CPD for teachers

All UK teachers are required to undergo 30 hours of professional development per year, with some teachers suggesting the value of establishing a National Teaching Institute to ensure high-quality, regulated continuing professional development and training within the industry.

Undeniably, CPD in education is important. Surveys conducted by Manchester Metropolitan University revealed that many teachers thought ‘CPD had directly enhanced their promotion prospects’. Even more sceptical respondents acknowledged the value of accredited CPD courses to current and potential employers.

What is CPD for teachers?

In a profession that focuses on learning and knowledge, it is all too important for teachers to set aside time for continuing professional development – CPD.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) section of the UK National Education Union states that CPD for teachers can incorporate:

  1. Training courses and workshops
  2. Studying for a qualification or accreditation
  3. Online courses/webinars/podcasts
  4. Observation and shadowing
  5. Mentoring
  6. Peer group exchanges
  7. Attending exhibitions and conferences
  8. International exchanges
  9. Self-reflection, personal reading or research

There is also a high degree of choice available regarding professional development, enabling teachers to tailor their CPD to areas in which they feel they need to improve, areas suggested by fellow staff members or areas of general interest.

Curiously in a sector where knowledge, learning and development is of paramount significance, the value of CPD in education has been the source of much controversy.

It is widely recognised that undertaking beneficial CPD for teachers is easier said than done, because long days dedicated to your pupils’ development can mean that it can be difficult to make time for your own.

The same survey by Manchester Metropolitan University revealed that many teachers find CPD to have a negative effect on their work, as it simply represents ‘more plates to juggle’ instead of an opportunity to benefit their career.

Some teachers also described the effect of CPD on their self-confidence as ‘negative’. Only 24% said that CPD had had a ‘very significant impact’ on their professional development.

Bearing this in mind, it is vital to secure CPD that will have a positive impact on your teaching practice, career goals and emotional well-being.

CPD for teachers: which course is right for you?

CPD courses for teachers are relevant to a wide variety of areas in education, including:

  1. Subject knowledge enhancement
  2. Mental health support in the classroom
  3. Revision strategy training
  4. Leadership skills
  5. Effective teaching assistant use
  6. Subject leader training
  7. Behavioural management
  8. Time management
  9. Coaching and motivational skills

Online courses, discussion groups and webinars are also available for those whose ability to travel is restricted.

If you are considering a particular course, first check that it is accredited by the UK Continuing Professional Development Service (CPDUK) in order to ensure that the CPD you receive is of the highest possible quality.

Not all CPD need be external. A survey undertaken by IRIS Connect of over 250 teachers indicates that four times as many teachers prefer in-situ classroom-based CPD to external courses.

The same poll also shows that 85% of teachers value teachers sharing best practice is a valuable learning strategy. With this in mind, organising lesson shadowing is a simple, cost-efficient and highly effective internal means of professional development.

The Guardian describes CPD as ‘a gloomy picture in most schools’, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Teachers committed to ongoing self-development who source CPD courses wisely will find the process enjoyable and rewarding.

How to become a headteacher

How to become a headteacher in the UK

Attaining the prestigious position of headteacher is one of the most rewarding moments of a teacher’s career and often represents the culmination of years, if not decades, of teaching.

A headteacher’s day to day role includes such responsibilities as:

  1. Conducting any leadership and management necessary in order to keep your school running smoothly
  2. Controlling the school’s finances and planning budget
  3. Monitoring the progress of pupils and teachers
  4. Creating a positive work environment with academic motivation, pastoral support, and sufficient discipline

Is there a headteacher qualification?

The UK’s most significant formal headteacher qualification, the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), was declared non-mandatory in 2012. At the current time, the only formal certification a headteacher needs is their qualified teacher status (QTS).

Since the NPQH became non-mandatory, the training necessary for the role of headteacher has by necessity become much more flexible and tailored to the individual.

The most formal current headteacher ‘qualification’ is simply experience. The majority of headteachers are deputy heads of several years’ standing.

Ascending to the position of headteacher in a school in which you have previously worked as deputy gives you invaluable experience. As the role of deputy head involves mediating between the staff and the headteacher, you will already understand the inner workings of your school.

