Growing momentum – Headteacher conferences this Autumn

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Minister at podium.jpgOur national mission to transform education is gathering momentum, and our ambitious programme is coming together.

This Autumn I look forward to talking to Heads in all our regions about how each element of reform is coming together to support our new curriculum and our ambitions for the future of all our children.

We’ll celebrate current successes as well. Our progress in the way we have worked together on developing the new curriculum and ALN reforms. The way Wales improved in the A level rankings and are now first for A* compared to the English regions and Northern Ireland.

Consortia colleagues have worked with my officials to develop the conferences, which will have consistent content across the country to put us all on the same footing, but adapted to local needs.

What will we be discussing?

Leadership at a time like this is crucial. So we’ll look at how we build leadership capacity, including middle leadership, and the leadership role in curriculum planning.

We’ll discuss the professional learning programme, with national and regional elements, which will begin for leaders in January 2020 and for wider staff from the end of Spring term. This support, delivered regionally, is part of a £24m investment in preparing staff properly to realise the curriculum in 2022.

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Reflections on the 2019 ARC Education Project Summit in Cardiff, Wales

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The Atlantic Rim Collaboratory (ARC) is a global network seeking to improve education for individuals by helping education systems improve. This year its annual summit was held in Cardiff, a timely visit which gave our delegates the opportunity to discuss Wales’ current education reforms.

ARC blog school visitThe Summit was hosted by the Welsh Government from September 12-15 in Wales’ gorgeous capital city of Cardiff.

 ARC is based at the University of Ottawa, and this was its fourth summit. It is a global movement committed to advancing excellence, equity, inclusion, wellbeing, democracy and human rights for all students in high quality, professionally run systems. Ministers, senior civil servants, and leaders of professional associations from participating systems all take part.

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Your feedback on the draft curriculum – report now available

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Responses flooded in when feedback was invited on the new curriculum. Fully 1,680 came via email, online and by post, adding to feedback provided directly at regional events and focus groups, from young people and practitioners, parents and businesses.

Feedback report front cover - EWavehill and Dynamix, independent research organisations, analysed the range of views and their prevalence across stakeholder groups and as a whole.

 Overall, respondents were supportive of the structure and sentiment of the new Curriculum, many welcoming the proposals. They liked the emphasis on the four purposes, the greater agency offered to teachers, and the greater role of formative assessment.

 But they also raised issues, including practical considerations such as the time, resources and support that teachers will need to implement the new curriculum. And most thought the guidance could be improved, offering positive suggestions as to how, which could be paraphrased as: ‘make it simpler but add detail in places to help teachers realise this in practice’.

There is much more to discover about the feedback – including specifics on Areas of Learning and Experience – in the full reports on this page.


What makes the new curriculum so different? The external advisory group gives its views.

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In our first film the Curriculum and Assessment Group (CAG) members discuss how the new curriculum will be substantially different from the current.

In the second film they look at how other parts of the education system – including the accountability system and professional learning – will change to support the introduction of the new curriculum. Also at just how internationally innovative this new curriculum is.

So what are the big differences?

And how will the education system change to support it?


The new curriculum’s external advisory group – what’s it thinking during this refinement phase? Part 1.

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An external perspective on Wales’ new curriculum as it develops is provided by the Curriculum and Assessment Group (CAG). It’s made up of academics of international standing who meet periodically to discuss progress and advise on issues.

Here are two videos. In the first, three members of CAG introduce themselves and answer questions on the feedback recently received and its implications:


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Refining the new Curriculum – A teacher speaks

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Matthew Maughan teaches at Bassaleg School in Newport, one of the ‘Innovation Schools’ testing approaches to introducing the new curriculum and helping refine the curriculum based on feedback received on the draft.

Here Matt talks about how it feels to be involved at this stage, and what’s happening with the feedback. He also has views on the question of subject specialism and whether teachers should look forward to teaching to the new curriculum.

Take a look!