Collaborative development of a quality assurance framework for educator professional development

PERRY, Emily, BRYANT, Richard, CHALLIS, Kelly, PATEL, Daksha and ROSSITER, Chris (2022). Collaborative development of a quality assurance framework for educator professional development. Project Report. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Institute of Education. (Unpublished)

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Practitioner professional development plays an important role in the education system, contributing to improved practitioner expertise, positive career experiences and retention, and thereby to the educational outcomes of children and young people. In England, a wide range and large number of organisations offer professional development to education practitioners, including multi-academy trusts and schools, university, charitable trusts, subject associations, awarding organisations and private companies (Chedzey et al. 2021). School leaders, teachers and professional development providers recognise the potential value of quality assurance processes to the overall system of practitioner professional development as a way to support informed, confident decision-making about professional development and ultimately to drive up standards of professional development across the sector (Perry et al. 2021). However, the system is largely unregulated by government or other organisations and there are few systems of quality assurance, internal or external (Musset 2010, Perry et al. 2019). As a result, practitioners report that they find it hard to make judgements about the quality of professional development available (Chedzey et al. 2021). In recent years a few initiatives have explored quality assurance measures for teacher professional development. These include the Department for Education’s (2016) Standard for teachers’ professional development, which sets out guidance to school leaders for successful professional development, and a pilot study, commissioned by Wellcome, which developed and trialled a system of quality assurance of professional development (Chedzey et al. 2021, Perry et al. 2021). Currently, the Department for Education is offering Senior Mental Health leads’ training for schools and colleges; each of the programmes funded through this initiative has been quality assured by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools (Department for Education 2022). In 2021, Sheffield Hallam University was commissioned by DYT to work in collaboration to develop and trial a quality assurance framework for DYT’s professional development offer. The intention was to identify where and how DYT could quality assure its offer, drawing on learning and processes from similar initiatives, such as those described above, while building on and exemplifying DYT’s existing approaches, strategies and developmental activities. The work signifies DYT’s commitment to understanding and communicating the quality of its professional development, supporting the professional learning of educators who work with learners with literacy difficulties.   In this report, we describe the approach taken to the development and trialling of the quality assurance framework. The outcome of the process is a framework for quality assurance which includes: • a flowchart offering an overview of the process; • a set of quality criteria tailored to DYT’s offer and compatible with other quality assurance measures and processes; • a process by which organisational staff can carry out self-assessment of quality, leading to identification of areas for improvement and to evidence of quality which can be shared with stakeholders. We reflect on our learning from this work, including how engagement in the self-assessment process led to consideration of how quality assurance aligns with organisational aims and strategies, and how these contribute to a coherent, organisation-wide approach to quality assurance. Next we identify some barriers to engagement in a quality assurance process such as the need to commit time to collating and reviewing evidence, and the challenges of identifying areas for improvement internally while externally communicating evidence of quality. We consider how these barriers can be overcome, for example by using a staggered approach to quality assurance in which different parts of the offer are reviewed at different times, and by seeing the process as one which can itself be improved through ongoing review. We end by recommending that other professional development organisations consider similar approaches and share the outcomes of their quality assurance and review activities. In this way, these often internal processes become more transparent, so that we collectively gain a wider understanding of how professional development activities are designed and evaluated, and ultimately achieve higher standards of professional development for all education practitioners.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 13:39
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 15:59

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