Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES

Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

Education in Wales:
Our national mission
Action plan 2017–21
Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
The school workforce, and those in other settings delivering the       Contents
Foundation Phase, parents and carers, government and national
partners, including regional consortia, local authorities, governing
bodies, workforce unions and diocesan authorities.

This plan of action sets out how the school system in Wales,
                                                                       Ministerial foreword                                 2
including its sixth forms, will move forward over the period
up until 2021 to secure the effective implementation of a
new curriculum. This will be supported by policies that will           Our reform journey		                                 6
be developed in partnership, based upon sound evidence and
evaluated effectively at all stages. This document gathers together    Our education system in 2021                        10
actions that are initiated by other Welsh Government publications
or those of our partners.                                              Key actions		                                       14

Action required                                                        A transformational curriculum                       17
None – for information only.
                                                                       The four enabling objectives                        23
Further information
Enquiries about this document                                          Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015   40
should be directed to:
The Education Directorate                                              Conclusion		                                        42
Welsh Government
Cathays Park                                                           Further information                                 44
CF10 3NQ


Additional copies
This document can be accessed from the
Welsh Government’s website at

Related documents
Prosperity for All: the national strategy (2017); A curriculum
for Wales – a curriculum for life (2015); Qualified for life: An
education improvement plan for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales
(2014); Successful Futures: Independent Review of Curriculum
and Assessment Arrangements in Wales (2015); Teaching
Tomorrow’s Teachers: Options for the future of initial teacher
education in Wales (2015)
Mae’r ddogfen yma hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg.
This document is also available in Welsh.

Digital ISBN 978 1 78859 603 9
Print ISBN 978 1 78859 605 3

       © Crown copyright September 2017
Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                               Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

Ministerial foreword                                                                                                   young people already achieve very high standards
                                                                                                                       and there are examples of world-class practice
                                                                                                                       right across the country. We in Wales have much
                                                                                                                                                                             Within these connected objectives are a range of
                                                                                                                                                                             actions which will deliver a better school system for
                                                                                                                                                                             Wales. Parents and carers across the country must
                                                                                                                       to be proud of – but there is a recognition           have confidence that their children attend schools
                                                                We are committed to the success and well-being         that, together, we can be even better. We can,        that are preparing them well for their future lives,
                                                                of every learner, regardless of background or          and will, support all of our young people to make     led by teachers who are passionate and talented,
                                                                personal circumstance. Equity and excellence go        the most of their potential.                          and that deliver qualifications that equip them for
                                                                hand in hand and we cannot have one at the                                                                   personal, national and international challenges
                                                                expense of the other. Geography, deprivation           The building of our new curriculum is well            and opportunities.
                                                                or childhood experiences should not prevent            underway and will underpin all of our education
                                                                learners from reaching their potential.                reforms. New professional standards for teachers,     We are at a crucial point in our education reform
                                                                Our learners will be resilient, imaginative,           strengthened initial teacher education (ITE)          journey. On the one hand, there is no hiding our
                                                                compassionate and ambitious – they will                provision, formative assessment arrangements and      collective disappointment with the recent
                                                                aim high and achieve their goals.                      our emerging National Academy for Educational         Programme for International Student Assessment
                                                                                                                       Leadership will support the implementation of         (PISA) results. While we acknowledge that PISA
                                                                To do that, we will require a high-quality education   Successful Futures: Independent Review of             cannot measure everything, there is widespread
                                                                workforce that is vibrant, engaged and committed       Curriculum and Assessment Arrangements in             agreement that what it does measure is important.
                                                                to continuous learning for all. Our teaching           Wales (2015) and ensure a seamless flow across        PISA reflects the skills needed to equip our young
                                                                profession, with an emphasis on strong leadership      our truly self-improving school system.               people properly for the complex, connected and
                                                                and professional learning, will help deliver on the                                                          exciting world in which we live. It asks the
                                                                high expectations we all share for our learners,       This action plan builds on the 2014 publication       questions that employers demand we answer.
                                                                schools and education system.                          Qualified for life: An education improvement plan

                                                                                                                       for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales and reaffirms our      On the other hand, and more encouragingly,
     The children and young people of today                     A nation’s economic prosperity, social cohesion and    ambition that learners will enjoy teaching and        the globally acknowledged assessor of education
are entering a fast-changing world that is                      well-being are built on the foundations of a strong    learning that inspires them to achieve in a           system performance, the Organisation for
                                                                and successful education system. That is why I         collaborative and innovative education community.     Economic Co-operation and Development
increasingly competitive, globally connected                    describe our focus on raising school standards,                                                              (OECD), has given us some very clear messages.
and technologically advanced. Schools are                       reducing the attainment gap between different          In delivering our new transformational curriculum,    Put simply, they are urging us to hold our nerve
having to prepare our young people for                          groups of learners and delivering an education         we will need to focus on the following four key       and continue to work in partnership with the wider
                                                                system that is a source of national pride and          enabling objectives.                                  education workforce towards the longer term. I am
jobs that have not yet been created and
                                                                public confidence as our national mission.                                                                   committed to fulfilling their recommendations and
challenges that we are yet to encounter.                                                                               •   Developing a high-quality education profession.   am confident we are heading in the right direction.
This will require a renewed commitment to                       The commitment to raising standards for all is
                                                                a government commitment. By working across             •	Inspirational leaders working collaboratively      We all want our children to be well-educated, safe
improving both the skills and knowledge of
                                                                boundaries we can be confident of a prosperous            to raise standards.                                and happy, to be treated fairly and benefit from
our young people, as we raise standards in                      Wales where education from the earliest age will                                                             high levels of well-being. For many of our young
                                                                                                                       •	Strong and inclusive schools committed
our transformational curriculum. Education                      be the foundation for a lifetime of learning and                                                             people, achieving those ambitions will require a
                                                                                                                          to excellence, equity and well-being.
has never been more important. Education                        achievement. This revised plan of action is designed                                                         renewed, collaborative focus across all of our
reform is our national mission.                                 to support the delivery of ‘Ambitious and Learning’,   • 	Robust assessment, evaluation and                 public services.
                                                                one of the key themes as set out in Prosperity for         accountability arrangements supporting
                                                                All: the national strategy (2017). It is through the       a self-improving system.                          Our national mission is ambitious, innovative and
Together, we are all responsible for ensuring that              implementation of the actions in this plan that we                                                           confident as we work to deliver a reformed and
every young person in Wales has an equal                        will support all of our young people to make the                                                             successful education system. By learning together,
opportunity to reach the highest standards.                     most of their potential. We will build ambition and                                                          we can develop a better Wales.
                                                                encourage learning for life, and equip our
It is our duty to provide future generations with the           children and young people with the right               “Our national mission is to raise standards,
skills and knowledge they need to play a full and               skills for a changing world.
                                                                                                                         reduce the attainment gap and deliver
active role in their communities and wider society.
Our learners should aspire to be the best. Therefore            It is clear to me, through my discussions across the     an education system that is a source of
it is critical that we do everything we can to support          country since becoming Cabinet Secretary for             national pride and confidence.”
them, setting high expectations, so that we achieve             Education, that there is shared optimism about the                                                           Kirsty Williams AM
our ambitions for our citizens and for our country.             way forward. Many of our schools, their staff and       Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education     Cabinet Secretary for Education

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Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21   Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

A nation’s prosperity, cohesion
and well-being are built on a
successful education system.

