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Baroness Walmsley moved Amendment No. 88:
The noble Baroness said: In moving Amendment No. 88 I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 89 and 90, which are grouped. These three amendments were tabled
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in Committee, and they seek to probe the capacity of the new Training and Development Agency for Schools to fulfil its extended remit and to probe its resource levels. In his response to these amendments in Committee, the Minister was dismissive about the important issue of resources. Therefore, the amendments have been re-tabled, as we are concerned that without an entitlement to professional development for both teachers and support staff, schools will not necessarily prioritise those in their budgets.
In response to the question asked by my noble friend Lady Sharp,
"Does he mean that schools will now get additional funding to meet the training and development needs of support staff as well as teachers?".[Official Report, 18/1/05; col. 721],
the Minister talked much of professional development activities for teachers, but little about support staff. He stated:
"There has been a substantial delegation of funding into schools for teacher development so that they themselves have the appropriate resources".[Official Report, 18/1/05; col. 723].
As my noble friend Lady Sharp illustrated in quoting the General Teaching Council survey, almost one in five teachers have to fund their own professional development. Clearly, schools do not believe that they have sufficient funds to support all staff in their training needs.
In a recent National College for School Leadership online discussion about professional development, a head teacher told how she works in a school,
"where they are recovering from a massive deficit brought about by too many reasons to list here. They have limited their 'external' CPD programmes and also day time programmes in order to cut these costs. The teaching staff were involved in these discussions as were the support staff and it is only with their support that it has been possible to set up extensive in-house mentoring programmes, twilight sessions for information exchanges and other such cost-effective solutions . . . My biggest concern is that all talk seems to be about funding Teachers CPD but with little mention of Support Staff whose role is increasing and changing constantly".
Another head teacher told how she,
"was at CPD managers conference with the GTC where they were advocating putting CPD money into school budgets. I'm afraid I was very argumentative because I feel passionate that teachers have an entitlement to CPD. The Year 4 and 5 bursaries were brilliant for this. We have also been involved as a school in many of the research bursaries which again have involved staff working together in our school and across a network of schools. I strongly feel that the professional bodies need to protect this for all teachersand support staff. CPD should not be dependent upon a schools budget."
The TTA has, in recent years, understandably concentrated on teacher recruitment because there are several shortage areas that have needed to be addressed. The amendment would do nothing to change that priority in relation to the focus of the new TDA in its professional development responsibilities. The amendment would have a minimal effect on the way in which schools' budgets were prioritised, but it could help by sending out the right signals to school managers about the rest of the staff. I beg to move.
Lord Filkin: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for speaking clearly to what is, in a sense, behind the
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amendments. I will not simply respond to the amendmentsthey are more of a peg, to probe whether there will be adequate continuous professional development in the future. The noble Baroness is right that it is an important issue. The Government have to be concerned about CPD, as it is a critical element of improving future teacher quality. None of the amendments would increase the amount of CPD being undertakenso in that sense, they are a peg.
Let me speak briefly about the TDA's future role in CPD. The Training and Development Agency for Schools' main role in CPD will not be to hold the purse strings, as I think the noble Baroness understands. The House has seen copies of the agency's grant letter for 200506 and will no doubt have noted that it will receive an increase of about £70 million on its grant for the current year. That, if I recollect correctly, is an increase of way over 10 per cent. Indeed, its budget now is nearly £650 million. The figure for 200506 was £560 million. It is a highly successful organisation whose grant funding from central government has been substantially and powerfully increased. It is unreasonable to expect the TDA to fund continuing training for the one million people who work in schools as well as discharging all its functions.
Some of its work will continue to be on the traditional grant-funding model, whereby it uses its funding for someone doing, for example, a specific postgraduate professional development programme. That mainly involves teachers studying for higher degrees. For the most part, its CPD functions will lie in co-ordinating provision and helping to assure its quality.
The main source of funding for CPDI think that the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, dislikes thiswill be the unprecedented increases in funding over which head teachers and school governing bodies now have direct control. We have pushed the funding into schools and put the CPD function there as part of their responsibilities. So, for training purposes, school governing bodies have a variety of resources on which they can draw to support the training of their teaching and non- teaching staff. They can decide how to use their LEA delegated budgets or school standards grants.
To ensure that head teachers have an incentive to use the money over which they now have direct control to invest in CPD for their staff, rather than for other purposes, the annual teaching and learning reviews that will come into effect in September 2006 will tie teachers' performance appraisals more closely than ever to identifying and meeting continuing development needs. That should not only assist head teachers in encouraging their staff to develop their skills but should help teachers themselves to insist on being given access to the development opportunities that they need. I will not argue why the specific wording of the amendments is flawed; I do not think the noble Baroness would particularly want me to do so, as it is not the thrust of the debate.
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I discussed some of these issues with Ralph Tabberer, the chief executive of the forthcoming TDA, yesterday. He was passionate in his belief that they had a powerful budget at present, but the model whereby they were stimulated to add value and to provide services, which in part would be delivered only if schools thought that they delivered value from their own budgets, was a buying model, one that was intrinsically right and sound. I strongly agree with him. For example, it means that they have no automatic free meals for some functions. They will get their services bought only if the buyers think that the products and services are good.
Let me not go on at any more length. We have in place a foundation for a considerable increase in CPD and for strengthening the contribution that the TDA will make towards workforce development in schools more generally. I hope that, in part, I have been able to persuade the noble Baroness of that.
Baroness Walmsley: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply. It is certainly encouraging to hear about the increase of around 10 per cent in the CPD budget. The challenges to teachers these days are enormousnot just with changes in curriculum. For example, there is the citizenship curriculum which, at about two or three years old, is very young. I was talking to some teachers only the other day about how they were teaching it. They are still feeling their way and relying very much on CPD and networking among themselves to develop best practice in teaching the new curriculum. The enormous changes in school organisation will also require many teachers. So CPD is vital.
I was particularly interested in what the Minister said about the incentive for head teachers to make appropriate prioritisation for CPD from school budgets, and the role of the annual teaching and learning reviews in that. I hope that teachers will insist on access to CPD to help them to do their job even better, in the children's interest. That is what it is all about, is it not? I am grateful to the Minister for focusing on what was really behind my amendments. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
[Amendments Nos. 89 and 90 not moved.]
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