We have used the structure of the standard to review our content and approaches to providing sustained, purposeful professional development with a strong impact on pupil outcomes. In our review we have included evidence from participants’ school improvement projects and assignments and the impact of each programme in their school or setting. We have also drawn on the reports of independent evaluations of our programmes. We have identified positive evidence against the different but interrelated parts of the standard and have identified many strong features of our programmes.
Our review has confirmed that Best Practice Network programmes engage participants in rigorously planned, time efficient professional development that is evidence based and develops highly effective teaching and leadership alongside relevant theoretical knowledge.
Our very experienced facilitators (both face to face and online) are subject matter experts with strong experience of providing external challenge to participants’ thinking and practice within a supportive framework. Our programmes are sustained, for example spanning two or three terms, and are highly focused on improving outcomes for all pupils as evidenced by the projects, assignments, presentations and professional discussions that run through each programme.
The way we organise our face-to-face and online training respects the professional needs and time constraints of teachers and school leaders. It is important that we provide coherent programmes that overtly meet their professional needs. It is also important that programmes are highly collaborative and provide opportunities to share priorities and experiences and to jointly shape improved approaches. Where several participants from one school are engaged simultaneously on one of our programmes, we ensure that they have time to both work in a school-based group and with participants from other schools, away from their own school colleagues.
We use peer study groupings and learning partner approaches that provide participants with well-informed insights into other schools and settings and some programmes include focused visits to other schools. Our innovative virtual learning environment engages participants with others on the same programme across several geographical locations which is greatly valued and provides considerable inspiration and motivation.