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Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                              Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

Our reform
As Wales embarks on a renewed vision of success for all learners, we can reflect on our
rich heritage and proud history for promoting access to education: from Griffith Jones
and his circulating schools in the eighteenth century; to the donations of the rural and
working classes that helped establish our universities and colleges; through to leading
the way in publicly funded secondary education.

Our transformational reforms are taking place                   In 2014, the previous Welsh Government
within a challenging environment. This includes                 published Qualified for life: An education
continuing UK-wide austerity, the uncertainties                 improvement plan for 3 to 19-year-olds in
associated with Brexit, the technological                       Wales. In the plan, we committed to building
transformation of economic and working lives, and               an improved, collaborative education system
the growing divergence in the qualification systems             for Wales. Three years later it is now clear that
across the home nations. These are all challenges,              the schools’ community and their partners have
and opportunities, that we can and must meet.                   made progress in several key areas. These include
                                                                improved GCSE outcomes and a narrowing of
Though these challenges are great, they                         the performance gap between learners from
underline that education reform is essential to                 poorer backgrounds and their peers.
Wales’ future as a strong, prosperous and socially
cohesive society. We may be a small nation but                  Our national mission does not stop at the
our innovative approach, high ambitions and                     school gates. Our reform journey, focused on
willingness to work and learn with the best in the              raising standards and reducing the attainment       Percentage of learners in Wales, in Year 11/aged 15 achieving
world is attracting attention. We can be proud                  gap, is further strengthened by improvements        the Level 2 inclusive (five A*–C GCSEs/equivalent including                                 Learners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Age 15
that the international community is looking with                to student support and the post-compulsory          English/Welsh and mathematics)                                                                 in
interest at what is happening in Wales, but there               education system. Our innovative approach                                                                                                        Year 11
is much more to be done.                                        will ensure that all students are supported
                                                                with their living costs, while also investing in                           2011         2012        2013         2014          2015                2016              2016**
Since 2013, we have been open to review                         our universities, and that it becomes easier for          Level 2
by the international expert community. That                     people to learn and acquire skills throughout                               50.1        51.1         52.7        55.4          57.9                 60.3                59.8
involvement will continue, and it is our intention              their careers.
to invite the OECD to carry out further reviews at                                                                        Level 2
key points along our national education reform                                                                          (inclusive)
journey. Quite simply, to be the best we must                                                                        eligible for free      22.0        23.4         25.8        27.8          31.6                 35.6                35.2
learn from the best.                                                                                                  school meals
                                                                                                                      % difference          28.1        27.7         26.9        27.7          26.3                 24.7                24.6

We may be a small nation but our innovative approach, high ambitions
and willingness to work and learn with the best in the world is
attracting attention. The Welsh approach considers every element of                                                 * Calculated to be as close as possible to the definition in previous years.
the education system.                                                                                               ** 2017 verified data not published until December 2017.

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Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                         Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

In November 2016, the Cabinet Secretary for      In response, this document, Education in Wales:
Education invited the OECD to examine the work Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21
underway on education reforms and shine a light is our revised plan of action. It will support
on our progress to date. The OECD found that,    ‘Ambitious and Learning’, one of the key themes
since their previous visit in 2014, progress had as set out in Prosperity for All: the national
been made in a number of policy areas and a      strategy, and will help to develop a school system
noticeable shift had taken place in our approach that will instill in our learners an ambition to make
to school improvement – away from piecemeal      the most of their potential, lay the foundation for
and short-term policy towards one guided by      a lifetime of learning and achievement, and equip
a long-term vision.                              them with the right skills for a changing world.

They found the Welsh reform journey was                         To deliver our reforms across the entire system,
increasingly characterised by close working                     we will need a bold commitment to effective
between government and the education                            collaboration along with integration of services
sector, with a commitment to improvement                        where appropriate. This will include Welsh
‘visible at all levels of the education system’.                Government, the teaching profession and the
                                                                wider education workforce, our key partners in
The report recommended that key priorities                      local authorities, diocesan authorities, regional
for government should be to:                                    services, Estyn, the Education Workforce Council
                                                                (EWC), Qualifications Wales, higher education
• b
   ring further coherence across the various                   institutions and others. Successful implementation
  reform initiatives, ensuring that this coherence              will require effective and honest engagement
  is evaluated at key points in the journey                     between all facets of the education system. We are
                                                                committed to providing the conditions to enable
• c ontinue the process of co-constructing                     this to happen. In delivery we will also seek to
   policies with key stakeholders, making explicit              work with the wider public service and third sector
   how teachers, support staff, school leaders,                 where required.
   local authorities, regional consortia and other
   stakeholders each contribute to realising the
   vision for the Welsh learner

• c ontinue the strengthening of Wales’
   school improvement infrastructure through
   strengthening the capacity of regional consortia
   and the quality of their relationships with
   teacher education institutions

• further enhance the use of evidence and research
   and its link to policy through continuing to invest
   in building research and assessment capacity at all
   levels of the system

• c ommunicate clearly about the Welsh education
   reform journey, including ensuring that we
   celebrate the successes that we have on the way.

