Eithne Hughes, Director of ASCL Cymru, comments on the Welsh government’s announcement of more support and learning for school leaders ahead of the introduction of the new national curriculum in September.
“It has taken some time for the Welsh government to come forward with proposals on how to better support the learning and development of our school leaders and a number of very positive recommendations will be welcomed and appreciated by the profession.
“Professional learning and development is absolutely essential for all headteachers and senior leaders to ensure they are fully prepared for the challenges of delivering truly effective and consistent education and this statement does give a sense of direction for the profession.
“What is lacking is detail and leaders will be concerned by the inconsistency and variability of what is being offered, just as they are preparing for a crucial period for education with the roll-out of the Curriculum for Wales just a few months away.
“We do not share the Education Minister’s apparent delight, in his tweet today, that 50% of secondary schools in Wales will be delivering the new curriculum for Year 7s from September.
“Schools do not feel they are being given the time and support they require to bring in the fundamental reforms the Welsh government has planned and which should mark an exciting landmark moment for education in Wales.
“Instead, leaders are weighed down by the bloated portfolio of educational reforms that are being railroaded through with undue haste, hot on the heels of two years of incredible upheaval and disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our schools are still in turmoil and leaders have no headspace for doing the necessary work to develop and embed the new curriculum. They should be enthused but are instead running on empty.
“The Education Minister needs to take a step back and recognise that if he is to take leaders with him on this exciting journey, he must allow them the time and support they require to recover from the pandemic. Only then will they have the energy and enthusiasm to devote to making the introduction of the Curriculum for Wales a success for all learners across Wales.”