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Thus, this experience underlines the instrumental role played by the LEA in promoting and driving forward programmes of this nature. The next section continues this theme, by looking at the contact between LEAs and participating schools. Both LEAs made a more concerted effort to increase the involvement of, and communication with, schools during the course of the EPD pilot (e. Similar trends were witnessed in other LEAs - effects ratings were greater during years where LEAs described having invested more in the dissemination of the scheme to schools, and college term paper help where problems with communications were reported, ratings fell.

A proactive involvement with schools and their teachers thus helped elevate the profile of EPD and was positively associated with EPD outcomes. To sum up this section, the value of achieving an optimal configuration between the teacher, the school and the LEA can be illustrated by examining the evolution of EPD within a particular authority.

Then, in the final year, there were changes in how the funding was allocated. Monies had initially been retained centrally by the LEA and schools were required to invoice the LEA to reimburse EPD expenses used by teachers. These changes perhaps explain the marked shifts in the effect ratings in this authority. This meant that in year 3 of the EPD pilot, this LEA scored highest, over all other authorities, whereas previously it had lingered outside the top three LEAs. The chart overleaf collates the various roles and tasks undertaken by the 12 LEAs to support college term paper help the EPD initiative. Dissemination Informing teachers and schools about the EPD scheme. The evidence suggested that such dissemination raised the profde of the initiative and furnished participants with the information necessary to facilitate their involvement. This might be achieved via letters, the production of documentation (e. Meetings, which brought together teachers and mentors from different schools, were regarded by school-based interviewees as particularly valuable opportunities for professional networking and the sharing of ideas on how best to use EPD funds. Promotion of professional development This could involve the following. HEIs offering MAs), and then the communication of this information to participating teachers and mentors (e. It could incorporate visits, telephone or e-mail communication with schools and teachers on an individual basis to help them to take full advantage of EPD e.

Monitoring and brokering Ensuring that those entitled to take part in the scheme were able to participate.

Evaluation Undertaking or commissioning research into the experience and outcomes of EPD in their locality to inform future development. Selection of EPD mentors In one LEA in particular, where interested teachers applied to and were selected by the authority to undertake the mentoring role. Additionally, these college term paper help LEAs gave participants access to support networks and a degree of control over what their programmes entailed. Where the configuration between the LEA, schools and teachers was less well aligned, programmes were still successful but not to the extent of the highest performing LEAs. Nevertheless, although there was some variation in the extent of the outcomes teachers derived across the 12 pilot authorities, it is important to put the overall impact of the EPD scheme into perspective.

In every LEA - both centralised and non- centralised approaches - the EPD experience was positive. The conceptualisations and commitment of the LEA personnel administering the initiative within their authorities must explain a substantial part of the success of the EPD pilot scheme. The EPD scheme made available ringfenced funding for the purpose of meeting the professional development needs of second and third year teachers.

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A mentor, school backing and further assistance from the LEA served as a three-pronged support network. The subsequent professional development undertaken was, therefore, very much targeted at the needs and priorities of individual teachers and as a result, their confidence levels were elevated and teaching practice improved. From these effects sprung forth benefits for pupils in terms of their enjoyment of learning, college term paper help motivation and progress. From undertaking development opportunities as part of EPD, college term paper help teachers had an enhanced repertoire of professional skills, were imbued with greater confidence and registered greater commitment to teaching as a long-term career. Hence, as well as the personal gains for participating teachers, the EPD scheme nurtured teachers who were in a better position to contribute to the school as a whole and who expressed a greater likelihood that they would remain in teaching for some years to come. Having traced the emergence of EPD effects in this way, it is possible to appreciate the potential of a grassroots approach to professional development. The transmission of effects starts with the immediate recipient of EPD, the teacher, before transferring to their pupils, their colleagues, the school and also to the wider teaching profession.

In cases where EPD did not capitalise fully on its potential, it would seem that problems were encountered where the constituent elements of EPD - the teacher, the school (including the mentor) and the LEA - were out of alignment. Equally, total autonomy in the absence of any support meant that teachers would struggle to navigate their way through the range of options available to them. Schools needed to be factored into the equation - both to provide support to teachers and to capitalise on the professional progress made by these staff. Appropriate involvement by all key players was, therefore, critical in maximising the impact of EPD - where it functioned most effectively, teacher, schools and the LEA all contributed to its implementation.

The EPD scheme as documented in this report was discontinued after the three-year pilot.

Looking into the future, however, it is possible to extrapolate some very valuable lessons from the experience of the pilot for increasing the impacts of professional development for teachers early in their careers.

Participants commended highly the levels of autonomy offered 124 CONCLUSION through EPD and the opportunity to direct their own professional learning. Additionally, where teachers received support from a mentor and the school, the impact of the scheme was boosted further. These, then, might be seen as the transferable features of the EPD scheme, which having been identified, could be utilised in future professional development activities. What should not be overlooked though, is that the EPD scheme, as a concept, did offer something unique. During interviews, teachers would frequently praise the extra investment and thought in their professional development that the EPD pilot represented.

Furthermore, analysis of the EPD and comparative sample suggested that this could be a factor in the greater likelihood of EPD teachers remaining in the profession. Indeed, a key difference between the EPD teachers and those in the comparative sample, drawn from schools outside the pilot LEA, was the level of morale reported. Thus, the very existence of a dedicated, funded scheme specifically for the professional development of second and third year teachers was, in itself, crucial to the outcomes derived from EPD.

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