The Shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg
, spoke at the Education Innovation conference
today. In reply to various questions about the importance of teacher training and whether sabbaticals for teachers were a good idea, he responded by saying that they "must be". I found this commitment to teacher training and supporting teachers very encouraging. He clearly realises that it's only when teachers are supported to become better at their jobs that standards in the classroom will rise.
He quoted Professor Dylan William's research
which shows that the variations in teaching quality within schools is often wider than the variation between schools. I think he clearly hints very strongly that he will make teacher sabbaticals part of policy.
Watch his response to questions about this area after his main speech and judge for yourself.