Evaluation of the TLIF: The Teacher Development Trust CPD Excellence Hubs Project

Matt Walker, Sarah Lynch, Julie Nelson, Ruth Staunton and Jack Worth (NFER) and Bronwen Maxwell (SIOE)

29 September 2022

Research report on the DfE website

Between September 2017 and May 2022, NFER and Sheffield Hallam University undertook the evaluation of TLIF, a three-year funding programme which aimed to support projects offering high-quality continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers and school leaders in the areas and schools in England that needed it most. One of these projects was the Teacher Development Trust (TDT) CPD Excellence Hubs project, which aimed to improve the leadership, culture, and processes of CPD in participating schools. TDT worked with a CPD lead in each of 39 primary and secondary schools drawn from five areas. Each area formed an ‘Excellence Hub’, led by an Expert Advisor (EA) from a Lead School. TDT and the EAs supported schools by auditing their CPD provision and assessing progress against the TDT CPD Quality Framework, providing fortnightly coaching conversations, developing middle leaders, and providing half-termly hub meetings.

Key Findings

  • CPD leads' engagement with the whole-school CPD audits, regular coaching conversations with the EAs, and half-termly CPD leader forums/hub meetings was generally good. In comparison, CPD leads' engagement with the middle leader training was lower, although 'churn' in staffing in participating schools may have masked higher levels of participation.
  • There is evidence from both the surveys and the qualitative interviews that the project achieved several outcomes, including the degree to which professional development in schools was tailored to the needs of individual teachers and support staff.
  • There is also evidence from the interviews to suggest that CPD leads had developed their knowledge and understanding of school-based processes and structures, and that some CPD leads had become more confident in leading professional development in their settings.
  • Analysis of School Workforce Census (SWC) data suggests that there is, at present, no evidence that the project achieved its intended longer-term impacts on teacher retention and progression.