Giving teachers the time to learn and develop – improving practice and outcomes for children through Teacher Development Time

We’re passionate about giving our teachers the time and space to learn

To ensure our teaching staff get the time and space to learn, we have launched – Teacher Development Time (TDT).

By embracing technology, we’re able to deliver virtual lessons, allowing teachers to be released from their class each week, to focus on their own learning and development.

In addition to their TDT, teachers also work alongside a coach, to ensure they have someone to discuss their learning with and help identify their strengths and areas for development.

Feedback from teachers shows that they are overwhelmingly happy with their development time and the time they spend with their coach.


The need for Teacher Development Time

At Discovery Trust, we firmly believe in the investment placed upon ensuring all of our teachers are provided with the time and space to learn so that they can provide the best possible teaching for the pupils in their care.

As we begin to emerge from one of the most significant periods of challenge in Education since the second world war, we recognise the imperative need for teachers to change, adapt and learn new ways of teaching in order to meet all children’s needs.

‘Teaching and learning is complicated. Teachers are required to alter their practice on a daily basis and use a range of strategies, resources and skills, some of which we may not know about, understand or even believe in! Teachers are brain developers! It’s a difficult job and one in which the teacher never stops learning.’

David Briggs, Director of Primary Education, Discovery Trust


During these past two years of the pandemic, teachers have had to rethink, reimagine, and learn new ways to teach. It has also been a period where, finally, we are seeing a significant drive forward with the implementation of technology within the classroom to support learning. Coming out of the pandemic, we recognise that technology has a vital role to play in supporting learning for both adults and pupils.

With that said, there is much to learn and if we do not embrace this fact and put in place systems to enable this learning to happen, there is danger we may go back to our more traditional forms of teaching.



What is Teacher Development Time?

By harnessing the power of technology, we are able to provide each school, within the trust, with recorded lessons for each year group from year one to year six.

The two subjects chosen by schools are Art and Computing. Each school uses support staff to facilitate the lessons which are delivered and recorded by qualified teacher experts in these two subject fields. The teachers use TEAMs to record all of the lessons and share the planning resources.

With teachers released from lessons, they are able to spend time developing their own skills and knowledge.  This time is in addition to PPA time.

To further assist teachers with their own learning journey, each teacher is also assigned a coach – someone to work alongside each teacher to ensure they have someone to discuss their learning and help identify strengths and areas for development.

What impact is Teacher Development Time having?

We are now a full term into TDT and the fruits of the strategy are already being seen.

Our evaluations show that teachers are overwhelmingly happy with the time they get to work with their coaches. All teachers have a coach and, in the main, most meet on a regular basis.

The children love the virtual lessons and our lead teachers are becoming somewhat of a celebrity across the schools. We have even taken on an additional art lead and have had teachers volunteering to record some of the computing lessons.

In such a short space of time, it is remarkable to see all that has been achieved and, most importantly, we are beginning to see practice improve and teachers are actually having conversations about their own learning.

Want to know more about Teacher Development Time?

Hear more about Teacher Development Time (TDT) from different perspectives - what has the impact has been on schools, pupils and individuals.

TDT - A Trust Leader's Perspective

TDT- A Director of Primary Education's Perspective

TDT - A Headteacher's Perspective

TDT - A Deputy Headteacher's Perspective

TDT - A Teacher's Perspective

TDT - A Coach's Perspective

If you would like to know more about TDT time, please feel free to contact us