The cost of high-quality professional development for teachers in England

Think tank: Education Policy Institute

Author(s): James Zuccollo; Jen Van Den Brande

July 15, 2021

This report from UK think tank the Education Policy Institute looks at giving teachers a formal entitlement to high-quality training and development.

This report, commissioned by Wellcome, finds that giving teachers a formal entitlement to high-quality training and development would only cost the government an extra £210m in funding a year. When added to existing school spending on training and development for teachers, the total cost would represent less than 1% of the government’s total budget for schools in England. A policy of providing teachers with an entitlement to 35 hours of high-quality continuing professional development (CPD) a year has been shown to bring significant returns in the way of pupil attainment and earnings, and may tackle retention problems in the teaching profession. But despite these benefits, there is currently no formal entitlement to high quality training offered by the government. Teachers in England currently participate in less CPD than their international counterparts, while the quality of CPD programmes on offer often fails to meet the government’s own standards. The study shows that schools typically spend an average of around £3,000 a year per teacher on CPD, which is already much of the cost of an improved, high quality entitlement to teacher CPD.