If you are entering a school for the first time in the position of headteacher however, you will have no understanding of the specificities of the environment. In this case, on-the-job training and preparation are essential.

What does a headteacher do to train for the role?

Despite no longer being a prerequisite, the NPQH still has value and has been described by headteacher Nichola Smith as ‘beneficial in partnership with other training’. Nevertheless it can be hard for budding headteachers to know how to prepare for the role.

James Toop, chief executive of Ambition School Leadership (ASL), discusses a recent survey in which almost 40% of headteachers described shadowing their former boss as a key form of training. He describes ‘mentoring from an experienced head, placements and job shadowing… (as)… great accelerators’.

Indeed, shadowing on the whole is highly advisable in a teaching environment. A headteacher to be must have a good repository of knowledge regarding all areas of their school and once hired they can use the time prior to taking over the role in order to familiarise themselves with its everyday workings.

Jill Berry, a headteacher of ten years’ standing, advises future headteachers to maximise the opportunities afforded by a long transition period in order to gain valuable experience that will prove beneficial in the role.

Another vital skill for headteachers is a good understanding of finance. In modern-day education in which school budgets are increasingly restricted, it is vital that a headteacher knows how to manage the school’s finances

However, it it must be acknowledged that there are aspects of the role, such as passion and vision, for which an aspiring headteacher cannot train. If you possess these innate qualities, you are already well on your way to becoming a successful headteacher.


Daje – Why I work in Education

Learning support assistant Daje from Norbury Primary School in Harrow tells us more about why she became an LSA.

Our support has always been a key part of helping all types of people find work, in the UK and abroad.

It’s our approach to support which starts with a free career planning session no matter your location, experience or role, we believe that quality recruitment begins with helping and understand your unique needs.

Kate – How useful was Engage Educations CPD for you?

Kate from Australia shares the upsides of the Life and Professional development insights she has been given and why it helps.

Our support has always been a key part of helping all types of people find work, in the UK and abroad.

It’s our approach to support which starts with a free career planning session no matter your location, experience or role, we believe that quality recruitment begins with helping and understand your unique needs.

Managing Classroom Behaviour

26 ways to sort your professional development
26 ways to sort your professional development

We help our teachers across the world by running CPD courses in Australia, Ireland, Canada for teachers considering moving here and for ALL of our teachers in the UK we have an ongoing program covering all sorts of gains.

Here is twenty-six of our upcoming courses:

1. Free CPD Class: Raising Achievement for ASD

2. Free CPD Class: Behaviour Management Strategies for Primary

3. Free CPD Class: Early Years- Play Based Learning

4. Free CPD Class: Using Phonics to Support Early Literacy

5. Free CPD Class: New Phonics changes

6. Free CPD Class: Embedding Numeracy across the curriculum

7. Free CPD Class: Embedding literacy across the curriculum

8. Free CPD Class: Maths intro session (AQ)

9. Free CPD Class: Engaging the disengaged student

10. Free CPD Class: How to prepare for a lesson observation

11. Free CPD Class: Extracurricular activities in school

12. Free CPD Class: Marking tips from veteran teachers

13. Free CPD Class: Effectively integrating technology

14. Free CPD Class: New and better ways to use technology

15. Free CPD Class: Understanding Predicted Grades (How to utilize the data)

16. Free CPD Class: Managing Behaviour: Conflict Resolution in the Classroom

17. Free CPD Class: Meaningful Practical Assessments

18. Free CPD Class: Teaching Outstanding Lessons

19. Free CPD Class: Safeguarding: Your Responsibilities

20. Free CPD Class: Preparing for Parents Evening

21. Free CPD Class: Supply Teacher Resources

22. Free CPD Class: Supporting mental health in the classroom

23. Free CPD Class: Progressing my career

24. Free CPD Class: Sponsorship: What you need to know

25. Free CPD Class: Integrating into a new school

26. Free CPD Class: Understanding the structure of UK Schools

It is your career, your choices, we just load you up with whatever you need to help yours on your journey.

