The process of professional development, from compliance to growth, requires clear communication to all involved from the outset.

In the conclusion of his series on developing the schools within Diverse Academies, Jamie Tegerdine explains the importance of communicating the new approach to all involved through effective coaching.

Growing our people – PIPS to PDPs -an evolution not a revolution

Professional development opportunities

Discussions about professional development opportunities needed to be at the heart of the new PDP. To enable this, the offer needed to be communicated clearly to all stakeholders. The TLC model was used to categorise CPD programmes. It was also vital that the process to request CPD (Bluesky) was easy to use and didn’t create a blocker for staff.

NOTE: The OLEVI TLC Model area of ‘Teaching’ is changed to ‘Technical’ to cover all staff, not just the teachers.

Supporting sustainable growth through a culture of high-quality coaching

Staff are encouraged to engage a coach and to coach others. The aim is to role-model this through day-to-day interactions, CPD activities and staff meetings where there are regular opportunities to practise coaching skills. The coach doesn’t have to be a line manager and colleagues are actively encouraged to use coaches from other academies. In some cases, senior staff use external coaches.  The Trust has a large and growing team of coaches and coaching champions across the trust who have trained through the OLEVI Power of Coaching, Advanced Power of Coaching and OLEVI Professional Coach programmes with the ‘Diverse Association for Professional Learning’.

Impact so far

Despite being only a year into this process, the feedback from teams has been encouraging. Staff feel more trusted and empowered, have more autonomy over their professional development; the CPD offer is more clear; more coaching conversations (of all types) are happening; the PDP feels ‘done with’, rather than ‘done to’; it is noticeable that the data generated is being used to support the organisation and staff e.g. identifying areas of need.

Next steps

There is still some way to go to fully embed this evolved PDP system. A key next step is to ensure professional standards for all of staff to enable them to review themselves, participate in 360 reviews, and to support coaching conversations around their PDPs. There is also a need to communicate changes and the benefits to teams. Levels of job satisfaction need to be better understood, along with what it takes to achieve them, especially in this climate of recruitment difficulties.


About the author: Jamie Tegerdine is Strategic Lead for Teaching, Learning and Professional Development – Diverse Academies Trust and a member of the Diverse Association Steering Group. He works closely with colleagues to develop and coach leaders in the Trust’s Primary, Special and Secondary academies. He is an OLEVI accredited professional facilitator and coach and has 18 years’ experience in teacher training and facilitation. In addition, he worked as an Assistant Principal and Teacher of Design and Technology at Tuxford Academy.

We hope our readers enjoyed this final instalment from Jamie and thank him for authoring the article and his CEO David Cotton for giving us permission to publish it. It serves as a good example how a theoretical approach to school improvement can be translated into action. We expect to keep you informed as the work progresses.

Take care and stay safe.

George

Professor, Sir George Berwick