Thankfully, a lot of people care about education in Wales. It’s a national passion.
Whilst that’s a wonderful thing it creates a challenge for the core teams involved in the new curriculum; the teachers, officials, Estyn, external experts, Qualifications Wales…
That challenge is to engage and involve people and groups who have an influence on, or are affected by our education changes. It has been resolved through a host of activities that connect everyone with developments.
Professor Graham Donaldson set the template when he consulted widely with parents, pupils, teachers, employers et al as he researched for his formative ‘Successful Futures’ report, the foundation of the new curriculum.
During the development period, all six Area of Learning and Experience groups called upon interested bodies and experts in their fields of learning to inform, test and discuss the content of those areas.
And when the draft curriculum was made available for feedback, regional consortia organised over 120 events across Wales, attended by 6,300 practitioners.
The Strategic Stakeholder Group – part of the formal governance arrangements for the programme – involves partner organisations from across the public, third sector and unions. It meets every term to maintain dialogue and equip members to engage their networks about developments.
Children and Young people have been involved through a series of focus groups. A toolkit for schools and organisations has been used to find out what learning children and Young people think is important, and how they would like to get involved in future.
And recently workshops have been held to raise awareness and encourage feedback from BAME representatives, business groups, faith organisations, equality and gender groups, gypsy traveller young people, disability and additional learning groups, youth workers, arts organisations and the Urdd.
Through all this and a multiplicity of other events too numerous to mention, the aim was to give everyone who wanted a voice the chance to be heard and to discuss their views before contributing to the feedback exercise that closed on 19th July.
To all who have taken part, and contributed, Wales thanks you!
Claire Bennett, Deputy Director, Curriculum