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Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                   Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

 Our education                                                                                             It is our intention that our learners will:           If we are to achieve this for our workforce,
                                                                                                                                                                 our schools will be:

 system in 2021
                                                                                                           • b
                                                                                                              enefit from experiences at school that will
                                                                                                             support them in becoming young adults that are:     • e xemplifying the characteristics of effective
                                                                                                                                                                    learning organisations (see ‘Schools as learning
                                                                                                              − ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn
                                                                                                                                                                    organisations’ on page 12)
                                                                                                                 throughout their lives
                                                                                                              − enterprising, creative contributors,            • v ibrant, inclusive, open, connected, creative
 By 2021, our transformation will be well underway. Schools will have significant experience of                  ready to play a full part in life and work         community-based learning organisations,
 working together to take the new curriculum forward, and our reforms to ITE and additional                   − ethical, informed citizens of Wales                active in wider networks
 learning needs (ALN) will be well established. Likewise, the growing contribution of the                        and the world
                                                                                                                                                                 • w
                                                                                                                                                                    ell led by education professionals who have
 National Academy for Educational Leadership will be generating future leadership capacity                    − healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead     the intellectual and practical understanding
 and the culture and principles of the self-improving school system will be further embedded.                    fulfilling lives as valued members of society     of education leadership within our system,
                                                                                                                                                                   developed through a common national approach
                                                                                                           • h
                                                                                                              ave relevant high-level digital, literacy and       and supported by effective governance.
 The Welsh education system three-tier model                                                                 numeracy skills
                                                                                                                                                                 To support our schools, our middle tier
               Welsh Government                                                                            • b
                                                                                                              e increasingly bilingual with a strong grasp      (local authorities and regional consortia) will:
               • Planning and policy making – through evidence-based collaboration.                         of other languages.
Tier 1                                                                                                                                                           • b
                                                                                                                                                                    e clear about their key roles as leaders
               • Managing models of accountability within the democratic process.                         If our learners are to be developed in these ways,      of effective planning and providers of
               • Engaging with all tiers and supporting capacity-building for system improvement.         the teaching profession will be:                        intelligence into the system to enable all schools
                                                                                                                                                                   to play their part in improving learner outcomes
               Four regional consortia, local authorities, diocesan authorities, Estyn, Qualifications     • h
                                                                                                              igh-quality, collaborative and driven by            and well-being
               Wales, Education Workforce Council (EWC), examination boards and higher education             a deep understanding of pedagogy and
                                                                                                             subject knowledge                                   • b
                                                                                                                                                                    e knowledgeable about educational inequities
Tier 2         • U
                  sing their knowledge of schools and research to facilitate and support the sharing of                                                           within and between partnerships/alliances and
                 best practice and collaboration to improve learner outcomes, within a self-improving      • research-engaged, well informed and                  able to address them by moving knowledge
                 school system.                                                                               learning from excellence at local, national          and expertise; they are key to facilitating
                                                                                                              and international levels                             cross-sectoral and multi-agency collaboration
                                                                                                                                                                   to support those in greatest need
               Schools                                                                                     • a ttractive, with high morale and
Tier 3         • W
                  orking together to provide the range of experiences for children, young people and         professional satisfaction                          • w
                                                                                                                                                                    ork collaboratively across the whole of
                 professionals to enhance their learning and well-being.                                                                                           Wales to mobilise expertise and minimise
                                                                                                           • w
                                                                                                              ell supported by a range of learning support        duplication of effort and cost – to do this,
                                                                                                             professionals who can provide the additional          they will continue to operate at a regional
                                                                                                             capacity that is needed to meet the needs of          scale to build capacity and enable services to
                                                                                                             every child                                           target resources and activity effectively towards
                                                                                                                                                                   schools working together
                                                                                                           • o
                                                                                                              utward-looking and committed to raising
                                                                                                             standards within and between schools                • b
                                                                                                                                                                    e well led by education professionals who
                                                                                                                                                                   have the intellectual, practical and shared
                                                                                                           • c reators of vibrant, warm and caring                understanding of education leadership within
                                                                                                              environments that inspire learning                   our system – leaders will be driven by the
                                                                                                                                                                   curriculum’s four purposes, provide good-quality
                                                                                                           • w
                                                                                                              ell led by leaders who will ensure that             vision and build strong evolving partnerships.
                                                                                                             every teacher can improve through effective
                                                                                                             collaboration, innovation, professional learning
                                                                                                             and opportunities to provide professional
                                                                                                             leadership to others.

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Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                              Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

For our schools and middle tier to be able to                   To achieve this, Welsh Government must:
grow in the ways outlined above, our other
key partners in the middle tier (such as Estyn,                 • be bold and courageous in securing the best for
Wales Audit Office (WAO), Qualifications Wales,                    our young people and the teaching profession
EWC) will:
                                                                • m
                                                                   aintain a commitment to inclusive, public
• e xemplify the qualities of effective learning                 service education and to schools designed
   organisations, learning from the best in the                   to serve their communities
  world to support our national reform journey
                                                                • b
                                                                   uild a network of support around the education
• s eek to ensure that all sectors engage in effective           workforce and its learners by strengthening links
   partnerships to build a high-quality workforce to              with other public services, acknowledging the
   meet the needs of all learners                                 vital importance of mental and physical
                                                                  well-being for both learners and educators
• d
   evelop accountability models to promote
  system change, avoiding incentivising                         • w
                                                                   ork with key partners to develop flexible
  institutional self-interest                                     and responsive accountability models which
                                                                  hold schools to account and support children’s
• b
   e well led by confident, ambitious professionals              learning, without inhibiting innovation and
  who share in our vision for a self-improving                    effective sharing of good practice
  system and recognise their crucial role in
  delivering positive change.                                   • c ommunicate our education reform journey
                                                                   effectively and celebrate successes across
To achieve the above, we will continue with                        the system to build national pride and public
a clear commitment to the effective delivery                       confidence in what we are doing.
of our new curriculum, underpinned by the four
enabling objectives required to ensure its success.             If all key partners deliver on these expectations, by
This will be reinforced by continued co-construction,           2021 Wales will be well on its way to possessing an
open and honest dialogue with educators and                     intelligent, collaborative three-tier school system that
evidence-based policy development.                              is connected to a clear vision for all of our learners.

     Schools as learning organisations

     Wales has an ambition that all schools develop as learning organisations, in keeping with
     OECD principles. Schools that are learning organisations have the capacity to adapt more
     quickly and explore new approaches, with a means to improving learning and outcomes
     for all their learners.
     The Welsh school as a learning organisation focuses on realising seven ‘dimensions’.
     • Developing and sharing a vision centred on the learning of all students.
     • Creating and supporting continuous learning opportunities for all staff.
     • Promoting team learning and collaboration among all staff.
     • Establishing a culture of inquiry, innovation and exploration.
     • Embedding systems for collecting and exchanging knowledge and learning.
     • Learning with and from the external environment and larger learning system.
     • Modelling and growing learning leadership.
     For further details, see

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Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                        Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

Key actions
In classrooms and schools across Wales, we are building on strong foundations to deliver an                                                                                                         Develop a new ‘made in
education system that is a source of national pride and public confidence. Together, we are                              Establish a national approach                                              Wales’ teachers’ pay and
all responsible for ensuring every young person has an equal opportunity to reach the highest                                to professional learning,                                                conditions framework,
standards. This plan details some of our key actions.                                                                       building capacity so that                                                  enshrining a national
                                                                                                                            all teachers benefit from                                                approach to professional
                                                                                                                            career-long development                                                learning and standards, and
                                                                                                                              based on research and                                                  the freedom for teachers
                                                                                                                              effective collaboration.                                              to use their professionalism
                                                                                                                                                                                                          and knowledge.

