Professional Development

"I have had simply amazing professional development from the central team and my school." Q1E teacher

"I have felt hugely supported throughout each step of my teaching journey. There are so many kind individuals to call on for help whenever needed." Q1E teacher

"I had more support in my first term at Q1E than I did in my first 4 years of teaching!" Q1E teacher

We dedicate time and resources to ensuring fantastic professional development for staff at every stage. 

We provide continuing development for teachers through a wide range of training courses, combined with coaching and mentoring, INSET and support from our curriculum directors. Read more about our approach to improving teaching

In addition to teaching development, we provide opportunities for staff in all roles to grow, including open access to a programme of inspirational seminars and open working groups. We are proud that over 100 staff in teaching, support and office roles recently gained accreditation in first aid for mental health. 

Maths Hub

Article Image

We are delighted to have national Maths Hub designation. Maths Hubs are part of a collaborative national network which seeks to harness maths leadership and expertise in order to develop and spread excellent practice. The hub's core purpose is to help schools and colleges lead improvement in maths education in England. Q1E's founding school, Belleville, was designated as a Maths Hub school in 2013 and we lead the London South West Maths Hub, which covers the London Boroughs of Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton, Kingston and Richmond.


INSET stands for “in-service training”: when staff attend training while schools are closed to pupils. At Q1E we have moved quickly to providing a number of joint INSET days each year so that staff across our Trust can learn and share together.  In addition, all of our schools run weekly staff meetings and training sessions after school, with many of these facilitated by members of our central team. 

We take INSET very seriously and aim to use the time available in the most effective way possible. Through INSET days and weekly staff sessions over the course of each year, we provide clear curriculum, pedagogical and safeguarding training as well as updates on relevant new research and policy. 


We provide exceptional support for brand new teachers who have just finished their teacher training.  All new teachers in the Q1E Trust are required to attend three weeks (paid) "pre-induction" training in July, before they start in class the following September. The training covers the most essential elements that will prepare participants for the different challenges of the year ahead and ensure they are ready for the demands of their first teaching post. This includes topics such as creating the right learning environment; behaviour; setting high expectations; co-operative learning; safety on trips; creating the right impression with parents, and assessment in the classroom. - plus full five days pre-induction on how we teach maths, and five days on how we teach reading and writing. 

Early career teachers (ECTs)

"The support has really helped to make my first year in teaching positive, helping me to build on my subject knowledge and shape my teaching style." New Q1E teacher 

Teachers in their first two years of teaching are known as Early Career Teachers (ECTs).

Following the national roll out of the Early Careers Framework, we are working with the Wandle Teaching School Hub to deliver ECT training using the UCL programme. This is supplemented by our own in-house, high quality support, development and mentoring. Every ECT has a dedicated mentor and a nominated induction lead to call on, as well as active support from the other ECTs across the trust. 

The Q1E Trust has long been at the leading edge of new teacher induction.  

Prior to the new ECF, we previously delivered an induction programme for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) for many years, training over 400 NQTs from schools across London and beyond.

We also developed a highly effective Recently Qualified Teacher (RQT) training programme for teachers in their second or third year of teaching. We continue to draw on this high quality content to support our teachers to achieve and succeed in the role. 

Senior leader training

Senior leaders from across the Q1E Trust come together for group development sessions twice a term, with the CEO. The training is for those below headship level, such as deputy heads, assistant heads and directors. These focused sessions are based around current issues affecting Trust schools, but rooted in the development of practical leadership skills such as presentation, coaching, research and analysis.   


The 'GROW' coaching model is embedded in our senior leader training sessions, and additionally staff across the trust have access to sessions with a professional external coach. 

First aid for mental health

We are proud that over 100 of our staff have gained RQF accreditation in first aid for mental health. This qualification provides learners with the knowledge to recognise a range of mental health conditions, how to start a supportive conversation and when and how to signpost a person to seek appropriate professional help. Staff are able to identify signs and symptoms of some key mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders and psychosis. 

Guided peer evaluation (GPE)

“An excellent school review and a really credible lever for school improvement” GPE participant

“The best bit of CPD I have had in a very long time” GPE participant

“The impact was phenomenal” GPE participant

The Guided Peer Evaluation (GPE) is a programme initially developed by our founding school, Belleville Primary. All schools in the Q1E Trust are part of this programme, which we  have also delivered externally for over 20 schools in our wider community over the past seven years. Many schools repeat the process year after year. 

It is a structured, intensive peer review process. Heads of participating schools work as a team of peer reviewers, guided by an experienced Ofsted inspector. Over the course of a year, this review team visits each school in the group, to conduct an intensive, facilitated review. 

The primary purpose is to provide each participating Headteacher with a rigorous evaluation of their school, and some incisive, specific guidance on specific key target areas that the school may wish to consider developing.  The process is supportive and based on trust, but above all it is challenging and it works in line with the latest Ofsted framework and expectations. The programme also provides the opportunity to learn from other schools in a meaningful way as well as helping school leadership teams to step up. 

The wider purpose is to stop schools failing, by helping them improve the provision they offer their children.

Professional leadership conversations

Article Thumbnail

All staff are invited to attend our series of professional leadership conversations. Many of these are set up through our networks of 'good friends' of the Q1E Trust. For example:

  • Professor Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University. Sugata was the winner of the 2013 TED Prize. He is known for his 'hole in the wall' experiments in New Delhi which championed self-organised learning environments (SOLE), a concept we have regularly used at Q1E. 
  • Colonel Jesse Galvan (USA Army retired). Colonel Galvan led the staff through various elements of leadership he had gathered during thirty years in the military and two years in civilian security.

Study visits

We regularly arrange opportunities to learn from excellent practice elsewhere: locally, nationally and beyond. For example:

  • we arranged a structured programme of visits for our headteachers to visit London schools recently judged 'outstanding' under the latest Ofsted framework
  • middle and senior leaders have visited schools with specific areas of excellence, in order to improve our practice, such as in early years or specific subject areas
  • Heads participate in regular Guided Peer Evaluation reviews, alongside leaders from other schools. 

All headteachers in the Q1E trust have participated in study visits to Singapore, visiting influential schools and the National Institute of Education. Singapore has an extremely high achieving system and ranks consistently highly in the international PISA tables for core subjects (the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment). Our maths is based on a Singaporean model and the country's systems have influenced many other aspects of our trust's strategy and approach.  

Core texts

We have a core list of books that have heavily influenced the development of our approach. We recommend these to staff, make copies available for reading, and refer to them frequently in our training sessions. 

Q1E Trust Recommendations

Book Name Author(s) Name(s)
Once upon an ordinary school day Colin McNaughton & Satoshi Kitamura

Something else

Kathryn Cave & Chris Riddell
Good to Great Jim Collins
Raising the bar and closing the gap – whatever it takes Richard Dufour, Rebecca Dufour,
Robert Eaker & Gayle Karhanek
Seven habits of highly effective people Stephen Covey
Fierce conversations Susan Scott
Reservoirs of hope Alan Flintham
Built to last Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
Hit the ground kneeling Stephen Cottrell
How the mighty fall Jim Colllins
Blink Malcolm Gladwell
Visible learning John Hattie
Mindset Carol Dweck