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How to get the best out of live training – PP94


The topic of the week is Ollie Frith on CPD, Dodgy Speakers and getting the most from live training.

Paul spoke to Pivotal Education Head of Training, Ollie Frith, this week about how to get the best out of training companies who you have engaged to come into school and run CPD.

What should you expect from CPD?

Ollie points out that when you are booking an outside speaker for your organisation’s CPD, it’s a good idea to talk to other schools and organisations who have had successful experiences. When you are spending money and hoping to make significant change, it’s right to do some research.

If you don’t know a company, it’s entirely reasonable to phone them up and ask them to point you towards schools they have worked with so you can speak to them about their experiences.

It’s also reasonable to ask companies if they can tailor what they offer to your needs. It’s not good enough for trainers to refuse to alter their training to what you require. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation about what you require.

If you don’t have a conversation about your needs, can you really complain that they are not being met?

Expect to receive an agenda in advance which you can negotiate if you don’t think it meets your needs.

Who should go on the training?

If you are trying to make whole school or whole-college change, then all adults who work in the setting should be at the training.

The day of the training

As teachers we think about a huge number of things when planning lessons – this can often get forgotten in a training session.

Staff who come in for a CPD session and find something a bit special waiting for them understand the value of that training. So arranging lunch and some good quality coffee can make a big difference. This has a knock-on effect on how the teachers are feeling about the day and this then affects how they will follow up the training and use it in their practice.

The memory of the day is too often wrapped up in the worst part of the day – maybe the terrible food – rather than the great things I learned.

Little things make a difference

The site manager needs a seating plan and instructions. Sometimes little things like chairs around a table arranged so that some people have their backs to the speaker can be counter-productive.

You should expect the trainer to be on-site early and leave time to speak to staff after the event finishes. Any room set-up tweaks can be made in advance and staff can ask questions and follow-up with the trainer after the session – maybe there are questions staff don’t want to ask in front of the whole group. This also means, of course that you can get good value out of your training day or half-day.

There’s a lot of extra information in the episode so do listen right to the end.

Resources mentioned:

How to get the most out of staff training sessions – a guide for CPD coordinators

How to get the most out of training sessions as an individual


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