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Case Studies - West Kirby

West Kirby, Wirral

Type of school: Non-maintained Special Needs School
Age range: 5 - 16 plus
Number of pupils: 100 students

Dave Barden, Vice Principal talks through his positive experience of the CPD Mark process following the school’s successful assessment in October 2010.

Why did you want to work towards the CPD Mark?
I believed (and still do) that the CPD Mark – being based on analysing structures and effectiveness of school CPD systems - is a very useful way of demonstrating to Ofsted, LAs and others the quality and commitment of a school to developing its staff, governors and partnerships. I believed that the framework I was working towards and the introduction of some new areas highlighted in the CPD Mark criteria would be greatly beneficial to the development of my school.

How did you manage the process?
Having attended a CPD Mark seminar, I explained to the SLT the benefits to be gained by following the process. I then ensured that achievement of all aspects of the CPD Mark criteria were included on our SDP. Our SDP was introduced to all staff and Governors in September in various meetings. Key staff and Governors were informed of any criteria on the CPD Mark checklist which was within their areas of responsibility.

How did you find the assessment?
I found it to be very thorough. The assessor who spent a day with us was very experienced, knowledgeable and rigorous in assessing our bid, which gave me increased confidence in the validity and substance of the CPD Mark award.

What benefits have you seen as a result of the process?
I believe that our CPD related policies and practices are now in line with best practices. All staff groups have benefited from seeing a greater clarity of commitment to their CPD needs. Job specifications are now being rewritten to include my school’s commitment to whole staff CPD whilst Governors and Directors can also see greater structure in our CPD systems. We have also added a new strategic aim to the school’s vision – ‘To encourage ongoing development of staff skills, ensure competitive remuneration, good conditions of service and promote staff welfare’.

Would you recommend the CPD Mark?
Most definitely, it provides a very valuable evaluation tool underpinned by a practical and wide-ranging framework – which is clearly based on best practices and can have long-term impact upon teaching and learning, outcomes and overall school effectiveness. I would definitely recommend that you go to a CPD Mark seminar and also ask the team to send you a copy of the framework, assessment and evidence criteria, all of which was of great help to me.

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