Professional Development at the Raedwald Trust
At the Raedwald Trust, the professional development of staff is a top priority. By investing in the skills of staff, students across the Trust will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
The Raedwald Trust has recently been awarded a grant from the Ipswich Opportunity Area initiative to develop a pioneering professional development scheme that it hopes will benefit schools across Ipswich and beyond. Launched in January 2018 with the aim of improving children’s educational outcomes in Ipswich, it is one of 12 areas around the UK identified by the Department for Education to share £72 million in targeted government funds.
The Trust has commissioned the Orwell Teaching School Alliance to design the project which will be rolled out from this month.
The professional development scheme challenges conventional school performance management techniques based on pupil results or outcomes, and replaces them with a scheme that requires teachers and support staff to take responsibility for achieving their own professional goals. Its creators believe the approach can benefit other schools and wants to offer it as a tool others can also use.
In addition to the new professional development scheme, recent training that has taken place across the Trust includes ‘Mental Health First Aid’ and a visit from Junior Smart – an ex-offender, and now a social entrepreneur and founder of the SOS Gangs Project which helps transform the lives of troubled young people and ex-offenders.
There is also a current staff training focus around reading as a ‘cultural capital’ experience led by Greenfields Education. Look out for more information about this in future articles.
Training takes place with staff from across the Trust, not just within the individual academies. As well as skills and knowledge being shared, a ‘one team’ mentally is fostered and encouraged amongst Trust staff.
Angela Ransby, CEO of The Raedwald Trust, said: “We’re asking every member of our team to commit to their professional growth and in return we will provide them with all the resources they need to achieve their goals.”
“We teach some of the most vulnerable children in Ipswich and strive to offer them the highest quality academic, social and emotional education. The services we provide are vital to our pupils and their families, and to our wider community. To deliver them, it’s crucial that we also develop ourselves to be the best we can be, and in doing so feed our organisation, our local area, and the teaching profession as a whole.
“The programme asks individuals to measure their performance against national professional standards to identify gaps in their practice and pinpoint avenues of learning and development to pursue. They select a clear focus area of study and practice for the year, and are able to access an extensive library of online resources, including literature, online videos and other targeted activities.
“By making Professional Development a contractual requirement for our staff, we believe that we ‘feed’ the Trust and strengthen our impact on children. Sometimes the impact is direct and we can see the benefit immediately, and sometimes it’s organic and indirect with results showing over time.
“The funding is a gift to us that we would eventually like to use to support other schools. This is an opportunity not only for The Raedwald Trust but for the whole of Ipswich.”