Downey, Christopher, Kelly, Anthony and Rietdijk, Willeke
The impact of CPD on data use: examining the association between training/professional development frequency and teachers’ confidence in using school effectiveness data
At 24th International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, Cyprus.
04 - 07 Jan 2011.
The data for this paper were gathered as part of a national survey, funded by the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT), of teachers working in English secondary schools. The aim was to gather self-report data of teachers’ use of and attitudes towards a range of pupil-level attainment and progress data in their day-to-day work as educational practitioners. The survey participants came from a range of schools with different school-level data profiles and also from a range of positions of responsibility, subject backgrounds and length of experience.
40% of the participating teachers report receiving training on the use of data less frequently than annually. A further 20% report never having received any training in the use of data during the previous five years. Within this group were approximately 10% of the participating heads, deputies and assistant heads, 20% of the middle leaders (Heads of Department and pastoral leaders) and 30% of the participating class teachers. Staff in senior leadership roles report the highest frequency of professional development in data use. Within this group it is Assistant Headteachers who report a higher frequency of training than their more senior colleagues in Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher positions. This is indicative of a management structure in which Headteachers in English secondary schools generally delegate the day-to-day oversight of data use to junior colleagues in the School leadership team who act as ‘data mangers’ in their schools.
There are no significant differences in teachers’ level of confidence in their skills to handle data across gender or part-time/full-time categories, but those who report low levels of confidence in their data skills cite lack of training and time to develop their skills as a major concern together with a feeling that new entrants to the profession are not adequately trained in the use of data. The association between teachers’ self-reported level of understanding of pupil performance data and the frequency of training they receive is moderated by the position of responsibility held. Using classification tree analysis of the survey responses (based on chi-square tests of difference using CHAID techniques) senior leaders divide into three significantly different groups (p<0.001) based on the frequency of training they have received. A similar pattern is observed among middle leaders and those with other whole-school responsibilities. For classroom teachers only two significantly different groups emerged based on frequency of training. When examining the association between teachers’ self-reported level of satisfaction with their understanding of data and the frequency of training received teachers at each level of responsibility divide into two significantly different groups.
These results may suggest that for classroom teachers the key appears to be receiving training on at least an annual basis to improve both self-reported understanding of data and teachers’ level of satisfaction with their understanding. For teachers with middle or senior leadership positions any frequency of training can have a significant impact on self-reported understanding of data and levels of satisfaction with understanding.
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