Evaluating the evaluation!
I am blessed to work for a range of organisations supporting with their CPD. Whether it’s through my work with the CofE Foundation for Educational Leadership, my role as Assistant Director at Leicester DBE or my other work with individual MAT’s and schools, I always start with ‘so-what?’ ‘So what’ difference will this development opportunity make to the participants and how will it impact on their practice with young people.
Over the years I have worked on many different professional development programmes and I must say the best programmes are always when evaluation is part of the design process; when the big question of what impact will this (‘piece of training’) have the on lives of young people is at the forefront of the designers’ minds. What do I mean by ‘best’? ‘Best’ is when year’s later former participants still cite the programme as making a difference to them and recount the impact it had on their practice, and when they talk about the children they worked with and the difference they made. (Being incredibly humble, as I find teachers usually are, the difference they have made with children usually has to be dragged out of them! Always citing everyone else as important in that development…)
Today I have been finalising the mechanics of the evaluation strategy for Leicester DBE’s CPD Programme for schools and in the process have been referring to the DfE’s Standards for Professional Development and in particular the implementation guidance but I was also reminded of this really practical guidance tool developed 10 years ago by the TDA (click here) – might be old, but there are some really good questions in here for schools to consider when evaluating the CPD that happening in their school.
Ensuring CPD is effective and has impact on children has always been important, but quite understandably with ever shrinking school budgets the spotlight is firmly on CPD providers to answer the question ‘So-what?’ This is a question I am always happy to answer, the ‘so-what’ is what drives me every day.
Here’s some other links that I’ve used in exploring the evaluation of CPD: