Teachers' professional development journeys

A report for Ofsted

Pollard E, Williams C, Nancarrow A, Talbot J, Cook J,Williams J, Bajorek Z, Illidge L |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | May 2024

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The Institute for Employment Studies was commissioned by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) to carry out a teacher cohort study to track teachers’ professional development journeys over one year. 

The aim of the research was to follow a group of teachers with different backgrounds, roles and experiences in order to gain an in-depth understanding of how the quality of teacher professional development and the perceived impact of professional development varies across different teachers and changes across the period of one year. It was not an evaluation of the professional development of teachers but research to explore the opportunities available to teachers and recent experiences of development. The key research questions were:

  • What professional development are teachers getting?
  • What is the format of the development they receive?
  • What is quality of their professional development?
  • What is the perceived impact of their professional development?
  • What are the barriers to and facilitators of professional development?

The research forms part of the independent review of teachers’ professional development in schools led by Ofsted and commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE). You can review the body of work here. The review focuses on teachers’ and leaders’ experiences of the training and development engaged in since April 2021 and covers the reforms introduced in recent years to support teacher recruitment and retention. These include changes to statutory induction for early career teachers (ECTs), and reforms to the suite of national professional qualifications (NPQs) for teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders.