What CPD am I required to receive as a teacher?


As a teacher you might wonder if there is a requirement from your school to deliver a high standard of continuing professional development (CPD) and other professional development opportunities throughout the year.

You will want to read your school’s CPD policy (if it has one) which will outline the provision at your school, the impact which CPD should have on staff and pupils and any research or coaching opportunities available.

In this article, we look at the Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development from the Department for Education (DfE), expectations for INSET days and what you can do to request CPD provision at your school.

No set requirements from the DfE or Ofsted

The DfE and Ofsted does not outline statutory requirements on the content, duration or delivery method of CPD programmes in schools. It will be up to schools to decide how to implement CPD provision in terms of the development needs of teachers and the impact it will have on pupils.

As a result, CPD provision will differ from school to school with a combination of structured programmes, one-off events from commercial providers to lesson study opportunities and school visits.

The Ofsted inspection handbook explains that school leaders should consider that CPD is “aligned with the curriculum, and the extent to which this develops teachers’ content knowledge and teaching content knowledge over time, so that they are able to deliver better teaching for pupils.”

The DfE has produced guidance for schools on standards that teachers’ professional development should aspire to achieve. We will look at this in more detail below.

How does the DfE define effective professional development?

In July 2016, the DfE published a new Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development for all schools in England. The document outlines a clear description of what effective CPD looks like for teachers.

It explains that effective professional development relies upon teachers, headteachers and leadership teams in schools providing professional development, being clear about their respective roles and working together effectively.

In order for this partnership to be successful: 

  • Professional development should have a focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes
  • Professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise
  • Professional development should include collaboration and expert challenge
  • Professional development programmes should be sustained over time
  • Professional development must be prioritised by school leadership

The document outlines in more detail how this can be implemented in practice.

What are my responsibilities for professional development? 

The Teachers’ Standards set out a number of expectations about professional development. It outlines that teachers should: 

  • Keep their knowledge and skills as teachers up-to-date and be self-critical
  • Take responsibility for improving teaching through appropriate professional development, responding to advice and feedback from colleagues
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how this has an impact on teaching
  • Have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject(s) and curriculum areas
  • Reflect systematically on the effectiveness of lessons and approaches to teaching
  • Know and understand how to assess the relevant subject and curriculum areas

We have written another article which outlines your expectations with the Teachers’ Standards and how you will be assessed.

What are the requirements with INSET days?

If you are a teacher in a maintained school your school must designate five days per year for purposes other than teaching. Each of the five days should be allocated six hours of directed time, even if teachers do not undertake activities for all of that time.

Headteachers must ensure these five days are used for training purposes, as otherwise it would be depriving teachers from their right to CPD. Academies that do not follow the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) can decide how many INSET days to hold each year.

We have written another article which looks at requirements on attending INSET days.

How can I request CPD provision?

Some schools will outline in their CPD policies how you can request CPD provision if you feel there is a need for it. It will be useful to link your CPD request with your school’s development plan and how it will have a positive impact on learning and teaching. 

It will also be helpful to highlight any costs, impact of staffing duties and any research and evidence on what you think the impact will have on pupils.

If you have any questions about CPD provision at your school you can contact us for further advice and support.

Was this article helpful?

The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.