The Wellcome CPD Challenge

The Wellcome CPD Challenge

The Wellcome CPD Challenge

Research team

Dr Emily Perry, Joelle Halliday, Judith HigginsonMark Barton

Project date


The aim of the Wellcome CPD Challenge is to understand what changes need to take place within the education system for schools to meet defined criteria relating to the quality and quantity of teacher professional development. Schools participating in the CPD Challenge reflect on their approaches to CPD, work towards improving its quality and quantity, evaluate the benefits, challenges, enablers and barriers to the changes they make and share learning with other schools in the region.

Forty primary, secondary and special schools in our region are being set the challenge of meeting defined criteria relating to the quality and quantity of teacher professional development and thereby ensure all teachers are able to access high quality professional development. The CPD Challenge criteria are designed so that, if schools meet them, all teachers in the school are able to participate in high quality professional development.

The case for sustained professional development for all teachers is supported by a robust evidence base. However, in England there is currently no requirement for teachers to engage with CPD and to participate in career-long professional development. The CPD Challenge, which runs for three years from 2018, is ultimately about advocating for policy change whereby all teachers are required to participate in a transformational amount of high quality, relevant and impactful CPD every year. Our findings will help us understand how this can be achieved, and the minimum resource that must be put into the system for it to happen.

CPD Challenge schools receive support throughout the Challenge including a facilitator to work alongside them, regular briefing meetings and a financial bursary. Schools identify a Challenge Champion to lead engagement in the Challenge, leading staff in school to work towards meeting the CPD criteria, and sharing their learning through meetings, reports, surveys and interviews.

Funders and Partners

The Wellcome CPD Challenge is funded by the Wellcome Trust, managed by Sheffield Institute of Education, working in partnership with Learn Sheffield, and independently evaluated by CFE Research.

Links and Downloads

The interim report completed by CFE Research, which lists key findings from the project at the end of its first year, is available on Wellcome's website.

This booklet contains 'stories' from the first year of the CPD Challenge to illustrate the ways in which schools have moved towards meeting the Challenge.

Wellcome CPD Champions (PDF, 876.6KB)

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