Image of Harlowbury Primary School

Case Study:
Harlowbury Primary School

Harlowbury Primary School is a single-form-entry primary school, with an excellent speech and language centre. 

The inspirational staff, rigorous leadership team and dedicated governors are committed to   excellent outcomes for all pupils, and to equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to be successful in their learning. 

Sarah Mitchell, Deputy Headteacher, joined us to discuss how the school has used their annual membership with The National College to deliver a comprehensive professional development programme tailored to all school staff. 

Joining The National College 

Sarah said: We're a primary school on the edge of Harlow in Essex, with around 200 pupils.” 

“I’m the Deputy Headteacher, the teacher in charge of the speech and language centre, and the assessment lead for art and design. 

Reflecting on the school’s decision to join The National College, Sarah said: “We joined The National College during the COVID pandemic, when people were working from home.” 

We realised the benefit of having something available where you could just sit for an hour and get all of the content without having to leave the building,” she continued. 

Our annual membership offers unlimited access to thousands of webinars, courses, guides, policy templates and resources, delivered by experts of national and international renown, to help educators meet their statutory requirements and drive up standards. 

Sarah said: “During lockdown we definitely used it frequently. We created a lot of watchlists for people who were working from home, too.” 

“Now, most of our teachers pick and choose what they feel is useful for their professional development and subject area. 

Tailored professional development opportunities for all staff 

With our annual membership, school leaders can organise and adjust user groups and watchlists to deliver more personalised training for all staff. 

Sarah said: “We always provide a watchlist for new starters in our school. That includes safeguarding and all of the other basics that they would need to know.” 

 “Recently, we’ve been using the platform to record who has completed the training,” she added. 

“The usage of the platform has developed from something that we watch occasionally, five years ago, to now when it is a huge part of our professional development strategy and really supports us with it. 

She added: “Overall, feedback has been very positive, and I think a lot of our staff have said that they love the platform.” 

“They particularly like the fact that they can pause, stop, rewind and return to where they left off the training. It really helps with the work/life balance,” Sarah revealed. 

Our state-of-the-art professional development platform 

School leaders also gain access to CPD management unlike anything else on the market: an online space where, in a few clicks, they can take full control of planning, directing, recording and reporting on all CPD activity across the school. 

Sarah explained: “The platform is fantastic for tracking and reporting on who has completed the training and where people are at with their assigned watchlists.” 

“For example, we had a midday supervisor and we provided her with lots of training suggestions on The National College. We asked her how much of the training she had completed, and she said she had done most of it. We had a look on the platform and saw there was a lot outstanding, and by the next review meeting she had completed everything that she had been asked to,” she said.  

She stated: The biggest benefit is flexible training at a time and place where staff are happy.” 

“I love The National College. I mean, I really love it. I really think it’s fabulous. I’ve done quite a lot of training over the last five years on it, and it's really helped me with my Deputy Head position,” Sarah concluded.