Commitment to Professional Development
At The Skinners’ Kent Academy our vision is one of a professional community driven by the principle of constant development; aiming to be research informed in everything we do. We believe that quality conversations between thoughtful professionals is the way to improve the quality of education we offer.
For staff at the Academy, Professional Development Time (PDT) consists of independent research, seminar discussions, collaborative planning, time in teams and conferences.
Staff can shape their professional development, in order to support Academy improvement. Initially this is achieved as members of staff choose their own reading and research topics, forming professional peer groups to discuss the implementation of their reading. We also offer opportunities for more specialist development pathways.
The Academy will also support applications from staff to take NPQs offered via Ambition Institute and staff are encouraged to participate in training programmes and courses offered by the Chartered College of Teaching. At present we have staff completing the Chartered College’s Certificate of Informed Practice as well as staff gaining Chartered Leader status. The Academy is a Learning Partner of the College and is seeking to develop and strengthen its link between the Academy and CCT. The Academy is also an unlimited partner school of the PTI (The Prince’s Teaching Institute) which facilitates further professional development for teaching staff through CPD subject days, leadership courses and support for new teachers.
More recently, as part of the Skinners’ Company family of schools, staff have had the opportunity to attend seminars from speakers such as Peps Mccrea, Paul McGee and Mary Myatt. This is an area that the Academy is seeking to develop alongside the other Skinners’ schools to deepen the link and relationships between them.
New staff joining the Academy at any point in the academic year have an abridged induction programme in order to familiarise them with our systems and procedures.
Middle leaders at the Academy are nominated to take part in a variety of different programmes in an academic year. The Skinners’ Company Middle Leadership programme covers a range of issues that prospective and current middle leaders will find useful and informative. Participants in the programme are also invited to devise a House/Subject based project for the year, on which they will give feedback before each workshop. This mini project will be part of their own on-going professional development. Skinners’ Schools Middle Leadership Programme is being offered again this year and will involve two/three colleagues (dates and venues as per the Academy calendar).
Early Career Teachers
All Early Career Teachers (ECTs) have a specialist, external national comprehensive induction programme. Our ECTs have their ECF (Early Career Framework) delivered through an appropriate body, for us this is the Kent Teaching School Hub; we follow the core induction programme with the Ambition Institute as the lead provider. All ECTs will have a dedicated subject mentor and a dedicated Induction co-ordinator who will champion the programme, support mentors and early career teachers to engage, and hold them to account for doing so effectively whilst ensuring that mentoring time is protected. ECTs will also engage in whole Academy PDT where appropriate.
Our salaried ITTs (Initial Teacher Trainees) join us as a member of staff for a full academic year, they embrace all that the Academy has to offer from having a tutor group and running clubs to attending bespoke training and being on duty! Our ITTs join us from KMT (Kent and Medway Training) and those salaried or non-salaried attend KMT hub training days on a Thursday each week until Easter and then work with us 5 days a week until they qualify in late June. ITTs are supported by subject mentors and their professional tutor (Assistant Principal) constantly throughout their training and will go on a B placement for either 3 weeks (salaried) and 6 weeks (non-salaried) to a contrasting setting. Our trainees will also join us for PDT and will be included with their subject teams.