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Top graduates offered incentives to get into teaching

The incentives are available for those wanting to teach 'priority' subjects at secondary level Credit: PA

High-achieving graduates in Wales will soon be able to access incentives of up to £20,000 to train to teach top priority subjects like Maths, Welsh and Physics at secondary school level.

Announced by Education Minister Huw Lewis, the incentives are part of the Welsh Government's work to drive up education standards across Wales, and increase the quality of graduates entering the teaching profession.

Students with a 1st class honours degree will be able to claim £20,000 to study to teach Welsh, Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

Graduates with a 2:1 will be able to claim £10,000, while those with a 2:2 can claim £6,000.

Slightly lower incentives have also been set for graduates training to teach modern languages and computer science at secondary school level.

All eligible students will also be able to access the £5,190 tuition fee grant for 2015/16.

These incentives are designed to increase the caliber of students choosing to teach, and particularly to encourage the most talented graduates, with specialist knowledge of our priority subjects of Welsh, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry to pursue a career in the teaching profession.

Ultimately this is about providing our learners with the best possible education and start in life and I am confident these incentives will continue to strengthen the quality of initial teacher training in Wales

– Huw Lewis AM, Education Minister

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Extra funding for out-of-school childcare

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister, Lesley Griffiths, has announced £400,000 to provide out-of-school childcare for families across Wales.

The funding, which the Welsh Government says is on top of £2.3 million already provided, is aimed at gaps in childcare provision across Wales.

Projects set to get extra funding include childcare centres in Caerphilly and Conwy which will provide play workshops for local children.

Providing quality childcare and improving parents’ access to it is one of my top priorities. Childcare facilities are not just simply a place to go while parents are at work, they are also about improving the lives of children, especially those from our deprived communities.

Childcare not only plays a central role in improving children’s well-being and reducing inequalities, it is also vital to ensuring parents are able to access employment and training opportunities.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister

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'New approach needed on digital divide'

Credit: Jens Kalaene/DPA/PA Images

There are calls for a new approach to teaching digital literacy to stop welsh children falling behind.

That's according to a report by Wise Kids which found less that half of pupils thought their school's technology was sufficient.

It surveyed over 2000 Year 9 pupils (aged 13 and 14) across Wales looking at their online and digital media habits and says it reveals a disconnect between children's digital experiences at home and in school.

Wise Kids says there needs to be high quality technology and internet access in all schools and improved digital literacy training for teachers.

Professor Graham Donaldson is currently undertaking a wide-ranging independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements, including digital literacy. He is due to report back early in the new year.

As part of his review, Professor Donaldson will be considering the recommendations made by the independent ICT Steering Group on the future of computer science and ICT in schools in Wales - including the group's recommendations in relation to digital literacy.

In the meantime our Learning in Digital Wales Grant has enabled almost every school in Wales to benefit from improvements in enhanced internet connectivity or in-school Wi-Fi provision. This is opening up real opportunities to deliver 21st Century teaching and learning in today's digital society.

We are addressing many of the issues raised by this report and we will look carefully at the information to identify any further potential improvements in our provision.

– Welsh Government Spokesperson

Uni of South Wales Caerleon campus to close in 2016

University of South Wales' Caerleon campus will close in summer 2016, it has been confirmed.

The move, first announced in September, puts a number of jobs at risk.

Glyndwr Uni: 'Very positive future' as licence reinstated

Glyndwr University has welcomed the Home Office's decision to allow it to recruit overseas students again, which it says means the institution has "a very positive future."

More than 2,000 of the university's 8,000 students are from outside the EU.

Glyndwr had its licence suspended after an investigation into alleged visa fraud, with concerns about how students obtained English language certificates.

University bosses say it will relinquish the lease on its London campus at Elephant and Castle in December, and move to new premises by July 2015.

It will only recruit students to its Wrexham campus initially, and plans to "develop security controls" before applying to recruit to London-based courses again in the future.

The University is fully committed to continuing its support for a more robust student visa system and in that regard is undertaking a number of changes to its London campus during the coming months, including a locational move.

The University will continue to work closely with the UKVI, which shared its concerns for students legitimately studying at Glyndwr University, in accordance with legal regulations.

The students are the University’s primary concern, and the majority are hard-working and dedicated. They have not infringed immigration or University rules and regulations and should not suffer because of the misdeeds of a few.

The lifting of the suspension and the new structure we have put in place this year point to a very positive future for Glyndwr University.

– Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Glyndwr University
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