Continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers has long been recognised as a powerful tool to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools (Desimore, 2009).
The national Inclusive PE Training Programme is a multi-layered learning endeavour that seeks to impact initially upon teacher learning but, ultimately, upon the quality and standard of pupil learning. It is important, therefore, for this Independent Evaluation (IE) to collect robust data in order to capture the impact of the Programme on trained teachers, their school colleagues, and pupils (outcome and impact evaluation) and map the implementation process in order to understand the factors that enable or hinder anticipated outcomes and impact to be achieved (process evaluation). A thorough analysis and synthesis of evidence about CPD processes and impact enable the evaluation team to provide on-going evidence-based recommendations to inform developments of programme activities.
The evaluation team is working closely with programme designers to provide evidence-based recommendations on how to improve programme activities.
Teachers visited by the evaluation team a few months after attending the programme report subtle albeit powerful changes in the ways they engage both SEND and non-SEND pupils in the learning process. For example, one primary teacher said that all the changes and ‘effective adaptations’ she introduced to her practice enabled one SEND pupil to participate in PE more fully and effectively than ever before:
"She [pupil] has gone from no PE to accessing just a little bit, due to her short attention span, to doing the full PE lesson and engaging in everything."
To further improve the effectiveness of the programme (CPD) delivery, evidence suggests that provision is more tailored to teachers’ needs and pressing questions about effective inclusive teaching and learning and that tutors (i.e. professionals who ‘deliver’ the CPD) facilitate professional learning skilfully.
What will be the outcomes of this research?
- To investigate the theories / assumptions underpinning the design of the Programme and the quality of its implementation;
- To provide evidence of the impact of the Programme on teachers and their school colleagues;
- To investigate the impact of the Programme on the experiences, progress and attainment of pupils with disabilities and their non-disabled peers