The development of effective and responsive staff professional development for school communities is crucial to building capacity. The School Effectiveness Framework states the need for schools to build strong learning communities where practitioners can develop and share their professional knowledge about learning and teaching and build on good practice. It also highlights the need for a planned training strategy which will meet a wider range of children including those with Additional Learning Needs.
The fundamental aim of Pembrokeshire's focus on inclusion is to ensure that the teaching experienced by all learners has a positive and sustained impact on the outcomes they achieve and their well being. Building capacity is based on establishing good practice in schools and empowering school staff to develop their knowledge and expertise to include all pupils. It is anticipated that in doing so standards will be achieved that ensure the best possible outcome for children and young people. To do this it is important to have a reliable and systematic process. The diagram above outlines the three key components that have been combined to form the continuous cycle of professional development.
The Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) helps to identify good practice taking place in schools, recognizing the knowledge and expertise of school staff in providing for all children and young people. In order to ensure that schools are able to meet the needs of all children and young people it is important that the school development plan and professional development strategy outline how staff will be equipped with the appropriate skills to meet the wider range of needs of children and young people including those with ALN.
Through carrying out an annual review of ALN across the authority, one of the outcomes is the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the school workforce. This information helps to determine how well equipped the school workforce are.
In planning to develop a programme that meets a wide range of Additional Learning Needs in schools and specialised services, it is important to ensure that a minimum amount of training is maintained for school staff which also considers the stage of development of the employee.
To do this it is important to:
The tiers include:
Underpinning the development of the workforce is having a range of professional development opportunities that increase their motivation, skills and understanding in relation to addressing the needs of children and young people with Additional Learning Needs.
There are a range of approaches that are used to maximise the professional development of school staff. These include: Action learning; Mentoring; Shadowing; Coaching; Benchmarking; Guided reading; and the development of Professional Learning Communities. These approaches are described more fully in the ALN Annual Training Directory with specific details in the Spring Training Directory.