     Expand the Pupil                                                                                                     Deliver a transformational                                               Improve the proportion of
                                                             Commit to formative                                                                                Reduce unnecessary
Development Grant (PDG),                                                                                                  new curriculum, to embed                                                   top-performing learners
                                                           assessment, supporting                                                                          workload and bureaucracy,
  formerly known as the                                                                                                       the four purposes and                                                 in PISA, by addressing the
                                                            personalised progress                                                                          by providing clarity of what
 Pupil Deprivation Grant,                                                                                                  ensure that all are focused                                               relatively low proportion
                                                           (including for our most                                                                          is and isn’t required in the
 building on its success in                                                                                                   on higher standards of                                                   reaching the highest
                                                           able learners), together                                                                         classroom, and improving
narrowing the attainment                                                                                                   literacy and numeracy and                                                 levels; this will be crucial
                                                           with our new reformed                                                                                the use of business
 gap and breaking down                                                                                                    ensuring our young people                                                 in reaching our long-term
                                                             and rigorous GCSEs                                                                                managers to support
   the barriers faced by                                                                                                       are more digitally and                                               aim of scoring 500 in each
         learners.                                               and A levels.                                                bilingually competent.              school leaders.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       domain in PISA 2021.

                                                                    Promote            Build on our commitment to                                                                                      Reform our teacher
                                                                                                                         Develop and deliver a new
                                                                school-to-school       equity in education through                                                                                         training offer,
                                                                                                                         Assessment and Evaluation
                                                               working, including        ALN legislation that will                                                                                   strengthening university
                                                                                                                           Framework, supporting
                                                            federation, clusters and    strengthen provision and                                                                                   and school partnerships so
                                                                                                                          the realisation of the four
                                                              professional learning    support for all learners in all                                                                             that they jointly design and
                                                                                                                           purposes of education.
                                                                  communities.              language settings.                                                                                           run programmes.

                                                                                                                                                           Introduce new Professional
                                                                                                                          Continue to upgrade the
                                                                                                                                                            Standards for Teaching and
                                                                                                                         quality of school buildings,
Establish our new National                                                                                                                                 Leadership (and dedicated
                                                                                        Ensure we partner equity            with a further funding                                                 Reduce infant class sizes,
   Academy for Educational                                                                                                                                      standards for support
                                                                                       with excellence, identifying          of £1.1 billion capital                                                targeted at those who will
    Leadership, which will                                                                                                                                   staff), promoting teaching
                                                                                          new and effective ways           investment over the next                                                  most benefit, supporting
identify, support and inspire                                                                                                                                excellence and supporting
                                                                                         to measure and improve               four years through                                                    teachers to raise standards
      leaders across the                                                                                                                                      career-long professional
                                                                                            learner well-being.                our 21st Century                                                               for all.
         entire system.                                                                                                                                        learning, collaboration,
                                                                                                                            Schools and Education
                                                                                                                                                                    innovation and
                                                                                                                              Capital Programme.
                                                                                                                                                                 effective leadership.

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Education in Wales: Our national mission - Action plan 2017-21 - GOV.WALES
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                        Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

                                                                A transformational
                                                                Developing transformational curriculum and assessment arrangements will be crucial
                                                                to realising our vision for children and young people in Wales. They will have higher
                                                                standards of literacy and numeracy, become more digitally and bilingually competent,
                                                                and evolve into enterprising, creative and critical thinkers. Our new curriculum will
                                                                have equity and excellence at its core and help develop our young people as confident,
                                                                capable and caring citizens.

                                                                We are moving ahead to ensure that the widely          Strong progress has already been made
                                                                supported new curriculum will be available             and, together, we have:
                                                                for all learners in Wales. In order to achieve
                                                                that, we need to design a full curriculum and             ublished A curriculum for Wales – a
                                                                                                                       • p
                                                                the associated assessment arrangements,                  curriculum for life (2015) and put in place
                                                                which is now being done with schools and                 a network of more than 175 pioneer schools
                                                                expert stakeholders. A key principle of the new          to lead the development and support of the
                                                                curriculum is that it must be appropriate to every       new curriculum
                                                                learner in every classroom. It is not a matter of
                                                                simply adapting the existing curriculum.               • u
                                                                                                                          pdated the National Literacy and Numeracy
                                                                                                                         Programme (NLNP) and published the
                                                                The new curriculum replaces existing key                 Foundation Phase Action Plan
                                                                stages with ‘progression steps’, and will be
                                                                organised into six Areas of Learning and               • introduced rigorous made-in-Wales
                                                                Experience (AoLE) – expressive arts; health and           qualifications, such as reformed key
                                                                well-being; humanities; languages, literacy and           GCSE specifications, the Welsh
                                                                communication; mathematics and numeracy;                  Baccalaureate, AS and A levels
                                                                and science and technology. The implications for
                                                                schools will be felt at many levels – it is not just   • e stablished Qualifications Wales to act as
                                                                a matter of changing the content of lessons.              an independent regulator of general and
                                                                                                                          vocational qualifications in Wales.
                                                                As the cornerstone of our collective effort
                                                                to raise standards, the new curriculum
                                                                will be reliant upon the alignment of four
                                                                enabling objectives which must all be delivered
                                                                effectively to have the transformational
                                                                impact to which we aspire. Each objective
                                                                links to the others and only when they are all
                                                                functioning will we realise our vision for our
                                                                education system and its learners. By focusing
                                                                on these objectives, reinforced by a focus on
                                                                raising standards and expectations, we can be
                                                                confident that we can deliver for all.

