University Tips Blog
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A headshot image of the author, Ashleigh Poole

by Ashleigh Poole

Outreach Officer at the University of Essex

posted on 24 Feb '22

How can universities support school and college staff with CPD opportunities

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an opportunity for teachers and school staff to interact with external mentors, share best practice and enhance their knowledge in specific subject areas, including the higher education journey. It is also a way of keeping teachers ‘in the loop’ with current issues that young people might be facing and providing the tools needed to manage concerns within the school environment.

Universities recognise that teaching/support staff can have limited time and resources, so when delivering CPD activity, they ensure it is relevant, informative and high quality. Throughout the pandemic, CPD also became widely available online, encouraging school staff to sign up for events offered by institutions across the globe, not just in their local area.

An overview of school and college CPD opportunities

University conferences

This is a one- or two-day programme of higher education updates, workshops, Q&A sessions, and networking. Conferences are typically held on university grounds to showcase their facilities, however virtual conferences are becoming increasingly more popular, allowing attendees to join from home.

Subject-specific CPD sessions

These are interactive workshops focusing on upskilling, generating discussion and/or providing teachers with resources to integrate into their lessons. These sessions would usually run for 1-2 hours and are now commonly available as online webinars. Examples of previous sessions delivered at the University of Essex include, Mental Health and Covid-19, Teaching Generation Z, Supporting Care Leavers and Estranged Students, Building Bridges to Higher Education for the GTRSB community, Sociology and Criminology, and an Introduction to Data Science.

Teacher and adviser webpages

Universities tend to hold useful links, resources and print outs for teachers to use in their day- to-day teaching on a teacher/adviser webpage within a schools and colleges section of their website. Many institutions also post their past CPD sessions on their website as pre-recorded videos. This makes it possible for teachers to research what is out there and build their own CPD programme to access in their own time.


Podcasts are the perfect way for teachers to keep up to date with student finance, UCAS and employability related information. Universities record episodes with academic staff, current university students and external experts and then stream through platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify and Soundcloud. For teachers, it’s an enjoyable way of connecting with institutions in their own time and can be easily shared amongst student cohorts too.

Need something else? Please request it

University recruitment and outreach teams are more than happy to provide bespoke sessions or materials upon request. Get in touch to suggest topics, providers and resources that you would like to engage with!

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