Our CPD classes are free for our teachers. If you want to discuss how we could be helping you then just click below and we can have a chat.

From SGP to…

From SGP to…

So you’ve been teaching supply on our Secure Guarantee Pay scheme for a few months now. You’ve taught at 13 different schools in your area. You know what you like and what you don’t. So what’s next?

What are my options?

You’ve always got options when you work with us and as an SGP teacher, you have loads! The first is renewing your SGP contract, either in the same area or somewhere new, for example in a different part of town.

If you’ve enjoyed SGP but you think you’re ready to find a school that you could teach in on a longer-term basis, then find a long-term contract might be what you need. We’ll be able to help you find schools that are recruiting and get you set up to interview! Longer term contracts can range from anything from six weeks to a whole school year.

Permanent opportunities

If you’ve enjoyed teaching in England so much and you’d like to stay here indefinitely, then you could look for Sponsorship opportunities if your visa is running out. Sponsorship means a school would sponsor you to stay in the UK and teach here indefinitely – you’d become an employee of them directly. We can help you figure out whether this is right for you.

Don’t need sponsorship?

We can help you find a permanent role in a school, too. Explore other sectors Why not embark on a new challenge and work in a different sector. Special Education is extremely rewarding and has a range of benefits. Our Special Education team are on hand to help you get into Special Education as an LSA, SENCO, or Special Education teacher.

Daily Supply

There are other ways to teach supply without being signed up to a contract. Daily supply means you let us know each week when you’re available to teach and we find you the supply work on those days – it’s as simple as that. This is a great option for people that might be looking for something more part-time or flexible as you choose when you work. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re on hand to support you with your choices and ambitions.

What are the benefits of working with Engage Education

What are the benefits of working with Engage Education

In case you’re wondering why you have that funny feeling, it’s something we like to call the ‘aha moment’ when you know you’ve found the agency that is going to give you all the tools you need to embark on your new teaching journey in the UK.

Let’s sum it up shall we?

Choose your route:

– SGP – gain experience in different schools, financial security

– D2D – flexible, work when you want

– Iday – free UK trip, see schools in person, visit UK schools, leave with job offers

– LT – get to know one class, salary Perm – work directly for a school, step up (promotion), no timesheets

Finance support:

– For our overseas teachers looking to relocate to the UK, we offer the extra cash injection you need to help you find your feet, with our £1,000 Rewards Program: £500 term 1, £250 term 2, £250 term 3. Only when you work with Engage.

Get set up:

– We sort the airport pickup – No getting lost here.

– Help you set up bank account – Amazing how handy getting paid is.

– Show you the bits and pieces of the Visa process – Minimize the anxiety.

– Sourcing your National Insurance number – You need one to be a legit UK resident.

Help with the Essentials:

– Help finding accommodation and introductions before you even get here.

– Internet! We give you the advice you need. Imagine a new home with no internet, no way.

– A dedicated support number, not sure about something, got a question, give us a call: 0333 150 8010

Social perks:

– Organised social events to help meet other teachers like you!

– A private Facebook group for related insights.

– Discounts and insights for shopping and entertainment.

– Exclusive holiday offers and trips, see Europe or the rest of the UK, it’s your call.

Career Planning:

– Personalized plan including CPD training, induction and continuous development.

Induction Process:

– Full day of essential insights, training and integration knowledge plus a smattering of fun.

What is Team Teach and how can it help?

How prepared am I?

Team Teach is award-winning ‘positive handling’ training which helps staff support people with challenging behaviour. A teacher that has students with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties or Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues would benefit immensely from Team Teach. It teaches a range of de-escalation and positive handling techniques which promote positive relationships in schools.

Team Teach techniques and strategies

The training helps attendees reduce stress, increase security in the classroom and boost staff morale in the workplace. Confidence is key when dealing with EBD (Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties) or SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) students and Team Teach training can give you the tools to approach these with assurance.