16                                                                                                                                                                                             17
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                                                     Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

During the period until 2021, and                               • b
                                                                   ring forward legislation for the revised
within the context of the four purposes                           curriculum and assessment arrangements
(see diagram on page 19) of the new
curriculum, we will:
                                                                  reaffirming the principle of a new national
                                                                  curriculum framework for Wales, which                    Our national mission
                                                                  will be defined through a broad set of
• u
   se reputable pedagogic research and
  effective collaboration across the entire
                                                                  duties, and will provide the freedom for our
                                                                  practitioners to use their professionalism and
                                                                                                                           is ambitious, innovative
  system to support the development of
  a world-class curriculum that will
  help raise standards for all in Wales
                                                                  creativity to meet the needs of all learners

                                                                • d
                                                                   evelop a transformational approach to the
                                                                                                                           and confident.                                                                                           

                                                                  learning, teaching and assessment of the
• d
   esign and implement new assessment                            Welsh language with the aim of ensuring
  arrangements, with more emphasis on                             all learners will be able to use the Welsh
  formative assessment; this will include                         language when they leave school
  developing personalised assessments that
  are computer-based and adaptive to provide                    • e xtend and promote learners’ wider
  improved diagnostic capabilities for all our                     experiences so that the curriculum is rich
                                                                                                                                                                        ss      ion
  learners, including the most able, and also                      and varied as well as being inclusive, broad                                                    rofe                                                    Ins
                                                                                                                                                                 p                                                            pi
  ensure that new accountability arrangements                      and balanced, where learners will benefit                                                 n                                                                   ra
  are fit for purpose and effectively support                      from the best possible learning opportunities
                                                                                                                                                      a   tio                                                                      ti
                                                                                                                                                                                            new curriculum

  curriculum and assessment reform                                 both inside and outside of school.                                                                                   The






To do this, we will do the following.                                                                                                                                           Ambitious,        Enterprising,
                                                                                                                                                                                 capable            creative
                                                                                                                                                                                 learners         contributors
     • D
        evelop the framework for the Areas of Learning and Experience
       (AoLEs) including the key requirements for moving towards a language
       continuum for Welsh.
     • E nsure that resources that we commission are developed in English and                Autumn 2017                                                                         Ethical,           Healthy,
        Welsh at the same time to support our new curriculum.                                                                                                                    informed           confident

                                                                                                                              A sse
     • D
        evelop approaches to professional learning to ensure that all schools are                                                                                                citizens         individuals
       better able to plan for curriculum change.

                                                                                                                               ss m



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ll- b
     • B
        egin the phasing-in of adaptive personalised assessments (to replace                During autumn

                                                                                                                                      t, e
       paper-based reading and numeracy tests).                                                   2018


                                                                                                                                                                                             new curriculum

     • M
        ake available for final feedback new curriculum and assessment

                                                                                              By Easter 2019                                     on


       arrangements for schools.                                                                                                                      an                                                                                   u
                                                                                                                                                                 ac                                                                 ,   eq
     • Final curriculum.                                                                    By January 2020                                                          co                                                   n   ce
                                                                                                                                                                                tab                                 e ll e
                                                                                                                                                                                      ilit y                  Exc
                                                                                             By 1 September
     • All maintained settings and schools are using the new curriculum.


18                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          19
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                                             Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

Rollout of curriculum
and qualifications timeline

     2017                                  2018                      2019                   2020                               2021      2022                  2023                 2024                 2025                                 2026

                                                                  Curriculum                Final                                       Introduce
     Develop curriculum; identify                                                                                                      to Nursery            Introduce            Introduce            Introduce                          Introduce
     professional learning needs.                                 available for          curriculum                                                          to Year 8.           to Year 9.          to Year 10.                        to Year 11.
                                                                   feedback.              available.                                   to Year 7.

                                                                                                               All schools
                        Schools trialling and testing of curriculum;
                                                                                                             moving towards                         All maintained settings and schools are using the new curriculum.
                          planning and preparation for changes.
                                                                                                            new curriculum.*

                                                                       Professional teaching standards in effect.
        NNEM,                                          All schools being supported to prepare for and use the new curriculum
      NNEST live.**                                      through professional learning and leadership provision at national,
                                                                               regional and school level.

                                      Qualifications Wales                                                                             Development                                                             First teaching
                              involved in curriculum development.                                                                     of new GCSEs.                                                           of new GCSEs.

 * Includes assessment.
** NNEM – National Network for Excellence in Mathematics. NNEST – National Network for Excellence in Science and Technology.

20                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  21
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                    Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

                                                                The four
                                                                enabling objectives
                                                                It is clear that the successful realisation of our new transformational curriculum and
                                                                assessment arrangements will require well-coordinated, enabling reforms. These
                                                                reforms are being developed in collaboration with education professionals, and are
                                                                benefitting from engagement with excellent practice from around the world. The
                                                                realisation of a new curriculum will require a clear focus on the following four key
                                                                enabling objectives.

                                                                   1     Developing a high-quality education profession.

                                                                   2     Inspirational leaders working collaboratively to raise standards.

                                                                   3     S trong and inclusive schools committed to excellence, equity and well-being.

                                                                          obust assessment, evaluation and accountability arrangements supporting
                                                                   4     a self-improving system.

We all want our children
to be well-educated,
safe and happy.
22                                                                                                                                                                                         23
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                     Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

                                                                Enabling objective 1:
                                                                Developing a high-quality
                                                                education profession
                                                                An education system cannot exceed the               • e stablished four regional consortia to
                                                                quality of its teachers, and our new curriculum        focus on school improvement through
                                                                cannot be delivered without a well-supported,          collaborative working
                                                                aspirational teaching profession. The world’s
                                                                highest-performing education systems have           • improved learning environments in schools
                                                                vibrant, engaged educators and support staff           through local and diocesan authorities and
                                                                who are committed to continuous learning.              Welsh Government investment to the value
                                                                We will support teachers in Wales to be lifelong       of £1.4 billion through the 21st Century
                                                                professional learners that reflect on and enhance      Schools and Education Capital Programme
                                                                their own practice to motivate and inspire the
                                                                children and young people in their care.            • c reated Hwb, our all-Wales learning
                                                                                                                       platform, which is now being accessed
                                                                We will work with key partners to                      by more than 500,000 users.
                                                                ensure that all teachers will:
                                                                                                                    During the period until 2021, we will:
                                                                • b
                                                                   enefit from opportunities to improve the
                                                                  quality of their pedagogy, while aspiring to      • s trengthen ITE using new accreditation
                                                                  be a better teacher                                  criteria which will expect higher education
                                                                                                                       institutions and their school partnerships to
                                                                • b
                                                                   e effectively supported by other colleagues        collaborate in the design and running of
                                                                  within the education workforce                       high-quality teacher training programmes

                                                                • h
                                                                   ave opportunities for professional              • a ttract and retain more high-quality
                                                                  learning in a research-driven culture, in            applicants and high-calibre mature graduates
                                                                  the knowledge that excellent teachers are            into teaching through a redesigned Graduate
                                                                  effective learners                                   Teacher Programme

                                                                • e nter the profession having experienced         • d
                                                                                                                       evelop, consult upon and launch new
                                                                   significantly improved initial teacher             professional standards for teachers and
                                                                   education (ITE).                                   others in the education workforce that will
                                                                                                                      focus on the essential elements of successful
                                                                So far, we have:                                      teaching; we will also develop standards for
                                                                                                                      support staff that can enable them to improve
                                                                • e stablished the Education Workforce               their skills, commit to professional learning
                                                                   Council (EWC) and recognised the value             and facilitate clearer pathways to the role of
                                                                   of an increasingly professional workforce          higher level teaching assistant (HLTA)
                                                                   by registering all the school and further
                                                                   education workforce

