Flagship training provider sees half of teachers ditch CPD scheme

Education Development Trust had worst drop-rates in £75 million government CPD scheme to boost social mobility

Education Development Trust had worst drop-rates in £75 million government CPD scheme to boost social mobility

29 Sep 2022, 17:26

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A charity running flagship training and tutoring programmes for the government saw more than half of participants drop out of one of its professional development courses.

This summer, Education Development Trust was warned by Ofsted it is “not taking effective action” to ensure high standards in its early-career framework and national professional qualifications training. 

It is one of only a handful of providers delivering the government’s package of reformed professional qualifications.

A government-commissioned report has now highlighted flaws in another of its programmes.

The now-closed “Accelerate” scheme was part of the £75 million Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund, unveiled by former education secretary Justine Greening as part of her social mobility drive from 2016.

The programme and nine others funded through TLIF were designed to support high-quality continuing professional development in schools “that needed it most”. 

A government-commissioned report into eight of the projects found “strong evidence” they helped participants’ teaching and leadership practices overall.

But the report found “mixed views” about how far EdDevTrust’s project achieved intended outcomes. Only one other project received a similar verdict, the Geographical Association.

Schemes run by the Ambition Institute and Tom Bennett Training received more praise, and those run by Teach First, Teacher Development Trust and Edison delivered most of their intended outcomes. 

EdDevTrust beat recruitment targets, with 1598 primary and secondary teacher sign-ups to its workshops, online modules, mentoring and coaching. The programme was run with the Chartered College of Teaching.

But Accelerate , aimed at “empowering ECTs to deliver the best possible education for disadvantaged pupils”, was completed by only 716 participants in early 2020, the worst drop-out rate among providers.

Some participants who left were “unable to give the level of commitment the project required”, while others had left their jobs.

While participant feedback was “generally positive” some complained about its online platform – echoing Ofsted criticism of its ECF and NPQ systems. Planned training for senior leaders on using research and developing a CPD culture was not delivered. 

“Consequently, some ECTs reported a lack of support from senior staff, which hampered their ability to put their learning into practice:”

Overall, the TLIF projects had a positive impact on intended outcomes including retention, but “no observable impact” on progression.  

Exceptions were Teach First and Tom Bennett Training, both highly praised by participants. Teachers and leaders taking the latter went on to “move from challenging to less challenging schools”, however.

An EdDevTrust spokesperson highlighted the evidence Accelerate improved ECTs’ knowledge, confidence and practice. She added that TLIF was “designed for innovation and learning”, with one learning being ECTs’ “challenge” finding time.

The charity has recently been entrusted with training mentors on the National Tutoring Programme.

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