In February this year I attended a CPD event at the Royal Society, entitled “Evidence Informed Education”. The session was free, took place in half-term and the title sounded intriguing so I decided to sign up.
I was intrigued because like all teachers, I’m affected by education policy, but like most teachers I have no idea how policy is actually developed and like many teachers I’m a tad sceptical that education policy is based on “evidence”, rather than ideology. The discussions at the event however did show me that the Royal Society, with other organisations, are doing great work shaping current education policy and the future curriculum.
In addition to learning about how the Royal Society shapes policy at a national level, the CPD was so much more than that. I met numerous other teachers who were looking for fresh ideas in the classroom, I got given lots of free resources and there were talks by two world-leading scientists on their area of research and how it could be brought into the classroom.
I was also told about the Royal Society Partnership Grants and how I could apply for funding, working with industry or academia to bring cutting edge science into my classroom.
It was, simply put, a great day were I came away with a lot more than I was expecting. Definitely my best CPD of the year.
The most valuable part for me personally was that, at the end of the day, I got talking to the Society’s Education teams. After hearing about my interest in both education policy and outreach work, they suggested I drop them an email to see if they could help me gain some experience in those fields.
That’s how I ended up typing this in the Royal Society’s offices this August, I’ve spent the past two weeks as a “Teacher Consultant” looking at how education policy is both made and shaped, and how the Royal Society can help teachers with resources, training and development.
Everyone has been really friendly, I’ve learned a huge amount and it’s been really enjoyable experiencing another profession. But when push comes to shove, I think I’ll be sticking to my classroom come September and for the foreseeable future…