                                                                • w
                                                                   orked with our higher education partners
                                                                  and schools to plan for transformation of ITE

24                                                                                                                                                                                          25
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                          Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

• d
   evelop a national approach to                                                                                 To action our plan, we will do the following.
  career-long professional learning (see                        Priorities for professional learning
  ‘Priorities for professional learning’ in the                 Over the coming years, it will be imperative
  next column) that builds capacity from ITE                    that we equip our education workforce              • E stablish a formal accreditation board to accredit ITE programmes that will be
  and is embedded in evidence-based research                    to deliver the four purposes of our new               operational from September 2019.
  and effective collaboration                                   curriculum in all contexts, and improve            • W
                                                                                                                      ork on the passage of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal
                                                                the quality of assessment for learning.              (Wales) Bill through the National Assembly for Wales.
• e stablish a national approach to reducing
   infant class sizes in order to improve the                   In the short term, in order to build capacity,     • M
                                                                                                                      ake available new Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership for
   quality of learning and teaching of those most               we recognise that rapid progress needs to            use in schools.                                                                                      During
   adversely affected by deprivation and to support             be made with supporting our education                                                                                                                  autumn 2017
                                                                professionals to:                                  • S upport the development of pathways for HLTAs – to be agreed and delivered
   the continued development of the principles                                                                        by regional consortia.
   and best practice of the Foundation Phase                    • u
                                                                   tilise the relevant technologies and skills
                                                                  to transform the digital competence of           • L aunch the digital professional learning framework and programmes for
• e stablish more effective workforce planning                   our learners                                        schools as learning organisations.
   systems to ensure sufficient numbers of                                                                         • Introduce a national approach to reduce infant class sizes.
                                                                • improve classroom practice in the science,
   highly skilled teachers, including those able
                                                                   technology, engineering and mathematics
   to work through the medium of Welsh and
                                                                   (STEM) subjects ahead of the new Areas
   the wide range of ALN roles, and develop
                                                                   of Learning and Experience (AoLEs) and          • S upport the adoption of new professional standards by serving teachers
   alternative models to ensure the quality and
                                                                   revised A level courses                            and headteachers.
   sufficiency of supply teachers for schools
                                                                • s hare best practice in Foundation              • Make new professional standards available for use in ITE programmes.
• c ontinue the 21st Century Schools and                          Phase teaching across all settings/schools                                                                                                             By autumn
                                                                                                                   • L aunch a national approach to professional learning (to include
   Education Capital Programme in order to                      • m
                                                                   eet the needs of all learners with ALN,                                                                                                                  2018
                                                                                                                      teachers/practitioners, learning support and supply staff).
   deliver learning environments that meet                        in keeping with the requirements of
   the needs of all learners and ensure the                       new legislation                                  • L aunch the overarching Workforce Development Plan, to include a
   availability of education through the medium                                                                       focus on small and rural schools, developing Welsh language skills and
   of Welsh for all who choose it, and support                  • t each Welsh as a living language                  improving the quality of the supply workforce.
   making better use of schools to provide                         and ensure that greater numbers can
   extended services to their communities,                         work effectively in Welsh-medium and
   including community learning centres.                           bilingual settings                              • A
                                                                                                                      ll students commencing ITE programmes will be subject to new
                                                                • improve the quality of teaching in                professional standards.
To assess progress in this area, we will:                          order to extend our most able learners          • D
                                                                                                                      evelop a framework for a pay and conditions system that contributes
                                                                   in all settings/schools, including                                                                                                                     By autumn
                                                                                                                     to a highly motivated teaching profession which will underpin the delivery
• u
   se workforce surveys to evaluate the                           improving outcomes for learners                                                                                                                           2019
                                                                                                                     of our new curriculum.
  confidence of the profession in delivering                       in our sixth forms
  the new curriculum                                                                                               • U
                                                                                                                      ndertake the first statutory collection of workforce data to better inform
                                                                • s ecure the most effective safeguarding           workforce planning and policy decisions.
                                                                   practices (including online safety)
• w
   ork with Estyn as they evaluate the quality
                                                                   and support improved well-being by
  of ITE and professional learning at the
                                                                   developing a workforce that is ACE
  different tiers and respond as required
                                                                   (adverse childhood experiences) aware
• m
   onitor the match of supply and demand                       • e ncourage positive behaviour
  for staff in specialist areas including                          dispositions and improved transition           Teachers should be the most dedicated students in the classroom.
  Welsh-medium provision                                           for all our learners across all key points.
                                                                                                                  We will support them to be lifelong professional learners to help
• m
   onitor that there is sufficient access                                                                        raise standards for all our young people.
  for learners to Welsh-medium provision.

26                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               27
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                           Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

Enabling objective 2:                                                                                                 To action our plan, we will do the following.

Inspirational leaders                                                                                                  • N
                                                                                                                          ew Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership are made
                                                                                                                         available for all teachers and leaders to adopt from September 2018.                                During

working collaboratively
                                                                                                                       • R
                                                                                                                          egional consortia to continue to collaborate to ensure effective                                   2017
                                                                                                                         alignment of support for school leaders.

to raise standards                                                                                                     • Formally constitute the National Academy for Educational Leadership.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           By summer
                                                                                                                       • R
                                                                                                                          espond to consultation on school governance with proposals for a revised                           2018
                                                                                                                         regulatory framework.
To deliver on our national mission of education                 During the period until 2021, we will:
reform, Wales needs inspirational leaders that
are well prepared and supported to lead their                   • e stablish and develop a National Academy for       • E nsure that the first provision of leadership programmes endorsed by
organisations through the changes ahead.                           Educational Leadership that will secure, nurture       the National Academy for Educational Leadership become available.
Following its visit to Wales in 2014, the OECD                     and inspire leaders now and for the future                                                                                                              By autumn
                                                                                                                       • A
                                                                                                                          revised National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) becomes                            2018
said we should ‘treat developing system leadership                 across the entire system in both Welsh-medium         available to support the new Professional Standards for Teaching and
as a prime driver of education reform’. Promoting                  and English-medium settings                           Leadership and to better equip leaders to plan for the new curriculum.
and supporting effective, collaborative leadership
will therefore be central to our reforms.                       • support
                                                                        the implementation of new Professional
                                                                  Standards for Teaching and Leadership which
The establishment of a National Academy for                       will embed the role of headteachers as leaders       • A
                                                                                                                          n extensive portfolio of endorsed leadership development opportunities                          By autumn
Educational Leadership, alongside new professional                of change in our system                                become available for the education community.                                                        2019
leadership standards aligned to professional standards
for teachers, will ensure that leaders at all levels across     • d
                                                                   evelop options for more flexible,
our education system are well supported to develop                skills-focused governing bodies and
and inspire colleagues and to work collaboratively to             expand the utilisation of highly skilled
embed the new curriculum.                                         business managers in order to provide
                                                                  more effective support for school leaders.
So far, we have:                                                                                                      Wales needs inspirational leaders working together, committed to
                                                                To assess progress in this area, we will:
• w
   orked with the regional consortia to adapt the
                                                                                                                      raising standards and reducing the attainment gap.
  National Professional Qualification for Headship              • b
                                                                   e able to identify a wider range of
  (NPQH) to provide more effective preparation                    opportunities becoming available to develop
  for headship                                                    present and future leaders

