New expert panel will advise on teacher development standards

A new expert group tasked with advising government on the first ever set of teacher professional development standards is launching a call for evidence.

The 11-person expert panel, chaired by Teacher Development Trust chief executive David Weston (pictured), has been formed at the invitation of the Department for Education and will officially launch its call for views tomorrow (Monday).

It comes after research by the Trust showed that many approaches to the professional development of teachers were not effective. The panel’s aim is to find ways “to make sure every teacher has access to high quality on-the-job support”.

The experts will make recommendations to the government about “how to ensure that every school can provide the sorts of professional learning opportunities for teachers that help young people to succeed and teachers to thrive”.

Mr Weston said he wanted the new non-statutory standards to be valued, adding that his panel’s priority was to listen carefully to teachers, school leaders and professional development providers.

He said: “We have already consulted carefully with all of the teaching and school leadership unions and look forward to engaging more widely across the sector.”

The panel have so far been inspired by schools making time for teachers to engage in joint planning and supportive peer-observation, and which created an “environment of professional trust and respect where staff flourish”.

He continued: “These schools see professional development as more than merely an add-on to the job, it is put at the beating heart of the job.

“Our hope is that, working together with colleagues from across the sector we can create a standard that helps all of us grow and develop so that we can unleash our full potential as professionals.”

The evidence-giving process is accessible online at from midday tomorrow until October 16. Alternatively, responses can be emailed to or posted to Henry Clarke, Department for Education, Teacher Quality Division, L2 Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BT.

The panel’s response will eventually be published online at GOV.UK.

Meet the team

Lead members

David Weston, the chair of the new panel, is chief executive of the Teacher Development Trust (TDT) and a former secondary school physics and maths teacher. He is also a governor at a primary and secondary school and tweets as @informed_edu.

Hélène Galdin-O’Shea, vice-chair of the experts, is a research advocate at Park High School, a secondary in Harrow, north London. She is also a co-founder of ResearchED and is on twitter as @hgaldinoshea.

Professor Rob Coe is professor of education and director of the CEM Centre in Durham. He is one of the authors of the TDT’s systematic review into effective teacher development and he tweets with the handle @profcoe.

Philippa Cordingley is the founder and chief executive of the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE). She is also chair of governors at the RSA Academy in Tipton and lead author of the TDT’s systematic review into effective teacher development. Her twitter handle is @PhilippaCcuree.

Simon Knight is the deputy headteacher at the Oxfordshire-based all-through special school Frank Wise School. He is also an associate director of the National Education Trust and tweets as @simonknight100.

Stéphanie Lefort is the head of teaching and learning development, at Aylsham School in Norfolk. She is on twitter as @slefortAHS.

Micon Metcalfe is a specialist leader of education in school business management at Dunraven School, an all-through school in Streatham, south London. She tweets with the handle @miconm.

Dame Alison Peacock is a national leader of education and headteacher of Wroxham School, a primary school in Hertfordshire. She is also a member of the Teaching Schools Council and her twitter handle is @AlisonMPeacock.

Alex Quigley is a curriculum deputy, director of learning and research, and an English teacher at Huntington School, a secondary in York. He tweets as @HuntingEnglish.

Guest members

Jonathan Sharples, senior researcher, Education Endowment Foundation and partnerships manager, Institute for Effective Education, University of York.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd from the Prince’s Teaching Institute Commission, College of Policing, Academy of Medical Sciences and Home Office Science Advisory Council.

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  1. Terry Willis

    As a retired Headteacher who still works in schools and with a University, I read about teacher professional development,about the need for it, about those who claim to deliver it and the effect it will and should have on the quality of teaching. I search in vain for evidence of the analysis of the effect and impact and this professional development. As teachers and Headteachers we were always required to measure impact – of teaching, of planned interventions, of extra targeted support etc. Rightly so! Why then do I read so little about the effects of professional development or of the successes identified by the institutions that deliver said development.