Back to the future
Teachers and school leaders in Wales are back at work and the Spring term will see the appearance of several significant official publications.
New curriculum, assessment and accountability arrangements will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Back to work, back to the future.
A broad programme of reform to education in Wales has been underway for some time. The programme is known as the National Mission in education. It is led by Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams AM, and reform of the curriculum for 3 to 16 year olds is the core of it all.
On Thursday January 10, Kirsty Williams AM gave oral evidence to the influential Children, Young People and Education Committee of the Welsh Assembly as it considers the Welsh Government’s progress in developing the new curriculum.
Written evidence from stakeholders including teachers, school leaders and Local Authority Directors revealed that they’re worried:
- Not enough detail has been shared with teachers
- The detail that has been shared is woolly
- Teachers that haven’t been involved in the curriculum development have had little opportunity to meet with those that have.
The Cabinet Secretary said in reply that the curriculum development is on track and will be published in April. It will have guidance documents to help teachers think about delivery, and detail on appropriate professional development.
Teachers will have an opportunity to feedback on the April publication. A final version will be issued in January 2020. The curriculum will be used throughout Wales by 2022.
In a recent letter to Headteachers, Cabinet Secretary Kirsty Williams AM said 2019 “marks the next big step for Our National Mission, as we work to engage the whole workforce in our work.”
- In January, the draft Evaluation and Improvement arrangements, our vision for a model of school and system-wide accountability, based on evaluating how well schools support all pupils will be published. The Assessment arrangements which relate to classroom assessment, will be published in April.
- In February we will be publishing a Curriculum and Assessment White Paper for consultation. It outlines our proposals for legislation to support the new curriculum and assessment arrangements, enshrining the Four Purposes (of the new curriculum) in law.
- After Easter we will publish the draft Curriculum, for feedback throughout the Summer term. During the Autumn we will refine the draft Curriculum before publishing the final version in early 2020, ready for roll out in primary schools and year 7 in September 2022.
- A year-long programme of engagement is planned. As headteachers you will have early sight of the draft Curriculum and the draft Evaluation and Improvement Arrangements next term. From Spring-time conferences will focus on the culture change needed to realise our transformational changes. During Summer term, the whole workforce will get the opportunity to be involved in events to provide feedback.