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Bolton St Catherine's Academy

Bolton St Catherine's Academy

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Staff Development and CPD

“If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve”

Dylan Wiliam


Principles of Staff Development

All staff are entitled to high quality, well curated and designed continued professional development. It should meet their needs as professionals as well as the wider needs of the academy, ultimately focused on improving the outcomes for young people.

Professional autonomy and mastery are important factors in intrinsic motivation, are critical to staff recruitment and retention, and excellent CPD is an important part of the mechanisms that support staff wellbeing.

Finally, we have a duty to ensure that all staff continue to grow and develop, both for our students, and for the wider educational community. We know that good CPD can be instrumental in keeping good teachers in the profession.

All our CPD is informed by research, both content and approach, to ensure that time is well invested and approaches are effective.

Our CPD offer is extensive, designed and tailored to teachers at all career stages. We offer, as standard, over 75 hours of ring-fenced CPD time across the year.


Underpinning Literature

Our approach to staff development is underpinned by the following:

The Teacher Development Trust 2014 Report – Developing Great Teaching 

The EEF 2021 Guidance – Effective Professional Development 

Leverage Leadership – Paul Bambrick-Santoyo (2018)

The Coach’s Guide to Teaching – Doug Lemov (2020)

A wide range of other literature has been drawn on to develop and continually fresh the CPD approach, and the content itself is always research and evidence informed.


Instructional Coaching Programme

The primary vehicle for individual staff to continually develop their classroom practice is our Instructional Coaching programme.

All teachers get an observation once a fortnight, followed by a feedback meeting. Those meetings are scripted, following the principles of instructional coaching.  All feedback is timetabled and included in directed time.

The programme draws heavily on the work of Paul Bambrick-Santoyo (Leverage Leadership and Get Better Faster) and Doug Lemov (Teach Like a Champion), among other texts and resources.

The 30 coaches across school get over 10 hours of additional CPD to support them in effectively observing, scripting and delivering the feedback and deliberate practice.

The Instructional Coaching Programme focuses on effective implementation of the BSCA 20 Core Routines (The BSCA Way), more can be read about these on the T&L page.


Other CPD Sessions:


Each week there are two 15 minute Micro-CPD inputs.  The first focuses on SEND and Safeguarding, and ensuring we are always talking about and improving our capacity to meet our students' needs and accelerate their progress.  The second is developmental.  As with Instructional Coaching, it focuses on delivering a single big idea, giving time and space for teachers to think and implement the CPD, rather than sitting in an hour long CPD session and having no time to talk and practice implementation.  Wednesday's Development Micro-CPD is followed by implementation time in departments to give real opportunities to embed excellent practice.

The programme of Micro-CPD is mapped out over the year, ensuring a rhythm of deliver, implement, review and refine for new big ideas or key development priorities. 

"You know you're in a good school when: teachers talk about Teaching & Learning regularly" - Tim Brighouse.


Department / Subject CPD

Around 30 hours of CPD time each year are given over to Departments.  This time is focused on Subject Knowledge and Subject Specific Pedagogy.  We know that best practice in CPD is to ensure that there is a balance of time for these subjects specific elements within their development time.  To ensure this CPD time is ringfenced for development and set apart from scheduled department briefing time that can be used up on administrative processes.  This time is delegated to curriculum leaders based on the needs of their department and their department development priorities.  It is overseen and quality assured by the Deputy Head for Quality of Education.


Other Whole School CPD

We also have CPD sessions for; Form Tutors, Heads of Year, Coaches and specific CPD time devoted to the delivery of PHSE which is delivered by non-specialists.  We believe that CPD is important, and as such time should be invested in it.  As such, teachers are not expected to attend CPD for any element of their roles outside of directed time.


Deliberate Practice

Staff Deliberate Practice, a model taken from Instructional Coaching, involves micro- scripting then rehearsing key routines or scenarios.

Delivered in 10 minute slots during the week, while students are in RISE, in departmental groups, deliberate practice enables routines such as the dismissal to door or meet and greet to be practiced and embedded.


Staff CPD Library

To support staff in engaging in literature, accessing the books that underpin our philosophy and approach, and to provide resource that helps staff make best use of their PPD time, there is a staff CPD library provided within the school library on Level 1.  Staff are able to borrow books for short or long term, request books that would be of value and share recommendations with colleagues.  The CPD library also covers subject specific books that support with specific subject knowledge or subject specific pedagogy.


External CPD and the CPD Board

Where appropriate, staff are able to apply to the CPD board to complete external CPD. This may be statutory requirements for H&S or Safeguarding, or may be for continual development. Each year we support staff to complete a range of NPQs, access high quality external providers for CPD that we cannot provide in-house, and support staff with wider development, such as the completion of Subject Knowledge Enhancement, Chartered Teacher Status or Masters qualifications.



We believe that supporting new teachers on training and entering the profession is part of our moral duty. We support teachers on all pathways into teaching, including University, Teaching School and direct routes. We also work with TeachFirst, taking candidates in both phases.

We take ITT students from a range of providers on placement blocks throughout the year. The main providers we work with are:


  • TTLP at St James’s High School

  • Edge Hill

  • Bolton University

  • The Manchester Universities


Mentor meetings are timetabled to ensure that trainees are well supported over the course of their placement. We also recognise that the role of the subject mentor presents an excellent developmental opportunity for staff, one which is supported by the professional mentor. It is not always possible to reduce timetable allocations for ITT mentors but do wherever possible. Meetings with all the ITT are coordinated by the Assistant Head for Teaching, but are not regularly calendared due to the varied needs of the different providers.

For our Early Career Teachers, we deliver the Early Career Framework through our local Teaching Hub, based at Star, who are also the appropriate body.

Our first and second year ECTs get a reduced teaching load, and a dedicated mentor, with mentoring period timetabled for them. Alongside their curriculum input from STAR and coaching from their mentor, they also get additional meetings to work collaboratively with other ECTs across the academy.

All ITT and ECTs are able to access all the other CPD that is on offer.