Evaluation of the impact of a continuing professional development (CPD) course for primary science specialists: full report

Published in April 2015 this is the final report evaluating the impact of a continuing professional development (CPD) science course for primary school teachers. The course was developed by the Wellcome Trust and the National STEM Learning Centre, and was designed to train primary teachers to become primary science specialists.

The study found that, a year after the CPD course finished, there were measurable impacts on the students in the science leaders’ new classes: improved subject knowledge and improved attitudes.

Qualitative data also revealed examples of wider impacts – a rise in the profile of science in school, improved standards of work, better and more robust leadership rather than management of science. Importantly, science leaders needed support from school leaders to disseminate their learning; without this their endeavours were less impactful.

These findings are consistent with the significant correlations noted in Ofsted’s recent science report between outstanding primary science and participation in science-specific CPD.

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