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Attracting and Retaining Teachers with a Strong CPD Offer

As we all know, the challenges of recruiting and retaining teachers are growing – in a competitive labour market and with more teachers required to support the demographic bulge, attracting good recruits and keeping existing teachers is a high priority for most schools.

To meet the challenge a multi-faceted approach is required: here we focus on one aspect – enhancing your CPD offer.

In the current labour market, both NQTs and more experienced teachers can be selective about which schools they apply to – a strong CPD offering helps to ‘sell’ your school to candidates.

Retaining existing teachers is just as important.  Teachers are professionals and several of the Research Schools have been looking at ways to maintain their professional motivation and develop their teaching practice by engaging in their own learning and keeping informed about the best research-based practice in teaching.  As the AHT from Long Stratton High School has found: “teachers welcome challenging CPD”. 

So, here are some ideas from the Research Schools to help you refresh your CPD offer:

  • This article from the Research Schools Network sets the scene, reminding us that good CPD programmes are focused on improving pupil outcomes, underpinned by robust evidence and expertise, include collaboration and expert challenge and should be sustained over time:


  • A ‘relatively early-career teacher’ from Taverham High School reports on their experience of using learning leaders’, appointed from a mixed group of staff to each run one CPD session in the course of a year. Thereby injecting some fresh enthusiasm into PD days:

  • Long Stratton High School has successfully run a CPD Book Club for 4 years. Each twilight session has a teacher sharing insights and learning from an education book with the group considering how this might inform practice in the classroom.  This blog from their Assistant Headteacher, explains how they found the time and comments on the high level of engagement from staff:


  • And finally, the Headteacher at The Blue School, Wells, reflects on lessons a CPD leader gained from the change in leadership at Manchester United football team! It inspired him to look at developing his existing team, using a coaching structure and he argues for an approach focusing on support, development and inspiration, rather than accountability, as a way of moving schools forward:



Christine Challenger, Teacher Recruitment Service

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