CPD for SchoolsBoy playing chess

Continuing Professional Development Service for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea schools

We work closely with consultants and leading institutions to offer professional learning and development opportunities for all schools: Early Years, primary, secondary and independent, both in and outside of the borough. The CPD service is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea School Improvement Service.

Why CPD is not just about attending a course

We offer a wide range of courses at the Isaac Newton professional development centre or in schools. We regularly review our programme and working closely with schools to ensure our service supports local, current and national priorities, promotes best practice and is value for money. A termly programme is sent to all Royal Borough schools.

The CPD service is also a rich source of advice and guidance for all education staff in schools. We help:


Our core aim is to support school improvement through a focus on professional learning and development. If we are to empower children and young people to become independent learners, we need to empower all those working in schools to become professional learners. We will:

  • offer an inspiring and relevant programme of courses forums and networks which respond directly to the needs of schools professionals (support staff, teachers, school leaders)
  • offer appropriate personal development and career progression, advice and guidance
  • offer opportunities for networking and collaboration for schools in and out of the borough

Girl playing hoola hoopCPD can be:

  • observing colleagues at work/teaching
  • engaging in peer review
  • working with a mentor/coach
  • reading academic, professional books, journals
  • action research/enquiry based development
  • attending a course/conference
  • joining a network or forum

The most effective CPD is planned carefully with a clear idea of the reasons behind the development activities and the difference you wish the learning and development to make (that is, you plan for impact at the outset).

The best CPD truly engages and empowers the individual and arises out of their role and context. Many schools have developed “coaches” who build the capacity for individuals to become better “reflective practitioners”.

There are many possible sources of CPD, as indicated in the diagram below:


What is CPD?









Characteristics of effective professional development

A 2003 study by Evidence for Policy and Practice Information (EPPI at the Institute of Education) listed the following key characteristics of effective professional development:

  • direct relationship with the classroom/school
  • uses external expertise lined to school based activity
  • involves observation and feedback
  • includes peer support
  • participants identify focus of development
  • enables staff to be reflective
  • opportunity to work with colleagues and share practice
  • opportunities to receive regular, structured feedback
  • process over a period of time to embed learning into classroom practice
  • opportunities for independent self study