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Written Statement - National Education Workforce Survey for Wales

Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education

I am a strong believer that in order to deliver effective change, it is essential to work collaboratively. As Cabinet Secretary, I therefore commissioned a national survey of the education workforce to help inform and influence the significant reforms we as a government are bringing forward.

The Education Workforce Council has today published the results of the National Education Workforce Survey.

The survey provided a unique opportunity for the education workforce to reflect on their experiences and give their views on a range of issues which affect them; such as curriculum and assessment, professional development, performance management, workload, and the Welsh language.

With this in mind, I am naturally disappointed that only 14% (10,408) of a workforce totalling 72,497 took the chance to inform policy development.  For many this has clearly been a missed opportunity.  

However, the survey did deliver on my intention to undertake a teachers’ workload survey. It also demonstrated the value we place on our education workforce and our commitment to ensuring that they are at the heart of developments on matters which affect them.

There isn’t a single answer to the diverse range of issues raised and there are no easy answers. There are clearly a number of positive findings, such as access to professional learning and confidence in the delivery/use of ICT.  However, we as a government must also acknowledge that there is more to do in ensuring our workforce feel they have the best possible support available.  As a priority, I remain determined to tackle the long running issue of workload and ensuring teachers have the space and time to teach to the best of their ability, reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and ensuring that they are supported by excellent Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Learning Support Workers.

Over the coming months, working alongside the Education Workforce Council, we will analysing the vast amount of data found in this survey to help guide our policy reforms.  I remain committed to having a high performing education system where practitioners work together collaboratively to improve standards of teaching and the quality of learning.

Copies of the survey have been placed in the Members library and are available at http://www.ewc.wales.