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To all school staff in Wales: An end of term letter from the Minister

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to thank you for the continued commitment and dedication you show to our children and young people in Wales.

kw-portrait-1In particular, I understand that the scale of reform is significant, and am grateful this summer term for your engagement in providing feedback on the draft Curriculum for Wales.

I have also been across the country to meet with current and future teachers, head teachers, classroom support staff, school governors, parents/carers, the business community and children and young people to get their feedback. Your feedback will now be used to refine the draft Curriculum for Wales, which will be ready for publication in January 2020.

We have embarked on transformational change to education in Wales; change that is designed to give all our children and young people the best possible education in a changing world. Soon, for the first time in our history, we will have our own made in Wales curriculum. A broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum supporting the needs of all our children and young people. It is absolutely crucial that we adopt it successfully, and to achieve this we must all be prepared.

It is therefore my intention to give each school an additional INSET day each year for the next three years. This INSET day will be designed to specifically give leaders, teachers and support staff more time for their professional learning. This dedicated Professional Learning INSET day is part of a wider package of support captured in our National Approach to Professional Learning and supported by £24 million additional funding and bilingual, digital resources. This is subject to regulatory changes passing successfully through the National Assembly for Wales.

The way we hold schools and the system to account is also changing to support the new curriculum. The new Evaluation and Improvement arrangements will be fair; coherent; proportionate and transparent. These will increase public confidence through more regular inspection and effective democratic scrutiny.

To support these steps, we are beginning to move away from a disproportionate emphasis on one or two isolated performance measures to a culture where a wider range of indicators which better capture the whole learning experience, where every learner’s progress counts and our ambitions for the new curriculum and National Mission are considered. Steve Davies, Director of Education in Welsh Government will be writing to you setting further details shortly.

Thank you again for your continued commitment to education and I hope you enjoy the summer break.  I look forward to taking our National Mission for Education in Wales forward with you in the Autumn.

Yours sincerely

Kirsty Williams AC/AM

Y Gweinidog Addysg

Minister for Education

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