ASCL Cymru comment on IFS report calling for rethink in Welsh education policy

Eithne Hughes, Director of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Cymru, responds to a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), that identifies major inequalities within the Welsh education system.
This report paints a particularly gloomy picture of the Welsh education landscape and it’s clear that much more needs to be done to tackle inequality. Teachers and leaders in Wales are just as skilled, experienced and committed to supporting disadvantaged pupils as those elsewhere in the UK, and yet, as this report makes clear, there is a disparity in pupil outcomes. 
“Our belief is that the huge raft of reforms occurring at such pace across many different areas of the Welsh education system is making it increasingly challenging for the workforce to focus on their core purpose of helping young people to learn. Rather than this scattergun approach to reform, which does not appear to be improving outcomes, policymakers need to focus their attention on key areas that will help aid learning, particularly for disadvantaged pupils. 
“The current Education Minister himself has recognised this by calling for a clearer focus on national priorities in order to reduce the equity gap. We look forward to working closely with the new Education Minister – whoever that may be following next week’s expected reshuffle – on how this can be achieved