The CPD Curriculum

Creating conditions for growth

By: Zoe Enser , Mark Enser


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 235mm x 156mm
Pages : 160
ISBN : 9781785835698
Format: Paperback
Published: June 2021

Co-authored by Zoe Enser and Mark Enser, The CPD Curriculum: Creating conditions for growth shares expert and practical guidance for schools on designing and delivering continuing professional development (CPD) that truly lives up to its name.

There is a wealth of research available on professional learning, from both within and outside the education sphere, and in this book Zoe and Mark pull it all together to help school leaders optimise teachers' ongoing learning and growth.

Zoe and Mark explain how schools can overcome issues with CPD that can leave teachers plateauing in their development after just a few years, and share a variety of case studies that illustrate the key components of an effective CPD programme that builds on teachers' prior knowledge.

The authors spell out the importance of CPD and explain how, when done well, it gives teachers the agency to make professional decisions informed by the best evidence and experience they have to hand. Furthermore, they explore how high-quality professional development contributes not only to a collaborative culture within the school staff team and enhanced job satisfaction for teachers, but also to improved student outcomes.

Split into three parts – intent, implementation and impact – the book covers a range of key areas, including: coaching and mentoring, subject-specific CPD, empowerment and self-efficacy, delivery methods and quality of materials. They also examine the current issues and common pitfalls surrounding CPD and offer guidance on how it can be improved, with clear end goals in mind.

Suitable for school leaders, heads of department and CPD leads in all settings.


Here's Zoe Enser introducing The CPD Curriculum: Creating conditions for growth.


Picture for author Zoe Enser

Zoe Enser

Zoe Enser was a classroom teacher for 20 years, during which time she was also a head of English and a senior leader with a responsibility for staff development and school improvement. Zoe also writes for TES and is the co-author of Fiorella & Mayer’sGenerative Learning in Action and The CPD Curriculum.

Picture for author Mark Enser

Mark Enser

Mark Enser has been teaching geography for the best part of two decades and is a head of department and research lead at Heathfield Community College, as well as a specialist leader of education (SLE) and evidence lead in education (ELE). He is a regular TES columnist and often speaks at education conferences. Mark has written several books and also writes a blog called Teaching It Real and tweets @EnserMark. He spends the rest of his time reading, drinking coffee and playing Dungeons & Dragons.

View Marks features on TES here.

Click here to read Mark Enser’s blog.


  1. The CPD Curriculum is an amazing book which has provided me with fantastic ideas to motivate staff and deliver more meaningful CPD.
    CPD needs to be relevant, realistic and worthwhile – and this book is a catalyst to help me achieve this with my cohort of staff.
  2. The ideas outlined by Team Enser in The CPD Curriculum are not only grounded in relevant theory but also in the complex reality of school life. It is this tight marriage of honest and practical wisdom that makes this book a great guide for those seeking to make professional development work – and work well – in the school setting.

  3. The CPD Curriculum provides a really good overview of current issues and related research around teachers' professional learning and will certainly spur leaders on, encouraging them to focus on this all-important aspect of school life. The wide range of case studies is the book's great strength, in which experienced practitioners such as Chris Moyse, Kat Howard, Jack Tavassoly-Marsh and Becka Lynch share insightful perspectives on professional learning.
  4. If we are serious about creating the conditions for growth, as the subtitle of this book proposes, then we need to get our heads around some knotty problems. One example: why does so much CPD treat all teachers as novices and so concentrates on training them in certain techniques? What about the paradox of talking about encouraging a culture of celebration and learning from errors in classrooms and yet discouraging this approach for staff? The CPD Curriculum provides insights into these tensions and, owing to their trawl through the literature and some impressive case studies, Zoe and Mark provide a template for more intentional, thoughtful practice. Highly recommended.
  5. The CPD Curriculum grabbed my attention right from the dedication: - every teacher who has ever sat in a hall after school and thought -"there must be a better way'-. Sadly, I suspect there are more of us who have felt like this than those who have not.

