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More than 2,000 teachers and Initial Teacher Training (ITE) students took part in the first of six weeks of the free daily sessions held on Microsoft Teams. Virtual attendees spanned from Cheshire and the North West and right across the country including London, Devon and Kent.

The free interactive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops have been designed by the University (whose origins are as the first purpose-built teacher training institution in the country) to offer continue to offer development opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upcoming sessions will include: a round table discussion with leading educationalists on what schools should look like post COVID-19; developing an inclusive classroom to develop the skills that allow all children and young people to thrive; Diversity, Bias and Representation will explore the issues of race equality and bias within institutions, the impact on schools and education policy and discuss why representation matters in the curriculum; exploring the importance of the early years teaching framework; and an interactive session looking at positive behaviour strategies and creating positive learning environments by looking at the needs of individuals.

The University of Chester is one of the few institutions to be rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in both Primary and Secondary Teacher Education. It offers many different pathways into teacher training as well as educational qualifications for working with children and young adults in a variety of professional settings.

Feedback has included: ‘Having attended two sessions of the online SEN (Special Educational Needs) I have been most impressed and want to access the teaching at Chester’; ‘I have learned so much this week’ and ‘excellent feedback on the online CPD which is seemingly impacting on our broader reputation and provision’.

Associate Professor David Cumberland, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services, said: “We have been delighted to be able to support our schools and colleagues through lockdown. I especially want to thank my superb colleagues who moved free examples of our CPD so swiftly online and to our technical teams you have supported this.

“The delivery over this period is just a snapshot of the expertise and provision we have at the University of Chester, both in accredited (Undergraduate and Master’s Level) and non-accredited professional development. If people are interested in joining us in the coming weeks or in further CPD opportunities, please contact”

All sessions are free to attend but must be booked via Eventbrite. To find out more visit

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