Continued Professional Development (CPD) for school staff is critical in providing children with the right information and education to stay safe online.
Whether you’re an architect, an IT programmer or a worker in a fast food chain, CPD plays a crucial part in developing human ability, improving working practice and enabling advancement. Take it away and we find our knowledge becomes antiquated, our skills dated and our clients’ trust and confidence eroded. For some professions, a lack of continued training doesn’t just carry commercial consequences. It can also have a serious impact on people’s health and wellbeing.
CPD has never been more important than for those who have a responsibility for the care and protection of others, particularly children. Whilst all state schools have five days set aside by the Government (known as inset days) when schools are closed to children but open for teacher training, many believe this isn’t enough. In February this year, following a report by the Education Select Committee, Schools Week reported that MPs had called for a national CPD annual entitlement. The committee, who has been compiling written and oral evidence on teacher recruitment and retention since 2015, urged the Government to “recognise its own role in promoting the professional development of teachers”, including a “central statement of annual CPD entitlement” for each teacher, which would help improve teacher retention rates. The report stated teachers in England have no entitlement to CPD – even though teachers in Scotland are entitled to 35 hours a year, with teachers in Singapore given 100 hours a year. They also recommended the Government release “targeted funding” for CPD, and said Ofsted should check schools are encouraging CPD during its inspections.
With teachers’ time being squeezed to the optimum with marking, lesson planning and managing those everyday unplanned incidents, it can leave little time for training. On-site training can be difficult to organise and requires a large group of staff in order to realise the best value from the costs imposed. This means using inset days, organising time outside the school day or taking staff out of lessons that then need to covered by somebody else.
With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, online safety training in particular is not something that can just be held once a year, ticked off the list and then scheduled for a refresh at an inset day in a year’s time. Children are discovering new apps, games and forums continuously and the risk landscape is constantly shifting. In January of this year, research commissioned by Besa (British Education Suppliers Association) called for e-safety to become a part of every teacher’s ongoing CPD when a survey of 1,300 ICT lead teachers revealed that around half thought that teachers lacked the required e-safety training. The research stated that “there’s a wide range of jargon and terminology that a pupil may be using, both in reference to drugs and radicalisation that teachers really struggle to keep on top of.”
But with budgets squeezed and teachers’ time at a premium, how do we ensure teachers and supporting school staff receive the e-safety training that they need? The answer comes in taking this training online. Online courses can provide a better alternative to holding group training sessions, giving teachers and staff more flexibility when it comes to the time they choose for their training. Rather than having to block out a certain date and time, teachers can complete the training at a time convenient to them. Online training sessions also have the advantage of being much cheaper than bringing in a dedicated training company.
So, with CPD very much on the education agenda, is it time you reviewed the e-safety training in your school? With an increased emphasis on providing children with the knowledge they need to use the Internet responsibly, it’s more important than ever that we recognise that all school staff play an important role in imparting e-safety knowledge and advice, not just the teachers.
Review our training courses today for free
E-safety Support provides CPD certified teacher training. Whilst some other online training providers charge on a per user or per course basis, E-safety Support is different. Our membership structure means that the whole school pays just one annual fee to access all the e-safety courses available. There’s no restriction on how many of your school community can receive the training so teachers, senior leaders, governors and support staff can all receive the same level of training as and when they need it. To preview our courses today with no obligation, sign up here for a free membership to E-safety Support. Premium Plus members can distribute the training by logging into your E-safety Support dashboard.