Image of The Link School

Case Study:
The Link School

Special - Improvement & Inspections School Improvement Leading CPD Special - Staff & Recruitment

The Link School is an alternative learning provider working with young learners and their families across the City of Sunderland.

Karl Richardson, Assistant Headteacher, spoke to us about how a School Membership with The National College has empowered the whole school workforce to embark on their own personalised learning journey.

The importance of CPD

In Karl’s eyes, CPD should be at the forefront of every educator’s mind, not only because of the effect it can have on individuals, but also on those around them.

He said: "We have a CPD calendar in place but were looking for something to run alongside that."

"We were looking for specialist knowledge and expert guidance."

Karl continued: "It's been a hard year for the education sector, but for us it was paramount to have The National College for the whole school workforce."

A flexible approach to CPD

The opportunity to revisit or complete training at a time to suit individual needs has been a real gamechanger for staff at The Link School.

Karl said: "The National College has worked really well for us; staff can access the CPD anywhere and it's very flexible."

"A lot of staff may not be great with technology, but The National College offered CPD online and on demand, which was ideal for remote education." he continued.

"Staff can go on and access the CPD, browsing what is relevant to their role." he said.

Outstanding feedback from staff

Karl commented that all staff have been overwhelmingly positive in their response to The National College’s School Membership.

He said: "The feedback has been great."

"Staff can access whichever training they would like and browse through the different webinars and courses." he added.

"A lot of staff members use the platform for performance management, checking what they have completed over the year."

"The platform itself is very easy to use.”

An intuitive, online learning platform

From an administrative standpoint too, Karl has been impressed with how straightforward it is to track progress throughout the school.

He said: "The National College has a really easy breakdown of progress, and you can download certificates to evidence achievement too."

"We can see which webinars and courses staff have completed, and it allows me to ask the question why it hasn't been completed if necessary." he explained.

Reflecting on the wealth of benefits provided by our School Membership, Karl said: "The biggest benefit is that it's individualised, role-specific CPD."

"We can set CPD and target the areas required for staff members."

Updated in line with the latest DfE guidance and Ofsted expectations

Education guidance and policy updates are frequent and, at The National College we respond in a timely manner, distilling complex information into user-friendly webinars and courses.

For The Link School, this has been an invaluable benefit.

Karl declared: "It's really current, there are webinars going on weekly and they are all updated in line with DfE guidance and Ofsted expectations."

"It really covers a broad spectrum of CPD, and it has everything that you need on there." he commented.