Enriching the Lives of Our Staff, Inspiring Their Ambitions
An overview of the new Consilium Centre for Professional Learning offering and why it has been created.
At Consilium Academies everything we do is inspired and guided by our values. As a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), our core mission is to ‘provide high-quality education that is truly inclusive, giving every student the same opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in life beyond the classroom.’ We are a people-centred Trust and all our staff have an important role to play in giving our students the best education possible, to help them on their journey towards excellence. We want to instil a passion for life-long learning and continued improvement, not just in our students, but also our staff. This is why we have created the Consilium Centre for Professional Learning (CFPL), to help this vision become a reality.
Who is the CFPL for?
The CFPL is for everyone in our Trust, at any level, and in any role. When it comes to delivering ambitious, high-quality education, our teaching staff are crucial. However, 40 percent of our colleagues are support staff, in supporting roles. These colleagues are just as vital in ensuring we deliver the best education possible for our students.
Students learn better when they are safe, when their lessons are well resourced, when their schools are well run, and teachers are looked after. Therefore, it is just as important that our support staff, as well as teachers, have access to first-rate professional development resources. This is why our Centre for Professional Learning is for everyone who works at Consilium Academies, at any level, and in any role.
What the CFPL will do
It is the purpose of the CFPL to give our staff the professional development opportunities they need to be the best they can be. This allows them to reach their own personal aspirations, as well as make them more effective and efficient within the Trust. The professional development of our staff is crucial to the success of our Trust.
Of all the factors which affect student performance at school, the most important one that schools and academy trusts can influence is teacher effectiveness (Leithwood et al, 2008; Hattie, 2003). A huge part of our work is dedicated to helping our teachers be the best they can be through professional learning, to ensure our students get the highest quality of education possible. This will then allow them to develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in life, in and outside, the classroom.
Schools that value professional development and invest in it, create opportunities for colleagues to work together and experience greater success (Kraft and Papay, 2014). This is why we are so excited to give our staff access to high-quality professional development.
Unfortunately, not everything that happens in the name of professional development transforms practice. Not all professional development is created equal. We understand from speaking to our staff, as well as from studies into teacher development, that historically, many things that teachers have been asked to do have been poorly evidenced. We know that previously, training has been delivered in a way that doesn’t take into account how people learn, or doesn’t consider the role of habits and how habit formation can limit teacher effectiveness. We know from surveys (Teacher Tapp, 2018), that because of prior experiences, teachers don’t always value professional development.
The Centre for Professional Learning will be different and will guarantee the professional development given to our staff is of the highest-quality. Research has been done on what factors are most likely to ensure professional development is successful, the CFPL will be informed by informed by this, as well as the most up to date and current studies about how people learn. Our practices will be founded upon the best available evidence to give our staff the professional development most likely to move professional practice forward. By doing this we ensure the CFPL offers the most effective professional development possible.
What does all this mean for our staff?
It means all of our staff, regardless of role and position will have access to a bespoke professional development service, tailored for their individual needs. The curriculum of the CFPL will be created with care and attention, ensuring concepts are explained with greater clarity and thought, presenting new ideas alongside models, and supporting staff throughout their learning process.
Our most valuable resource is our people, and this is why investing in them is so important. This is why the Consilium Centre for Professional Learning exists, as we know it will make a significant difference to our staff and the 6,000 young people in their care. We implore all of our staff to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the CFPL, as it exists for them.
It is our people that make us who we are, and they help us make our vision a reality. This is why we are proud to be Consilium Academies, a Trust that believes in the unique value of each individual.
Hattie, J (2003). Teachers make a difference, what is the research evidence? Teachers Make a Difference, What is the research evidence? (acer.edu.au)
Cordingley et al (2015). Developing great teaching: lessons from the international reviews into effective professional development. Teacher Development Trust. DGT-Full-report.pdf (tdtrust.org)
Hobbiss, M., Sims, S., & Allen, R (2021). Habit formation limits growth in teacher effectiveness: a review of converging evidence from neuroscience and social science. Review of Education. 9(1). Habit formation limits growth in teacher effectiveness: A review of converging evidence from neuroscience and social science (wiley.com)
Sims, S. & Fletcher-Wood, H (2018). Characteristics of effective teacher professional development: what we know, what we don’t, and how we can find out. Characteristics-of-Effective-Teacher-Professional-Development.pdf (improvingteaching.co.uk)
Kraft, M. & Papay, J (2014). Can Professional Environments in Schools Promote Teacher Development? Explaining Heterogeneity in Returns to Teaching Experience. Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 36(4). (1) (PDF) Can Professional Environments in Schools Promote Teacher Development? Explaining Heterogeneity in Returns to Teaching Experience (researchgate.net)
Leithwood, K., Harris, A. & Hopkins, D (2008). Seven Strong Claims about Successful School Leadership. School Leadership and Management. 28(1). (1) (PDF) Seven Strong Claims about Successful School Leadership (researchgate.net)