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Workforce Development Programme

A strategic approach to staff training and development needs, analysis, planning and delivery in primary and secondary schools in Ipswich. 


Head Teachers / School Leaders, Local Authorities, Trusts

Aimed at

Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5


Leadership, Workforce: Recruitment, Retention and Development

Why was the project needed?

Education providers in Ipswich struggled to recruit and retain high quality education professionals and support staff. Tight budgets meant that schools had not always been able to prioritise a structured and future proofing CPD programme, outside of statutory or heavily subsidised CPD programmes. 

What happened and what was the impact?

The Opportunity Area developed a programme of CPD for all schools and Colleges in the area. Settings were supported by the Teacher Development Trust in the first instance to conduct an audit of CPD need across the whole establishment. Some settings received additional one to one support from local Expert Advisors when conducting the audits and creating a CPD action plan. All settings were invited to regular CPD networking events to share learning and to enable collaboration between settings.     

Each setting received funding based on the number of FTE equivalent teaching staff to implement their CPD Plans over two academic years.  

  • Funding was allocated to schools based on the number of FTE teaching staff. 
  • Audit of CPD across the whole setting. 
  • Action plan for CPD. 
  • CPD delivered. 
  • Learning shared across the setting. 

What did and didn't work?

Investing in a structured CPD programme not only leads to better outcomes for students, but it also provides recognition and value to staff members. 

This programme had the highest engagement of settings across the IOA and is repeatedly cited as the programme that has had the most impact for settings in the IOA. 

Many settings told us that the networking opportunity was helpful and they would like to have continued this for longer. 

Audits and action plans needed more time – funding timescales were very tight and this wasn’t always helpful to fully implement or get the most impact from the funding. 

Audits shouldn’t be seen as a one off but as an iterative process. 

How did you measure success?

We measured take up of the allocation, progress reports against the initial action plan enabled settings to draw down tranches of the funding allocations. 

Pupil outcomes are harder to measure due to Covid-19 and are likely to be seen from 2021/22 onwards. 


How is the Project Sustainable

The audits are available and owned by the settings, they can be revisited every year. Connections and collaboration allow for economies of scale when delivering CPD. 


The whole programme cost £1.2m.   Settings had between £10,000 and £50,000 as an allocation.


Area Most Impacted

Careers & Aspirations Mental Health Inclusion Improving Attainment Speech Language & communication

Next steps to do something similar yourself

These are a list of Big Idea resources that you can use to implement in your setting:

This insight guide has been produced by the DfE drawing together workforce development projects across a range of opportunity areas, including Ipswich. Read the evaluation of the Ipswich Workforce Development Programme by SQW

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