Report Overview

This report by the Sutton Trust follows on from our 2014 report, What Makes Great Teaching, and argues that improved teacher ­development will positively impact on pupil attainment, particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Developing Teachers presents five policy recommendations which have been signed by 17 of Britain’s leading headteachers (who, last November, attended a Washington DC summit on professional development with colleagues from ten countries jointly organised by the Sutton Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).

  • Establish a strong entitlement for all teachers and school leaders to professional development backed by a College of Teaching and a revitalised National College for School Leadership.
  • Place greater trust in teachers and increase their autonomy.
  • Use evidence to improve standards.
  • Encourage and incentivise collaboration between schools.
  • A more developmental approach to accountability including an inspection system that encourages innovation rather than focusing on narrow grades and rankings.

Also in the report are some practical case studies of professional development in schools around the world, a discussion of how to make time for professional development and reflections on the challenges for school leaders in struggling schools.