CPD and workload

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10 November 2015
Many work-life balance issues can be addressed partly through training and development.

It stands to reason that if you are doing something new without training, it is likely to take you longer than if you had been shown the best way to do it. This clearly has implications for your workload.

New mental health and well-being courses for 2016

ATL is launching two new CPD courses in partnership with YoungMinds, the charity committed to improving the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people:

Learning needs survey

Training and the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is essential for the best performance of your role. The questions and bullet points below are a good place to start if you are looking at what training might enable you to do your job more efficiently.

In the last two years what training opportunities have you had?

What type of training opportunities would you like?

  • Subject-specific training
  • ICT skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Classroom-based skills
  • Pastoral skills
  • Other.

What stops you undertaking training?

  • Time
  • Cost
  • Lack of information
  • Lack of confidence
  • No management support
  • Childcare problems
  • Travel/location
  • Other.

ATL is committed to helping its members develop through the course of their careers. This is why members can access a comprehensive range of continuing professional development (CPD) courses and reps courses for free.

We also offer resources around curriculum development and assessment through the A Curriculum That Counts website, through membership of our extensive policy networks and through excellent classroom practice and research publications

What rights to CPD do I have in my workplace?

All workplaces should have a policy on learning, development and training that sets out:

  • what learning means within that specific workplace
  • what support for learning is available for staff
  • clear procedures for requesting support for learning.

While support staff and teachers in England and Wales do not currently have any requirement to undertake CPD or learning within their workplace, members in the maintained sector in England are able to use the appraisal system within their schools to discuss and press for support to learn. See ATL's advice on appraisal and CPD.

How do I make an application to undertake learning?

Ideally any application for learning should be made during a yearly appraisal or performance management meeting. However, as this is not always achievable, you should ensure that an application is made as soon as possible.

Staff should always refer to any workplace policies on learning and development and follow the procedures in the document. It is advisable to put your request in writing. If you feel you need advice on putting your request in writing, contact ATL's learning and development team.

When making your initial request, consider including the points listed below. This is to give your manager, CPD coordinator or other relevant member of staff a clear idea of what it is you want to study, and why and how it will impact your current working.

Any application should contain:

  • what you would like to learn
  • where the learning will take place
  • the provider
  • any related costs and time off
  • the potential qualifications the learning could lead to (eg ATL courses are accredited at postgraduate level)
  • how the learning could relate to current or future roles
  • how the learning could improve the performance of both you and your students.

If no timescale for reply is stated in your policy, ask for one within reason, such as 10 to 15 working days. You should expect a written response from the person who can authorise your learning, and you should ask for one if this is not covered under your workplace policy.

CPD factsheet

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Workload and hours