Staff Training with One Step Further:
Having worked in a Management role for over 25 years, I fully understand how difficult it can been to squeeze staff training into your timetable. Twighlight sessions tend to teeter between staff who are too tired to think, those who need to go home for their children and those who want/need to ask many questions, limiting the timings of the session. Inset days almost always focus on the curriculum, which is difficult when support staff have their own training needs and usually very different to those of the teaching staff. Overtime pay is impossible so evening and weekend training events are a no-go area unless you can find a way to remunerate your team in other ways.
For me a balance between a social occasion, usually including food & drink and learning tailored to the needs of the individual team has always works well. I recognise that everyone has a different learning style, for me a high priority is for the tutor to absolutely not read from a powerpoint presentation that I can just as easily read myself, to make sure I have actions to take away with me and to have opportunities to have my questions answered. Therefore I can promise a teaching style that will reflect your team because before I meet them I will take time to find out a little about them.
My suggestion would be to split your Inset days so that support staff can enjoy their own training, perhaps meeting up as a team at some point later in the day, or, inviting them to choose an evening or Saturday event but allow time off in lieu at a time that would suit everyone. (I know Madam, please don't pull that face at me, I know it's not easy BUT its not impossible and to ensure your staff feel valued it's necessary)
Each member of your team has their own professional heritage and sometimes this is lost in the everyday work routine, especially for the vast majority of support staff who enter their career via the volunteer route. Think about the Lunchtime Supervisors and afterschool staff who aren't yet confident to initiate good quality play opportunities because although they've had first aid and safeguarding training, they don't yet understand that a playful child is a socially and emotionally ready to learn child.
To my joy, many schools employ Thrive Practitioners and Learning Mentors and we like to think we are adopting a "whole school approach" to children's social and emotional needs don't we, but if you feel your staff might benefit from a little more learning, I can offer sessions for:
Partnerships with Parents
Customer Care (let's remember children and parents are our customers)
Safeguarding in a play environment
Play in an Early Years setting
Lunchtime Supervisor training
Alternatively if you have a training need that you would like to talk through with me
training consultations are free of charge