1. ITV Report

'Few' schools developing skills adequately

The education watchdog says secondary schools need to focus more on developing pupils' skills

A new report by education watchdog, Estyn, has found that schools in Wales are falling short when it comes to developing their pupil's communication, numeracy and thinking skills.

The Education and Training Inspectorate for Wales says that while schools know that pupils need to develop generic skills, "very few" of them plan adequately in the development of abilities included in the Welsh Government's Skills Framework.

One reason for this, according to the organisation, is that schools focus more on making sure teaching follows the National Curriculum.

In 2008, the Welsh Government introduced the Skills Framework, a plan for schools to develop the skills of pupils between the ages of three and 19, which in turn would "address the current concerns about skills’ shortages in Wales".

The framework is organised into four sections that include the development of:

  • Thinking
  • Communication
  • Information Technology
  • Numeracy

The framework's aim was to "enable learners of any age to become school, the workplace, at home or elsewhere" and to "underpin the requirements of employers and others."

But four years after the scheme came into practice, Ann Keane, the Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales, has said the framework hasn't been "influential enough."

Adding that "only a few schools successfully plan the progressive development of pupils' skills across the curriculum."

We found that although nearly all schools have someone with overall responsibility for the development and implementation of skills only a few schools successfully plan the progressive development of pupils' skills across the curriculum.

– Ann Keane, the Inspector of Education and Training in Wales

Monmouth Comprehensive School is given as an example of where the framework has been successfully implemented.

At the school, tutors are said to assess pupils' work, with progress managers overseeing these assessments and working with form tutors to set targets. The targets are tracked, along with each pupil's progress.

In response to the report, a spokesperson from the Welsh Government has said: "We welcome Estyn's report and recognise the concerns they identify. Through the Minister's 20 point action plan to improve standards and performance in education in Wales and our new literacy and numeracy framework we are working hard to address these issues."