Whether professional learning takes the form of individual study, practitioner enquiry, lesson observation, engagement with professional learning communities or, preferably, a blend of these, professional learning requires a commitment from individuals in the form of time. This may be short, medium or long term, and leaders are aware of this and support where possible.
Resources rarely permit all approaches to be supported, but leaders and practitioners look creatively at ways to translate learning into practice (Roy et al, 2021; Harris and Jones, 2019).
Leaders acknowledge that schools are complex systems and that the impact of professional learning is often long term and often not measurable in a traditional sense (Strom and Viesca, 2021; Malone et al, 2021). However, individual professionals are responsible for evaluating the ways that their learning has or has not impacted on their own practice and especially on the learning of their students. Used appropriately and critically, the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership, and engagement with professional enquiry can provide useful evidence to enable this (Welsh Government, 2020; Roy et al, 2021).
As far as possible, leaders provide access to relevant resources to support with applying the learning into practice and help to create time for planning, space for applying, opportunities for reflection, adapting and analysis of impact (OECD, 2018).
We asked leaders from schools across Wales to tell us how they are Leading Professional Learning, using each of the eight hallmarks of well-led professional learning as a reference point. The resulting Case Studies offer an insight into a diverse range of effective approaches to Leading Professional Learning that we hope will bring the hallmarks to life and inspire fresh, strategic thinking for other leaders in Wales. We want you to Be Inspired.
If your school or cluster has an example of practice that could be included in the Leading Professional Learning resource – under one (or more) of the eight ‘hallmarks’ of well-led professional learning, we want to hear from you.