Two more Trusts back Professional Learning Service


In order to build their own CPD capacity, two more Trusts at opposite ends of the country have opted to buy the acclaimed Professional Learning Community (PLC) service , and its integrated staff assessment and mentoring tool i-WIGT (What Is Good Teaching) from

With local authorities disappearing and external training options becoming too expensive, Trusts are increasingly keen to develop their own professional expertise. Creating real professional learning communities in schools is the best way to do this. But, without support, staff can find the task daunting.

The Learning in Harmony Trust in South London and Kent and the Discovery Trust in the East Midlands have been impressed with the ability of its PLC and i-WIGT services to support working groups striving to create new expertise in schools, and to mentor individual teachers and provide development paths for them. The i-WIGT, through its collation of assessment data on individuals, can determine which area of professional expertise is in most need of remedial action.

The PLC contains one of the most extensive practice libraries in the world and headteachers commended the fact that the articles were written at the right theoretical and practical pitch for teachers who did not have the time to wade through dense academic research.

Others were impressed at the ability to request bespoke research to support school and trust-wide working parties. The PLC service offers schools the ability to request the creation of Knowledge Banks - collections of articles, websites and resources - to support their changing agendas.

School Research - a new front-line in school Improvement.

A key role for the PLC and i-WIGT is to support school-based research into which changes in pedagogy and leadership have been effective and which haven't. It's the new front-line in school improvement as reflective practice and evidence-based teaching became critical in lifting professional standards and moving schools beyond the quick fixes that characterises much of school improvement practice.

The PLC has many articles on reflective practitioners and the "research-engaged school", and many of these contain step-by-step guides to issues faced by schools on this path and how to tackle them successfully. Professor Graham Hancombe, the Editor of Professional Development Today - one of the services within the PLC - is a national authority on the research engaged school.

CPD Webinar Programme for all teachers.

In addition to the above, subscribers tot he PLC can give all their staff access to free CPD webinars and videos from some of the top experts in the country. This programme include Professor Steve Higgins on Effective Feedback and Metcognition, Peter Worley on Questioning Skills for teachers, Graham Hansombe on The Research Engaged School and Pupil Led Research and Sarah Seleznyov on Lesson Study.

The great thing about the integrated assessment tool i-WIGT is that once a project has been launched it can map changes in teacher, departmental and school performance and its data can be part of the research evidence.

Becoming a Learning School

Schools that develop a learning culture become fun, dynamic places to work. But getting busy teachers to read about professional development is not easy! With the PLC teachers can get new issues of a range of accessible publications sent to their desktop every month. It needs an initial nudge from the school leadership but schools that get into the reading habit often develop the change and development habit too!

If you would like to request a demo on the PLC, you can contact Lee Barrett for a demo of the facilities, through