    Research tells us that, despite very well-intentioned efforts, teachers' CPD is still yet to bear the fruits of our labour in terms of the positive impact on student outcomes, the financial cost of resources and, most importantly, the take-up of people's time. There has to be a better way - and Zoe and Mark Enser show us how in The CPD Curriculum, taking the time to consider what teachers need to know and how best to teach it, all with the same level of care and thought we would apply to our students' curriculum design and implementation. With a powerful blend of synthesised evidence-informed ideas and pragmatic insights from their own experiences and those offered in the case studies, this book acts as a highly effective tool to ensure that more CPD in schools leaves teachers energised and with a greater sense of efficacy, satisfaction and agency.

  6. From the moment I read the dedication to this brilliant book I was hooked. It was as if Zoe and Mark could see into my memories of the endless hours of pointless CPD I'd endured over the last 15 years. For years, teachers have been crying out for more teacher-centred development - and this book definitely answers that call. Packed full of research and musings on teacher development from the great and good in education, it is a thorough and robust exploration of the “why” of CPD and the reasons why schools sometimes don't get it right. As the authors state, great teacher development should be part of a bigger picture and a shared vision that all teachers are working towards and in which each teacher is an essential component to complete the picture. If more teachers felt this sense of importance and autonomy, then surely we could help to solve the retention crisis?

    The CPD Curriculum is not just an essential book for those in charge of staff development in schools, it is a must-read for all teachers who feel anchorless and adrift on the vast ocean of CPD. It will be your stay.
  7. In The CPD Curriculum, Zoe and Mark Enser model a road to a CPD utopia and carefully detail how to put this into place in our schools. We are shown that the typical CPD course, with its deluge of information thrown at teachers, rarely has meaningful impact. Instead, in this book we are introduced to a new model of CPD which integrates experience and theory, and always has its end goal in sight. We are scaffolded with strategies to ensure we nurture teachers who are active rather than passive participants in the process. The CPD Curriculum explores a holistic approach to our aims to improve, where motivation of our teachers is key.

    The cycle utilised to ensure vision is translated into reality is key - involving theory, exploration, experience and reflection. We are guided to make the move from instruction to induction, trusting and valuing the role of teachers in their development.

    The CPD Curriculum takes you to the very heart of just how fantastic CPD has the potential to be a game changer for your school, when developed within the right culture. As described by the authors, this book is a call to revolution - and every brave school leader should be answering the call. I certainly will be.

    Essential reading.
  8. So much of the CPD that is offered to teachers, or even imposed upon them, fails to take account of two simple but vital elements: teacher autonomy and career-stage relevance. In The CPD Curriculum, Zoe and Mark not only highlight these issues (among many others) but they ask the pertinent questions needed to help the reader re-evaluate and redesign the CPD offering in their own school.

    Excellent CPD can take many forms and this is reflected by the authors' selection of highly useful case studies, each of which approach the CPD conundrum from different directions. The long-term and personalised CPD approach advocated is a refreshing change from some of the top-down efforts of Whitehall, Ofsted and some MATs, in that Zoe and Mark recognise that effective development of staff cannot be achieved solely
    through one-off sessions or from telling staff what they need to work on. Instead, this book provides the inspiration needed for taking action and a highly practical blueprint for becoming better teachers over time. After all, CPD isn't a thing you complete on Thursday afternoon, but rather is a lifelong journey of growth towards expertise. To this end, The CPD Curriculum is the perfect travel companion for the way ahead.
  9. When Viviane Robinson was asked by the New Zealand government to conduct a review of school leadership research into what school leaders did that made the biggest difference to pupil outcomes, her team identified five key factors. The most important of these, at least twice as impactful as any of the other factors, was effectively about supporting teachers to become better teachers. Yet this research also suggested that school leaders spend as little as 16% of their time on this important work. In this timely book, Zoe and Mark Enser not only make a compelling case for why CPD matters and what great CPD looks like, they crucially identify the difference between learning and development. Only the latter will make a long-term and sustained impact on teacher professional practice and pupil outcomes. Superbly evidenced and elegantly structured, this book is a manifesto for what great CPD can be and yet so often isn't. Backed up by powerful case studies from an impressive array of contributors, it brings alive what the very best of our schools are already doing. As they candidly acknowledge themselves, reading this book won't make any difference in itself, but if every head and senior leader had access to the excellent thinking and analysis in this text, we would at least have a fighting chance of making CPD something teachers and support staff up and down the land will both look forward to and value. Our profession deserves nothing less.

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