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Shropshire Council and the University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) are pleased to announce that the programme of continuing professional development (CPD) for schools and early years providers in Shropshire has been transferred from the Council to the University effective this month.  More than 430 schools and early years’ providers in Shropshire and neighbouring counties take part in more than 600 CPD events each year. 

For the past 30 years, the Council has provided continuing professional development to education professionals including senior leadership, teachers, administrators, support staff and governors, that allows them to learn new skills and stay abreast of important and relevant educational developments. The events cover the myriad of issues that schools deal with daily, from core subjects such as English, maths and science, to critical mental health issues such as self esteem, resilience and self harm, to addressing special education needs, engaging with parents and safeguarding. The programme also facilitates networks that allow teachers to meet and share best practices with their peers.  

With budget pressures having forced other councils to move away from this type of provision, Shropshire was one of only a few local authorities in England who continued to administer the programme in-house. The Council maintained control of the programme to ensure it was high quality, addressed the specific needs of Shropshire, and was accessible to everyone in the rural county. 

“CPD is at the heart of school improvement in our county,” said Karen Bradshaw, Director of Children’s Services, Shropshire Council.  “We are fortunate that the University has the academic expertise to not only carry on this important programme, but add value to it as well.” 

UCS offers two undergraduate and three post-graduate degrees in education which include a Primary Education with QTS BA and an Educational Leadership MA. The UCS Education Department will administer the CPD programme with the guidance of an experienced staff member who has transferred from the Council.  

“This programme is a perfect fit within the University’s Education Department,” said Anna Sutton, Provost of the University Centre of Shrewsbury and former Executive Dean of Education and Children’s Services at the University of Chester. “UCS will provide a holistic approach to teacher training in Shropshire, from CPD through to accredited courses and post-graduate programmes.” 

Flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of the Shropshire education community will be a hallmark of the University’s CPD programme.  For instance, in response to requests from head teachers for clarification of new Ofsted inspection rules, UCS hosted a briefing for more than 80 head teachers by a senior Her Majesty’s Inspector. 

Under the Council’s leadership, most of the events took place at the Shrewsbury Training and Development Centre in Monkmoor.  CPD events will now take place mainly at the University’s Guildhall Building in Frankwell.

University Centre of Shrewsbury is a joint partnership between the Shropshire Council and the University of Chester.  Now in its fourth year, the University offers 16 undergraduate and 9 post-graduate degrees in the heart of one of England’s finest medieval towns.

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