• reviewed and consulted on the existing school                • e vidence an improvement in the number
   governance framework                                            of high-quality applicants for leadership posts
                                                                   in schools
• w
   orked with leaders to develop new
  professional leadership standards for schools.                • e vidence more effective support being given to
                                                                   school leaders by a growing body of effective
                                                                   business managers and governing bodies.

28                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                29
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                         Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

                                                                Enabling objective 3:
                                                                Strong and inclusive schools
                                                                committed to excellence,
                                                                equity and well-being
                                                                All learners must be supported to be emotionally        So far, we have:
                                                                and physically ready to learn in a safe and
                                                                supportive environment. Equity requires that            • implemented Rewriting the future: Raising
                                                                we ensure that the system, at school, local and           ambition and attainment in Welsh schools
                                                                national level takes account of and responds to           (2014) and delivered the Pupil Development
                                                                the unique challenges that present themselves             Grant (PDG), formerly known as the Pupil
                                                                to individuals or groups of learners. We will             Deprivation Grant, to break down the
                                                                strengthen partnership working to improve the             barriers faced by learners from disadvantaged
                                                                early childhood experiences of children and ensure        backgrounds, with results now showing
                                                                a widespread understanding of the importance of           improvements for those learners at all key stages
                                                                the first thousand days in a child’s life.
                                                                                                                        • published
                                                                                                                                   new safeguarding in education
                                                                Our twenty-first century curriculum will help             guidance – Keeping learners safe: The role
                                                                schools focus effectively on learner well-being,          of local authorities, governing bodies and
                                                                equity and excellence. Each learner must be               proprietors of independent schools under the
                                                                respected and challenged to achieve the best              Education Act 2002 (2015) – to ensure that
                                                                that they are capable of, including our most able         education services are supported in safeguarding
                                                                learners, while being supported to overcome               the welfare of their learners, working where
                                                                barriers that inhibit their learning. Children and        necessary with investigative agencies
                                                                young people who have strong relationships and
                                                                a positive sense of self – and who can understand       • established
                                                                                                                                    an expert panel to guide
                                                                and manage their own health and emotions – are            improvements in sex and relationships education.
                                                                in a better position to reach their full potential in
                                                                the future.

                                                                Working in partnership, we are determined that no
                                                                challenge should prevent any learner from reaching
                                                                their potential, including those learners who
                                                                experience several ACEs.

30                                                                                                                                                                                              31
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                              Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

During the period until 2021, we will:                          • establish
                                                                          a National Endowment for Music to         To action our plan, we will do the following.
                                                                  ensure that all our young people, from whatever
• e
   xpand the PDG so that schools can improve on                  background, can develop their talents and skills
  the life chances of our most deprived younger                   through music                                        • Expand the PDG from April 2017.
  learners through earlier intervention, which                                                                         • Work on the passage of the Additional Learning Needs and Education
  will support the ambition to improve the first                • implement the Wales Charter for Youth Work             Tribunal (Wales) Bill through National Assembly for Wales processes.
  thousand days of our most vulnerable children                    and establish an independently chaired National
                                                                   Youth Support Services Board to secure a shared     • Publish the first annual review of the LAC Education Strategy.
• work
      with partners to identify the most effective               vision for effective youth work                     • S trengthen partnership working to deliver better outcomes for looked                               During
  means of measuring and improving learner                                                                                after children and those in EOTAS, including in PRUs.                                            autumn 2017
  well-being; we will also strengthen the work                  • p
                                                                   rovide young people with high-quality,
  of schools and their partners to enhance the                    independent careers advice and guidance to help      • D
                                                                                                                          eliver mental health support for schools and learners, in partnership with
  safeguarding and resilience of all learners and                 them make sound learning choices, develop their        local health boards, starting with regional pilots.
  deploy approaches designed to reduce the                        career management competencies and succeed           • Support activities to enhance summer learning.
  incidence of negative behaviours in the                         in the world of work.
                                                                                                                       • Establish a National Endowment for Music.
  classroom, and potentially in later life
                                                                To assess progress in this area, we will:
• ensure
        that looked after children and those
  educated other than at school (EOTAS), including              • work
                                                                      with our key partners in Wales and beyond      • Evaluate our youth work funding streams.
  at pupil referral units (PRUs), are better supported            to identify ways of measuring progress in            • Identify and disseminate good practice in relation to school-based counselling.
  to succeed through the development of                           learner well-being                                                                                                                                     By spring 2018
  strengthened collaborative working designed to                                                                       • Establish an independently chaired National Youth Support Services Board.
  substantially improve provision and outcomes for              • d
                                                                   evelop and utilise effective learner, workforce    • Develop and deliver provision to identify and support our more able learners.
  these learners                                                  and parental surveys

• b
   uild on the success of the Seren Network,                   • b
                                                                   enchmark effectively within Wales and with
                                                                                                                       • Work
                                                                                                                              with partners, in Wales and beyond, on effective measurements
  designed to support Wales’ brightest sixth                      our international partners
                                                                                                                         of learner well-being.
  formers to deliver improved provision for our                                                                                                                                                                              By autumn
  most able younger learners, raising standards                 • ensure
                                                                       that policy is evidence-driven and its        • Explore the introduction of youth work sufficiency assessments.
  for all                                                         implementation open to regular evaluation            • Support key partners to develop professional learning opportunities to
                                                                                                                          enable key practitioners to become ACE aware.
• s upport high-quality summer learning                        • m
                                                                   onitor the performance of different
   programmes, ensuring that our young people                     groups of learners, using all available
   don’t lose ground in learning over the summer,                 data, with a particular focus on reducing
   helping to reduce the attainment gap                           the attainment gap between learners from             • Subject to the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill
                                                                  deprived backgrounds and their peers.                   receiving Royal Assent, deliver a new ALN code and regulations underpinning                        By autumn
• build
      on our commitment to equity in education                                                                          the statutory framework.                                                                              2019
  by bringing forward a new legislative framework                                                                      • Implement the Wales Charter for Youth Work.
  for the identification and support of learners
  through an Additional Learning Needs and
  Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill designed to                                                                                                                                                                                During
  strengthen provision across Wales for all                                                                                                                                                                                2019/20 –
                                                                                                                       • Work with key partners to implement our ALN transformation programmes.
  learners with ALN, in all language settings                                                                                                                                                                             date subject
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to consultation
• support
         schools to work more effectively with
  local health boards in order to improve provision
  for learners with matters relating to their
  mental health
                                                                                                                      We are committed to the success and well-being of every learner.
                                                                                                                      We believe in a system that combines equity with excellence.

