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How do I decide what provision is best?

Created on 26 May 2010 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 08 April 2013 by ncetm_administrator


How do I provide for the CPD of others?

In order to decide what provision is best I need to:

  • help colleagues audit their CPD needs
  • find out about good quality CPD resources and ideas
  • decide what is good value for money
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the CPD

There are a number of ways in which colleagues can be supported in auditing their CPD needs:

Performance Management targets

These targets are an outcome of the Performance Management review and one may well have a mathematics focus. Some CPD support may be relevant to support your colleagues in achieving their targets.

Feedback from lesson observations

This feedback may highlight an area for CPD in mathematics.

Informal conversations with colleagues

These informal conversations that take place in an ad hoc fashion may highlight areas for CPD.

Feedback from analysis of summative assessment

Colleagues may find it useful to interrogate the results of summative assessments to see if there are certain areas of the curriculum emerging as a weakness for pupils. Does that area need more teaching time? Does it need more creative teaching?

Assessing Pupil Progress analysis

Is there an area where there is repeatedly insufficient evidence, such as the ‘Reasoning’ Assessment Focus within AT1 (Using and Applying Mathematics)? It may be that there are very limited opportunities for children to develop their learning in this area. It could be a rich area for CPD.

Looking at 'stuck' and under-performing children in their class

Detailed observation and unpicking of these children’s learning can often reveal an area for CPD, in terms of pedagogy or mathematical subject knowledge.

Their own 'hunches' and professional opinion

Colleagues may have a good feel for what they need to do to develop their understanding of mathematics and the associated pedagogies. This may have been formed from input from some or all of the above.

Feedback from using the NCETM Self-evaluation Tools

The Self-evaluation Tools allow colleagues to reflect on the three key areas required for successful teaching:
  • Mathematics content knowledge
  • Mathematics-specific pedagogy
  • Embedding content knowledge and pedagogy in practice.
The Mathematics Content Knowledge and Mathematics-specific pedagogy Self-evaluation Tools are now available online; the third will follow shortly.
Remember you are supporting colleagues to audit their CPD needs, not doing it for them!


  • Do you agree with these ways of helping your colleagues to audit their CPD needs?
  • Are there other ways you would suggest?
  • What will you actually do to support colleagues to audit their CPD needs in practice?
  • When will you need the results of your colleagues’ self-audit?

How do I find out about good quality CPD resources and ideas?
You may find that fellow Maths Subject Leaders in your area have good ideas about good quality CPD resources or ideas. Remember to ask them next time you meet or drop them an email.

The NCETM has developed a CPD Standard, aimed at helping staff teaching mathematics at all levels to access information about the CPD provision on offer, its appropriateness and quality.

What about value for money?
Remember that you need to decide what CPD provision represents good value for money. There is more about the budget in the next section. Think about the cost implications for sending colleagues out on courses and the supply needed, compared to getting a consultant to come and deliver training in school or using the resources you have in school and working in pairs where colleagues can share their particular expertise.  

How do I monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the CPD?

Monitoring and evaluating can often be confused.

Monitoring CPD means checking that planned action has happened. This can be undertaken in many ways such as checking with colleagues or asking for progress reports. This is the straightforward and simple aspect.

Evaluating CPD means looking at the impact on colleagues’ professional development. How has the CPD helped them to develop their practice? It also means looking at the impact on children’s learning in the classroom. Evaluating CPD is more complex.

Some ideas for how to evaluate the effectiveness of CPD can be found in the Self-evaluation grid for mathematics subject leaders.

In the ‘Establishing’ column of section 4 (Professional Development into Practice) of the Self-evaluation grid, Issue 2 states;

‘There is a coherent support programme is in place and all staff are involved in reviewing and evaluating the professional development and the support they have received.  When appropriate the impact of the professional development is evaluated through visits to the classrooms and via formal and informal feedback. A planned programme of support has been devised, responding to whole–school and individual needs.’

This suggests that all staff are involved in evaluating the CPD they have received. It also suggests that the impact can be evaluated though classroom visits. In addition there is formal and informal feedback.

The need for SMART targets
It can be difficult to evaluate something unless there are clear objectives that it intended to meet. SMART targets – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound – are central to school evaluation. It is essential when setting up the CPD programme for mathematics each year to be clear what the objective is for each of the individual elements and ensure that SMART targets are agreed. Individual colleagues also need to be clear what the objective is for the CPD they are undertaking so that they can measure its impact.

Objectives such as ‘raising children’s attainment in mathematics’ can be too broad. It is important to clarify the objective so that it is focussed and specific such as ‘improving children’s speaking and listening skills in mathematics’.

Establish a baseline in order to measure progress.
A baseline needs to be in place for any progress and improvement to be measureable.

What monitoring and evaluation is currently in place for CPD in mathematics? How do you establish SMART targets? How do you establish a baseline?

You may find it helpful to discuss this with member(s) of the SLT. Find out what ideas they have and how it fits with the monitoring and evaluation of CPD in general in your school.

Explore this further by looking at the TDA materials Evaluating the impact of continuing professional development.

Download the latest version of Adobe Flash to listen to this resource.

Look at the section that offers a range of questions prior to undertaking the CPD and also to review the impact of the CPD. This document is not mathematics-specific, yet can be usefully translated into the area of mathematics CPD.

How do you need to develop the monitoring and evaluating systems for CPD in mathematics?

Record your thoughts and ides on how you provide the best CPD in your Personal Learning Space.






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