The effects of high-quality professional development on teachers and students

This report from UK think tank the Education Policy Institute provides a cost-benefit analysis of high-quality professional development.

This report from UK think tank the Education Policy Institute, commissioned by Wellcome, looks at what the impact would be of offering teachers a entitlement of 35 hours of high quality CPD. This research shows that providing teachers with a right to high-quality training and development would boost pupil attainment and earnings, and may tackle retention problems in the profession. While continuing professional development (CPD) can be important to ensuring teacher quality and progression, there is currently no formal entitlement to high quality support 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 government standards. The new report finds that a well-implemented policy of 35 hours a year of high quality CPD for teachers would lead to significant benefits for pupils, including an extra two-thirds of a GCSE grade – improving their lifetime earnings by over £6,000. The EPI cost-benefit analysis demonstrates that in total, a CPD entitlement programme costing £4bn would generate a net societal benefit of around £61bn through higher earnings – a benefit 19 times the cost. However, these considerable gains are dependent on the policy being rolled-out effectively on a national scale. In the immediate term, a policy of CPD entitlement could also significantly improve retention, leading to up to 12,000 extra teachers remaining in the profession a year. A retention boost of this scale would help to ease the Department for Education’s recurring recruitment problems. Typically, it falls short by around 3,000 teachers a year.

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