Treasure Troves in the Golden Age of CPD. #1: Staff Culture

Over the last ten years, teachers and school leaders have led on creating a golden age of professional learning.

If knowledge is treasure, in the era of the world wide web, wiki-sites, webinars, social media networks, smartphones, tablets, podcasts and ear-pods, we have greater, faster access to the accumulated and fast-evolving knowledge of humankind, in our pockets and at our fingertips, than ever before in human history. 

A range of facts and stats suggests that we are embarking on a golden epoch of CPD in teaching.

There have been more than 40 teacher-led ResearchEd conferences since 2013, with many talks filmed and available for free.

There are some 40 teacher-led Research Schools disseminating research, largely for free. 

Multi-academy trusts are sharing 100s of CPD videos, book club videos and video lessons for free online.

Some 8,000 teachers a day are answering Teacher Tapp’s call to ask, share and learn together – for free. 

Some 10,000 lessons have been filmed, collated and shared by teachers for free by Oak National Academy – for free.

There are now 150,000 National Professional Qualifications being provided for teachers and school leaders over the next three years, all centred on a codified body of knowledge with the science of learning at its heart – for the first time ever, and for free.

But we are also living in an age of overload, a data deluge, a content tsunami, killer infoglut, seduced by the soft power of invidious weapons of mass distraction, with limitless on-demand entertainment tempting us to binge.

Time is short; options are many. How can we work out what to invest our time into?

Find the treasure troves. 

In this series, I’ll try to sketch three treasure maps of where to unearth some of the smallest but most precious hidden gems. We’re looking for CPD that is free, fast, focused and flexible. It should cost nothing (so no paid courses), not take too much time (not even full books!), and be accessible to teachers anywhere on the planet (so no location-based events).

Three treasure maps.

Treasure Troves to build your staff culture expertise, first.

Treasure Troves to build your student culture expertise, next.

Treasure Troves to build your curriculum expertise, last.

Let’s start with some of the greatest hits and playlists from the brightest spots and brightest sparks in education on staff culture.


Ten Treasure Troves to build your staff culture expertise

1. Putting staff first and the Mind the Gap playlist – Emma Turner, Jonny Uttley, John Tomsett, Tom Sherrington

2. Developing expertise as school leaders – Ambition Institute, Jen Barker & Tom Rees

3. Thinking & Collaboration – ResearchEd home playlist of 30+ videos – Cat Scutt, Claire Stoneman, Helena Moore, Phillipa Cordingley & Hélène Galdine-O’Shea

4. Culture handbooks – Nick Hart

5. Healthy schools – Dixons Open Source playlist – Luke Sparkes & Jenny Thompson

6. School leadership & CPD: 40 podcasts & webinar bank (& 100 others!) – Kathryn Morgan

7. School Improvement playlist32 video session playlist from the Greenshaw National INSET day, led on by Joe and Izzy Ambrose

8. Coaching book summaries – 7 book reviews in a collection of 40+. Pocket Wisdom by Sam Crome

9. Teacher-led research posters – 30+ beautifully designed posters in an amazing wider collection of quotes, diagrams, sketchnotes, illustrations and organisers and more by Oliver Caviglioli 

10. Talent Architects: schools as great places to work – the latest in a great series of white papers by Leora Cruddas & Steve Rollett at the Confederation of School Trusts


Last of all, just as a small gem to add those ten treasure chests, I’ll reshare the 12 top, free articles I collated on staff culture within a wider collection of 24 blogspots of research, 24 blogspots on curriculum and 12 on student culture. These include writing by top edu-bloggers Kat Howard, Jo Facer, Carl Hendrik, Greg Ashman, Louis Everett, Harry Fletcher Wood, Matthew Evans and Claire Stoneman.

All in all, it’s a moment for us as teachers and school leaders to celebrate the golden age of CPD we are creating together.

About Joe Kirby

School leader, education writer, Director of Education and co-founder, Athena Learning Trust, Deputy head and co-founder, Michaela Community School, English teacher
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