In today’s economic climate schools are facing some tough decisions.
Traditional approaches to professional development are being re-evaluated in terms of cost-effectiveness and lasting impact. Senior leaders have realised that it’s not always viable to send someone on a one-day course, and the obvious “cheaper alternative” of whole school INSET simply isn’t going to meet everyone’s needs.
Last week a Headteacher asked me “What can we do to make CPD more effective?
The short answer is . . . “coach!”
Yes - a one-off event can be incredibly inspiring
Yes - they’ll gain some basic knowledge and skills (and hopefully have a nice lunch!)
And yes - they’ll probably go away buzzing with ideas and good intentions.
So I’m not knocking them at all. One-off events are absolutely brilliant for some things, but the danger is that it becomes a box ticking exercise – the money’s spent and little changes – or it starts with a BANG and then fizzles out.
In fact, research shows that within 24 hours we’ll have forgotten 50-80% of what we’ve learned, and after 30 days we’ll only remember 2-3%. So what happens? Reality kicks in and everyday school demands hit us which absorb our time and energy, while the materials gather dust and our good intentions go out of the window!
When money’s tight we cannot afford to let that happen, but the reality is that we simply can’t become experts and change everything forever in a day.
Think about it – we can “google” things to get knowledge quickly and easily, but does that make us an expert?
Does it mean we really “get it” and can do it 100% effectively?
And that means it will have limited impact and be unsustainable.
So what budget-conscious 21st century schools need is a more innovative approach that delivers the maximum possible impact and return on their investment.
Here are some practical tips to help you:
- Use 1:1 coaching (instead of one-off events) to provide personalised professional development that meets each individual’s needs & supports them in making changes
- Follow up “one-off” training events with a series of coaching sessions to ensure that trainees retain, implement and apply the knowledge effectively
- Drip-feed training with a coach approach so that people have a chance to remember, implement and embed their learning
This way, if you invest in the right expert coaching training and tools, you’ll be able to make your CPD far more effective AND get much better return on your investment in terms of impact. And an added bonus is that you’ll not just be transforming your school forever, you’ll be transforming lives.