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  1. ITV Report

Draft of new 'overhauled' school curriculum published

Credit: PA

A draft of the new school curriculum - the biggest overhaul of education in Wales - has been published.

The proposed changes would see traditional subjects replaced by so called 'Areas of Learning and Experience' and the current Key Stages would be scrapped in favour of a new system of continuous assessment.

In what's being hailed as the biggest shake up to education here since 1988, The Welsh Government said the new curriculum will 'prepare learners for employment in a fast-changing world.'

What is the new curriculum?

lt will be based on six broad areas of learning:

  • Humanities
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Science and Technology
  • Languages, Literacy and Communications
  • Expressive Arts
  • Maths and Numeracy

English and Welsh will remain statutory, as will Religious Studies and Relationships and Sexuality Education.

Alongside this, literacy, numeracy and digital competence will be statutory up to 16 years old and key stages will be removed - instead, there will be Progression Steps relating to expectations for learners ages 5, 8, 11, 14 and 16.

From September 2022, it will be introduced in primary and Year 7 classes before being rolled out to all year groups.

While the new curriculum has been welcomed, concerns have been raised about the lack of resources to support the roll out.

We are sure that the new curriculum will deliver a better educational experience. We are, however, concerned that the funding for this exciting development is insufficient. Whilst the headline figure of £44 million seems significant, when it is divided down it equates to about £28,000 per school or £650 for each teacher and learning support worker.

Given the size and complexity of these changes and the current funding crisis in schools, there needs to be a greater level of resource allocated to ensure this project can be delivered successfully.

– Tim Pratt, The Association of School and College Leaders Cymru

Likewise, the NASUWT - the teaching union - said it could lead to schools and local authorities 'reducing costs' by 'lowering teaching staff levels'.

The Welsh Government says it's allocated £44 million to support schools and teachers to prepare for the new curriculum.

The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said the reform is 'necessary':

If we are to ensure that children leaving the education system in Wales have the skills, knowledge and experiences that they will need to be successful individuals, then we need to reform what we're doing in our schools.

– Kirsty Williams AM, Education Secretary

The launch marks the start of a consultation period, with groups including parents, teachers and businesses invited to comment on the proposals.

The consultation closes on July 19th, with the curriculum due to be finalised next January.