reviewer and reviewee

Priority given to PRD for headteachers

Training to support those with responsibility for conducting PRD interviews in developing requisite skills, in particular:


training in coaching skills (or related area: basic counselling approaches; listening skills; mentoring training)


use of documentation


use of on-line systems – authority system or CPDReflect / CPDFind


how to identify and record impact of professional learning

Simple and accessible on-line support including, for example: o

PRD documentation


Support for self-evaluation


CPD Catalogue


Individual CPD Record (Password protected). To include:


Evidence of impact


Individual CV(Password protected) OR

o •

Use of CPDReflect / CPDFind

Emphasis throughout on the prime importance of professional dialogue

Support for teachers and other staff in identifying – quantifying or otherwise recording – the impact of their professional learning

At individual Establishment Level: •

Headteacher commitment to professional learning for all staff, of which PRD is initial stage

Headteacher commitment to individual and collective self-evaluation, structured and cyclical: o

Review of previous year’s professional learning:


for individual teachers, based on appropriate standard


for collective self-evaluation, based on establishment improvement plan

Regular, annual PRD meeting for all staff with appropriate line-manager, OR

if line-manager is responsible for large numbers of staff, involvement of other experienced staff as appropriate e.g. chartered teacher / EIS learning rep.

Sufficient time set aside for annual PRD sessions

Training for all reviewers, within establishment or by accessing authority-wide training

Training for all staff - within school or authority - in: o

understanding policy and procedures


purposes of PRD and what to expect of PRD interview


what constitutes effective CPD


how to identify and record impact of professional learning

Simple, user-friendly documentation, based on or using authority documentation

Emphasis throughout on the prime importance of professional dialogue

Support for teachers and other staff in identifying – quantifying or otherwise recording – the impact of their professional learning.

Requirement that all staff maintain CPD record, to include evidence of impact

Wide range of school-based professional learning opportunities open to all staff

Ongoing contact - formal and informal – between reviewer and reviewee throughout the year OR


if line-manager is responsible for large numbers of staff, peer support and mentoring in overtaking elements of CPD plan

Individual Educator Responsibilities: •

Individuals assume responsibility for their own professional learning by: o

ensuring that they prepare for, and participate fully in, PRD on an annual basis


engaging regularly, in accordance with establishment procedures, in a thorough process of individual or collective self-evaluation


becoming aware of the professional learning opportunities inherent in a wide range of everyday activities: teaching; reading; use of on-line sources; curriculum development; membership of working groups; project leadership; sharing skills and knowledge with colleagues


seeking and participating in relevant professional learning opportunities


maintaining an up-to-date record of their professional learning


seeking ways to evaluate the impact of their professional learning and recording evidence to back these evaluations

PRD initiative phase 1 report  

PRD, initiative phase 1 report

PRD initiative phase 1 report  

PRD, initiative phase 1 report