Aim: To reduce in-school variation between different subject areas by focusing on effective continuing professional development (CPD).

Background: The College has achieved Outstanding Ofsted reports for the last twenty years but there were still a number of departments showing an in-school variation. This was despite an increase in the quality of teaching and learning, with the percentage of Good or Outstanding lessons observed continuing to rise.

Method: During the three years of the project, highly effective and focused CPD was undertaken across all departments, led by national speakers, who influenced the pedagogy of teaching.

Teachers undertook the reading of various educational literature and some undertook further research of their own. While a group of teachers developed a project looking purely at the application of Kagan Theories of cooperative learning, a regular programme of engagement with the National College Leadership Courses, PTI Courses and the Outstanding Teacher Programme was introduced to further improve teaching and learning and the leadership of departments.

Evidence: Exam results, student voice questionnaires, RAISEonline school evaluation data, learning walks.

Impact: The immediate impact was a noticeable increase in pedagogical discussion both within and across departments. By the third year of the project there were consistently high student outcomes at Key Stage 4 and 5.

RAISEonline school evaluation data showed a higher consistency of outcomes across departments for all subjects and all groups of students. Teaching was identified as 100% Good or Outstanding during either appraisal or learning walks.

Reflections: There has been a clear change in the way CPD is used and this has been invaluable. In addition, the outcomes for the Summer of 2013 and 2014, showed a greater level of consistency of outcomes across all subject areas and for all ability groups.

Highly targeted and focused CPD has provided opportunities for all to hear national speakers in their field and we have ensured that what they have delivered has always been inspirational and aspirational, as well as having a real practical emphasis on Teaching and Learning. In-school variation will always be present in schools and so this is a constant focus of school improvement.

Contact: Mrs Gill Taylor,