McMurray, S. et al (2016) An innovative model for professional development

An innovative model for professional development

Journal Article


This paper considers an innovative model of continuing professional development in addressing the needs of children with literacy difficulties, namely the Special Educational Needs Continuing Professional Development Literacy Project. Stranmillis University College, in partnership with St Marys University College, Belfast secured £4.06 million over 3 years to enable primary school teachers in Northern Ireland to participate in an online course held in their own school, and for two teachers from each school to attend specialist face-to-face seminars taught at Masters level. One teacher from each school had the opportunity to complete two Masters modules and to be assessed for the award of Approved Teacher Status from the British Dyslexia Association. This project is one of the largest professional development projects to be undertaken in Northern Ireland. The project is aligned to two key Department strategies: one is to address the provision for special educational needs inmainstream schools within an inclusive school environment, and the second is to improve outcomes in literacy; a key focus is on early identification of individual needs and appropriately matched intervention. This paper discusses the design and delivery of this continuing professional development programme using this novel integrated model. It considers how this model has facilitated stronger theory-practice links among practitioners leading to increased confidence and competence in meeting the needs of children with literacy difficulties.

Output Information

McMurray, Sharon & O'Neill, Susan & Thompson, Ross. (2016). An innovative model for professional development. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs. 16. 145-149. 10.1111/1471-3802.12139.

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Published: 04/08/2016