You will learn how to:

– Promote the least intrusive positive handling strategy

– Understand how to exhaust all verbal and non-verbal de-escalation strategies before positive handling strategies are used

– Ensure you can respond to disruptive, disturbing or aggressive behaviours which maintain a positive relationship

– Reduce the number of serious incidents involving physical controls by exhausting behaviour management strategies

– Increase staff awareness concerning the importance of recording, reporting, monitoring and evaluating every incident which involves positive handling

– Ensure a process of repair and reflection is in place for both staff and children

Who can benefit from Team Teach?

How can you get involved?

We offer Team Teach to schools, Faye and Mayur work for our SEN division and are both qualified Team Teach trainers.

The course they offer comprises of a mixture of theory and practical elements – course participants will be required to get involved in physical activities, including restraints. It’s all above board, we take health and safety seriously during the training. If you’re interested in discussing Team Teach further, give Engage a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Understanding and managing different Special Educational Needs

How to understand and manage different Special Educational Needs

Special Education is educating children with either a learning difficulty or disability which makes it harder for them to learn, in other words they need extra support. As a Special Educational Needs Teacher, you’ll teach the curriculum to children but in a way which works for them.
Here is a list of common special needs, their characteristics and where applicable, how to manage signs in the classroom.

SEMH: Social, Emotional & Mental Health

Children with SEMH may have difficulties managing their emotions and building relationships.
Typical characteristics of children with SEMH are mood swings, frustration, verbal and physical threats, stealing, setting fires and self-harm.
Managing SEMH in the classroom: allow pupils to read or listen to music, reward efforts, promote exercise.

BESD: Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties

Children with BEDS have trouble building relationships and struggle in mainstream environments. They sometimes show inappropriate responses or feelings to situations and are often considered to showcase socially unacceptable behaviours.
Typical characteristics of children with BESD are aggression, vandalism, drug abuse, truancy and threatening behaviour.
Managing BESD in the classroom: figure out what triggers certain behaviours, reinforce your expectations, allow fidgeting if it aids concentration.

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is common in both mainstream and Special Schools. The two main characteristics of ADHD are inattentiveness and hyperactivity. It’s quite common for children that have ADHD to suffer from other conditions, such as anxiety, depression or sleep problems. These can all contribute to problems with learning in school.
Managing ADHD in the classroom: shorten tasks, provide a quiet space, be direct and increase verbal tasks.

ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASD covers a number of conditions which affect a child’s ability to communicate, have interests and interact socially. Different types of ASD include Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Children with ASD also have problems with non-verbal communication; they tend to not be able to understand facial expressions or body language. Children with ASD also show little interest in other children and may suffer from trigger tantrums.
Managing ASD: set the classroom up in rows, post classroom rules, give verbal prompts frequently.

Cerebral Palsy

This condition affects a child’s movement and coordination – it can differ from case to case, some children may only be slightly affected while others could be severely disabled. General characteristics could be difficulties with vision or speech, walking on tiptoes or clumsy movements. Many children with Cerebral Palsy go to a mainstream school but will benefit more from a special school.

Down’s Syndrome

Down’s Syndrome causes learning disabilities and specific physical characteristics, there are a number of ways a special education teacher can support children with Down’s Syndrome, from teaching them to be independent with things like feeding themselves to learning new works and integrating them socially with other children. Children with Down’s Syndrome have difficulties learning.

HI/VI: Hearing Impairment / Visual Impairment

Children with HI may need extra support in a classroom, from strategically placing them near the speaker to a remote microphone (HAT). Schools will accommodate children with VI as appropriate.
Children with Visual Impairment have differing needs depending on the severity of their condition – some may need to learn Braille, whereas others may need to learn through visual cues, i.e. large writing or a specific font.

MLD, SLD, PMLD: Moderate-Severe – Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties

Children with Moderate Learning Difficulties have attainment levels significantly lower than their peers, they may also struggle with language delay, low concentration and underdeveloped social skills.
Severe learning difficulties relate to children that have an attainment level below the 0.01% percentile, which as a major effect on their schoolwork without support.
PMLD relates to children with complex needs, as well as learning difficulties, these children will also have physical disabilities, sensory issues or a severe medical condition. Some characteristics of learning difficulties could be having trouble reading, limited vocabulary, underdeveloped coordination skills and difficulty remembering. Children with PMLD need a lot of support.