Following a request from the Minister for Education and Skills, the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) commissioned leading expert Professor Chris Day to undertake a detailed study of the role of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in closing the gap in educational attainment.
The report states that whilst CPD is important in addressing the attainment gap between the least and most deprived children, wider factors also need to be taken into consideration to make a real difference. Professor Day uses research evidence to show that targeted resources and community / school partnerships are required to have a significant impact on an issue that is entrenched in most countries around the world. The report emphasises the importance of engaging parents and creating proactive partnerships with the community and highlights the need for system level strategies to narrow the attainment gap between those at the top and those at the bottom in Wales
The report advocates a local pilot based approach to implementation targeted at the areas of most need. The local strategies need to be owned by school leaders and implemented and monitored by ‘in school champions’ who receive effective CPD and support. This will allow schools to test local strategies and allow for the upscaling of successful initiatives from the most deprived areas to those schools with less complex issues.