Last year, Elangeni School in Buckinghamshire were seeking a way of further enhancing their capability to undertake in-house staff training, while keeping abreast of the latest statutory guidance published by the Department for Education.

With the local authority provision for professional development diminishing, it was in the primary school’s interests to branch out and search for an alternative CPD provider.

Furthermore, Elangeni were concerned at the rising costs and the amount of time being lost with training which was being provided by their local authority.

This led to them joining The National College.

A more efficient approach to professional development

After learning about the way in which The National College operated, Alex Burns, head teacher at Elangeni School, was keen to set in motion the changes which would lead to a far more efficient approach when it came to adhering to DfE requirements.

Miss Burns said: “Budgets in schools are tightening by the minute, so we are constantly looking for ways to keep up to speed with all things statutory and to seek guidance which improves the education of our children.

“That extends beyond myself. It’s the staff, our governors and all other stakeholders in our school – so that our children have the best opportunities we can offer.

“Our local authority provision for professional development was getting smaller. There was a real need to find someone who was offering good quality CPD for all involved.”

Tailored CPD accessible anywhere, anytime

The combination of convenience and credibility was a pivotal factor for Elangeni when it came to making their decision and since joining The National College, they’ve never looked back.

“Without a doubt, we will be continuing to use The National College, because it has blown us away,” Miss Burns stated.

“Being able to offer personalised CPD for our teaching staff was a major attraction. Our governors are able to pursue a range of professional development which is of personal interest to them and we can do it at our leisure. For teachers, where there is a relative area of weakness, they can decide and take ownership of their own development.

“I can do it at home on an evening sitting with my feet up, my staff do it wherever they choose to do it. We’re not having to pay £200 a day for supply cover, and people are raving about the learning opportunities which they’ve accessed.”

Statutory guidance delivered fast

The National College’s ability to keep their finger on the pulse, and constantly keep their library of webinars up to date across a broad spectrum of topic areas, has allowed Alex Burns and her teaching staff to keep one step ahead when new statutory guidance is released by the DfE.

Having a valid and trustworthy source of information across a range of complex topic areas was crucial for the school.

“Currently, we’ve been looking at the changes to the PSHE curriculum and RSE – that has been our biggest focus this year,” revealed Miss Burns.

“We have updated our policies and have been able to look at more things that have continued to come to light and are quite confident that we’re still up to date. Whereas, if we’d have stuck with our local authority providers, there isn’t that opportunity to go back and refresh.”

Getting up to speed through The National College

For Susan Mallard, emigrating from Canada to pursue a career in teaching at Elangeni School presented a number of challenges, not least educating herself around the UK education system.

Throughout the whirlwind experience of immersing herself in a new culture and country, Susan expressed her gratitude towards having The National College’s resources available to aid her learning path.

Miss Mallard said: “For me, coming over as an international teacher, The National College has been a fabulous resource for making me more familiar with how things work in the UK education system.

“It’s been absolutely brilliant to see different professionals from all throughout the education field in the UK provide their insight, give their advice and those little bits of information that can help you.

“When I first started with The National College videos, my focus was on RSE, but when I found out I could look into more courses that interested me, I automatically got excited.”

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