In 2006, the Ministry of Education launched a GROW package for the professional and personal Growth of teachers, through better Recognition, Opportunities, and through seeing to their Well-being. One of the features of this package is the appointment of a School Staff Developer (SSD) in every school, assumed by a senior education officer whose job is to ensure that the training and professional development programmes be customised to their school staff’s needs, while supporting the school’s goals. The SSD works with other middle managers in the school to mentor and coach teachers in the areas of teaching and career development.
Specifically, the SSD plays the following roles in school:
- A planner and designer for professional development who ensures training and professional development programmes be customised to the needs of staff,
- A champion for staff learning who facilitates training for teachers,
- An on-site coach and mentor who works collaboratively with Senior Teachers and Heads of Departments to mentor teachers and to guide them in developing their careers,
- A resource person with a source of expertise of good teaching practices, and
- A staff well-being sponsor.
The Academy seeks to support the professional development of SSDs through a series of approaches. The support encompasses
- an induction programme customised specifically for new officially-appointed SSDs,
- work attachments to the Academy to expose them to system-level planning and policy design,
- learning journeys to industries renowned for best practices in people development, and
- networked learning opportunities for professional collaboration and sharing of best practices.
These opportunities also enhance links between the Academy and SSDs so that the learning priorities of SSDs can be better supported.