32                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   33
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                          Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

                                                                Enabling objective 4:
                                                                Robust assessment,
                                                                evaluation and accountability
                                                                arrangements supporting
                                                                a self-improving system
                                                                In order to ensure effective delivery of the new         So far, we have:
                                                                curriculum, we must be clear about those things
                                                                that we wish to value and measure across the             • developed
                                                                                                                                     a regional model for school
                                                                entire system – in relation to learners and their          improvement, based on many of the principles of
                                                                teachers, schools and their leaders and the range          a self-improving system, which is now enabling
                                                                of partners who play key roles in the system.              us to plan together for the new curriculum

                                                                In addition to valuing and measuring new aspects         • strengthened
                                                                                                                                        the notion of a self-improving
                                                                of learning, we are committed to ensuring that             system through the role of schools in providing
                                                                we will also value schools that are collaborative          leadership for others, e.g. the Pioneer Network,
                                                                and supportive of each other. This is needed so that       the National School Categorisation System
                                                                Wales can move ahead as a community of educators           with its focus on support, the emerging
                                                                to achieve great things for our young people.              ITE partnerships, the growing number of
                                                                                                                           schools committed to developing as learning
                                                                Through the use of evidence-based approaches               organisations, and many initiatives designed
                                                                and co-construction, we will create a coherent             to share subject or leadership expertise
                                                                assessment and evaluation framework that
                                                                will ensure effective accountabilities across the        • significantly
                                                                                                                                       engaged in policy co-construction
                                                                education system so that all partners play their full      across the Welsh education system three-tier
                                                                part in delivering the best for our learners and their     model (see model on page 10), with a growing,
                                                                teachers. Working with key partners we will ensure         shared understanding between the three tiers –
                                                                that smaller and rural schools are better supported        Welsh Government, local authorities/regional
                                                                to play their full part in a collaborative                 services and other partners, and schools.
                                                                self-improving school system.

34                                                                                                                                                                                               35
Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21                                                                                                                               Education in Wales: Our national mission, Action plan 2017–21

                                                                During the period until 2021, we will:               To action our plan, we will do the following.
     The self-improving system
                                                                • d
                                                                   evelop revised assessment, evaluation and
     A self-improving system is one in which                      accountability arrangements which focus on          • C
                                                                                                                         elebrate our successes with activities such as the annual Professional                               From May
     school leaders and teachers have the skills,                 the key work of schools and all other tiers in        Teaching Awards Cymru.                                                                                   2017
     capacity and commitment to continually learn                 the system to deliver the best for all learners;
     and improve their practice so that every                     this will underpin a national approach to the
     child achieves their potential and is prepared               self-improving system, so that all schools grow     • R
                                                                                                                         espond to Qualifications Wales’ review of GCSE early entry,
     for life in an increasingly complex world.                   as learning organisations and are encouraged          and take action where appropriate.
                                                                  to share their expertise for the benefit of all
                                                                                                                      • Agree transitional assessment and evaluation arrangements with schools
     Over recent years schools have become                        learners, including through federations
                                                                                                                         in order to support deeper collaborations between schools and secure the
     better at sharing their best practice for
                                                                                                                         raising of standards for all learners.
     the benefit of all learners. Our Welsh                     • build
                                                                      the knowledge, expertise and research                                                                                                                  During
     self-improving system needs every                            base of the self-improving system by supporting     • Issue support and guidance and an incentive for schools to federate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            autumn 2017
     professional and institution to become                       collaborations within and between schools,          • C
                                                                                                                         onsult on amendments to the School Organisation Code to ensure
     aware of their own strengths and areas                       regional consortia and higher education               that all viable options, including federation, have been considered
     for improvement, and with this knowledge                     institutions and committing to sharing                before closing a small or rural school.
     seek support for their own improvement                       research evidence and effective practice
     and offer support for others to improve.                     across the system                                   • Introduce a small and rural school grant to support greater collaboration
                                                                                                                         between schools.
     It is our ambition and expectation that all                • increase
                                                                         university–school engagement beyond
     parts of the education system become                         ITE and build on their role in supporting a
     participants in this model, so that strengths                research-engaged profession; working with           • A
                                                                                                                         gree a longer-term model of assessment and evaluation for schools that will
     are spread across the system, and areas                      higher education institutions, we expect to                                                                                                                 By summer
                                                                                                                        clearly identify what schools are accountable for and encourage all schools to
     for improvement are tackled through peer                     build on the success of programmes such as                                                                                                                     2018
                                                                                                                        pursue the success of all learners in our changing context.
     engagement and support.                                      those in modern foreign languages, taking the
                                                                  Student Mentoring Project into other disciplines
     In achieving this we will ensure that our
     education professionals can thrive in a                    • improve outcomes for sixth-form learners,          • P ublish an assessment and evaluation framework for the entire education
     supportive and collaborative environment                      those in PRUs and those EOTAS by promoting            system, showing clearly what each component part of the system is
     to raise standards and ensure that every                      the extension of the self-improving model to          responsible for, ensuring that responsibilities are appropriately distributed                         During
     young person can fulfill their potential.                     those settings                                        and accountabilities clearly identified in order to embed collaboration and                        autumn 2018
                                                                                                                         raise standards for all of our learners.
                                                                • d
                                                                   evelop a national approach to small and rural
                                                                                                                      • Publish the first annual Wales Education Report Card.
                                                                  schools within the self-improving system.

                                                                To assess progress in this area, we will:

                                                                • g
                                                                   ather evidence of whole-system improvement
                                                                  through agreed measures

                                                                • monitor
                                                                        the deepening of collaborations            For the first time in a generation, educators right across our system are
                                                                  between schools and their partners                 working together to craft a new and innovative vision for our schools.
                                                                • measure
                                                                         the growth of educational research
                                                                  in Wales to better support collaborations

                                                                • c ontinue to be open to external advice
                                                                   and scrutiny across the whole system.

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