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Wales should continue reforms to boost quality and equity of school system

 

28/02/2017 – Wales should continue its efforts to reform the curriculum and raise the standards of teaching in order to improve the quality and equity of its school system, according to a new OECD report.

The Welsh Education Reform Journey analyses the reforms adopted since 2014 and notes a shift in the approach to school improvement away from a piecemeal and short-term policy orientation to one with a long-term vision involving key stakeholders.

The commitment to improving the teaching and learning in Wales’s schools is visible at all levels of the education system, says the report.

“Sustaining this commitment, deepening investments in key policy areas and strengthening the implementation process will be central to realising the country’s ambitions for education and society over the long term,” said Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills, launching the report in Cardiff with Kirsty Williams, Wales’ Cabinet Secretary for Education.

The focus of continuing reforms should be on developing a high-quality teaching profession, making leadership a key driver of education reform, ensuring equity in learning opportunities and student well-being, and moving towards a new system of assessment, evaluation and accountability that aligns with the new 21st century curriculum.

Among the report’s recommendations are that Wales should:

  • Continue developing a national approach to professional learning and build capacity for implementation of the new curriculum.
  • Move forward with the establishment of the National Academy of Educational Leadership and speed up development of leadership standards.
  • Consider moving towards a national needs-based school-funding formula that ensures the effective allocation of funds to schools.
  • Continue strengthening Wales’ school improvement infrastructure.
  • Ensure coherence across the various reform initiatives to prevent fragmentation. The government should clarify how different reforms and policies relate to each other as well as the roles and responsibilities of teachers, school leaders, local authorities and regional consortia.

The report is available at http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/thewelsheducationreformjourneyarapidpolicyassessment.htm

For more information, or to speak to the report’s author, journalists should contact Spencer Wilson of the OECD’s Media Division (tel. + 33 1 45 24 81 18).