At two recent CPD days with colleagues from a special school and a specialist service, the CPD team had the opportunity to explore an approach to considering the challenges of distributed leadership within the context of multi-partnership working.
The focus of the days was on personal and collegiate reflection on a shared understanding of the meaning and relevance of distributed leadership and the related professional development profile and reponses necessary to ensure that the service priorities are delivered. The implications for PRD were also considered.
The approach and an exemplar of the outcomes of the discussions will be available on CPD Find in early 2011.
As part of the PRD initiative the team has been looking at the 2002 document on Professional Review and Development. It is interesting to note that inspite of the fact that it predates Curriculum for Excellence by a number of years and it doesn’t articulate the importance of PRD and teacher professional learning specifically in relation to Curriculum for Excellence, it remains entirely relevant and valid for today’s purposes.
Professional Review & Development and associated CPD is very topical and is currently a focus of discussion between the National CPD Team and the CPD Network. The team is also exploring the implications for PRD and CPD within the context of distributed leadership. This month’s article offers a perspective on the relationship between the two and one approach which is being trialled by the team to explore the impact of distributed leadership in establishing and sustaining a community of practice. .
If CfE in all its aspirations is to be successfully embedded into practice there is a clear need for all colleagues to be aware of their role and responsibilities and how a staff team complements each other to ensure that children and young people benefit holistically from the skills and experience which determine the quality of the learning experience.
In terms of distributed leadership there is a danger that it is a phrase which can be easily used but not necessarily understood in the same way by colleagues. If it is to be an influence to the good , colleagues must have a shared understanding and commitment to a culture which sees it as empowering staff rather than as a means of delegating unpalatable tasks. It can only operate effectively in a climate of trust and respect. Colleagues who are active in leadership roles focus their contribution on the development of practice which relates to the needs of the pupils in their particular school. Their contribution should be recognised as professional development in the colleague’s own CPD profile and also as a contribution to the professional development of others. This in turn provides a focus for PRD discussions and related ongoing CPD activity. The challenge in schools where children and young people are also accessing support from partner agencies is complex – where does the balance of distributed leadership lie ? What are the mutual benefits ?
The National CPD Team in collaboration with Kersland special school in Renfrewshire is exploring these themes in relation to defining a community of practice which recognises and values the impact of distributed leadership. The collaboration will also consider a model for PRD and CPD to support the approach . The National CPD team recognises that in a climate of inclusion these questions are also highly pertinent in a mainstream setting and will be engaging with colleagues to consider the related PRD and CPD implications.
As ever we would be delighted to hear from you : either in terms of the perspective which has been outlined or any approaches being undertaken in your school or authority.
The National CPD Team (at Education Scotland) facilitates an online community for those teachers (such as supply teachers) who want to keep up to date with their professional development. It’s called CPDStepIn.
CPDStepin is facilitated by Con Morris and it currently includes the following features:
a discussion area with chat, forum and web meeting tools
a place to ‘give and take’ resources and links
links with mentors from many parts of Scotland
advice on PRD and examples of free, online CPD on Glow and beyond
David Johnstone (Quality Improvement Manager in Dundee City Council) was kind enough to give me a good chunk of his valuable time yesterday. Our main focus was on online CPD technology, and we covered a lot of ground in how Dundee City Council’s OnlineCPD system and tools such as CPDFind will help in the PRD process. It was great to see how firmly David is rooting the work in the Professional Standards and incorporating coaching techniques into PRD (or SD and R as it’s known in Dundee City). It’s also good to hear that Dundee colleagues are using Glow to host professional communities.
David also kindly shared a sneak preview of a draft ‘framework’ for Principal Teachers. I am sure many colleagues will be interested when it’s past the draft stage, David!
I look forward to continuing the conversation at the Stirling workshop on 5th and 6th of February with David and others (I will blog about this as soon as we have the final agenda in place).
Oh and the photo is the slap-up lunch that David bought me that I didn’t get time to eat, so engrossed were we! Thanks David!
Clicking the link above will let you download the 1st draft of the PRD paper. It will posted on CPDConfer over the summer period and beyond for comment. In the meantime, the CPD team would be delighted if you could leave comments on this blog post!
The National CPD Team are undertaking a review of the Professional Review and Development (PRD) process. We recommend that the Standard for Full Registration be central to this review and the cornerstone of PRD and CPD for the Scottish teaching profession. For some post holders there are other Standards which will be the focus of their PRD but the SFR is the baseline professional Standard and should be placed in a fundamental central position.
If you haven’t already heard, I am delighted that HMIE has invited the CPD network to join them for the national launch of Part 3 of the Journey to Excellence. We now have confirmation of the venue which is to be the Caledonian Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh.
The day will start with coffee at 9.30 a.m. prior to the launch at 10 a.m. The meeting will finish at 12.45.
We have arranged lunch for the network and we will meet together in the afternoon. Our agenda will be PRD (Jim Keegans); CPD Scotland (Con Morris); Leadership Conference (Ollie Bray) and I will give a CPD Update. We will close the meeting at 3.30 p.m.
An advisory group is now established to review existing good practice in the PRD process and to make recommendations on how the process can be improved. We are building on previous work of the CPD Team published in Occasional Paper 5.
Comments on current PRD practice and thoughts on how we might improve the process would be welcomed by the advisory group.