School teacher development budgets fall for the first time – National Governance Association

by danielbarker on 6 February, 2019

The Teacher Development Trust has published new research data alongside SchoolDash, claiming that staff development budgets declined between 2016 and 2017. According to the data, teacher training budgets reduced by twelve per cent in secondary schools and seven per cent in primary schools.

Interestingly, there were significant regional variations. For example, primary schools in Solihull and Blackpool allocated less than £400 per teacher, on average, for professional development and staff training, whereas primary schools in Hampshire and Durham allocated well over £1000 per teacher on average. In general, schools with higher proportions of deprived pupils tended to spend more on staff development. The research suggested that this could be due to higher funding levels, or the fact that they tend to have younger and less qualified staff.

The data also showed that spending on learning resources had also fallen, suggesting that general funding pressures might better explain the changes to teacher training budgets than reprioritisations. The research included the publication of a benchmarking tool which allows individual schools to compare their staff development spending with other schools either locally or nationally. Those governing can use this tool to inform challenge of senior leaders, by highlighting if their spending is particularly high or low relative to local or national averages. Higher staff development spending could correlate with lower staff absence and better retention.

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