Development of Guidelines for Teacher Professional Development Policy for the Teaching Services Commission in Sierra Leone.
A collaborative project using multi-level consultation and capacity development to develop and promote new guidelines for school-based teacher professional development (TPD).
As part of a European Union-funded reform of the teaching profession in Sierra Leone, the Teaching Services Commission contracted Simone to develop policy guidelines for TPD in collaboration with a local consultant, Professor Joe Alie. Simone and Joe conducted a wide-ranging consultation of teachers, school leaders, teacher trainers, education partners and government officials and reviewed relevant reports and legal instruments to generate a holistic vision based on an in-depth analysis of Sierra Leone’s needs for the teaching profession.
As part of the project, Simone and Joe held a series of two-day workshops to train a reference group of teachers and school leaders in different options for school-based TPD so that they could advocate for the programme from a position of knowledge and authority. School-based mentors, specially trained school leaders and mobile mentors work in partnership with teacher training institutions to deliver and facilitate school-based TPD.
The school-based TPD model is integrated with the teacher career management and reward system, so that successfully engaging in regular effective TPD triggers career advancement. TPD is aligned with a teacher performance management scheme based on Teacher Standards, developed by a separate consultant as part of education sector reform, which define good teaching at different levels of the career structure. The new model successfully enables teachers to pursue much-needed professional development without requiring teachers to leave their schools to undergo training. Sierra Leone’s non-professional teachers will gradually be integrated into the teaching force and a combined career path and salary scale by successfully completing tailored TPD requirements. Application of the Policy Guidelines is expected to lead to higher quality teaching throughout Sierra Leone, along with meaningful career development for teachers and improved pupil outcomes.