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'World class' development pledge for Wales' teachers

by Sarah Hibbard

Every school in Wales is to be encouraged to give every teacher "world class" professional development throughout their career, following an announcement today by the Education Minister.

Huw Lewis described the move as a "new deal" for teachers. It follows a critical report earlier this year by International think tank, the OECD, which said teacher progression polices in Wales were under-developed.

Welsh Government: 'New deal' for teachers' training

The Welsh Government has announced a 'new deal' for teachers' training and development, and said it will raise the status of the profession.

Teachers will have the opportunity to access high-quality professional learning at every stage of their career that will improve overall performance in the classroom and improve the attainment levels of Welsh learners.

The Education Minister says schools will need to produce plans for how to develop their teachers. Credit: PA

Education Minister Huw Lewis said: “In short, we need a radical step change in how we support the professional development of those working in Welsh education, from initial training onwards."

"From 2015, through the introduction of School Development Plan Regulations, I want to see all schools outlining exactly how they intend to develop their staff to enable them to meet their professional learning goals and address the school’s improvement priorities."

“It’s time to start raising the status of the profession. We need to raise the profile of teaching in Wales and in turn raise the status of teachers, leaders and support staff in our public life. That’s why our new deal is so important."

A recent report by the OECD into the Welsh education system criticised standards of recruitment, development and career progression for teachers here.

Read More: International review criticises Welsh Government handling of education

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Teachers' union welcomes Schools Bill but fears it could become 'green light' to intervention

NUT Cymru says there's 'much to welcome' in the Schools Bill which it says 'will hopefully lead to significant improvements across a number of areas within the school system.' Policy Officer Owen Hathaway adds

Where we exercise caution is in relation to proposals around interventions in schools by local authorities. What we would like to see is a system of cooperation and collaboration between parents, schools and the local authority to ensure that any school which requires assistance is given the necessary support. There must also be agreement on what assistance is required and the challenges which currently exist.

What would be a cause for concern is if this Bill was used by local authorities as a green light to intervene when they may not understand the challenges faced by a particular school, or may not have the capacity to offer the support needed.

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