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Written Statement - Review of Assessment and the Curriculum

Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills

As Minister for Education and Skills I want to see the development of a Curriculum for Wales, which will provide our children and young people with opportunities for learning that will support them in being able to think, do, prosper, and adapt.

Here in Wales we have already put in train important changes with the introduction of the Literacy and Numeracy Framework and our tests.  Building on this, I recently consulted on proposals aimed at strengthening and supporting the teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy in schools – as well as setting out my intention to introduce a wider skills framework that will ensure alignment with, and progression towards the new Welsh Baccalaureate. I will be publishing my response to that consultation shortly.

Today, I am delighted to be able to announce the next step on our journey towards a Curriculum for Wales – with the appointment of Professor Graham Donaldson to lead a comprehensive, wide ranging and independent review of the National Curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales. In leading this review he will be at the forefront of a truly transformational programme of work and a historic step forward in Welsh Education history.

I have asked Professor Donaldson to articulate a clear, coherent vision for education in Wales, from Foundation Phase to Key Stage 4, linking directly to our new Qualifications system.  Professor Donaldson will be working very closely with a wide range of stakeholders from across Wales and beyond, and will also be considering the important recommendations from the reports of a number of independent task and finish groups including:

  • The ICT Steering Group’s Report to the Welsh Government
  • The Cwricwlwm Cymreig, history and the story of Wales: Final Report
  • Review of Welsh second language at Key Stages 3 and 4
  • Report of the Schools and Physical Literacy Task and Finish Group
  • The Arts in Education Review

In agreeing to undertake this review, Professor Donaldson brings with him a wealth of experience, knowledge and skill, as well as a personal commitment to continuous improvement and attainment of the highest standards. He has established a significant international  profile, has lectured extensively and his former roles have included undertaking country reviews for OECD, leading the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates as President, and being instrumental in the development of the Scottish Government’s curriculum reform programme, Curriculum for Excellence. Professor Donaldson also recently completed a comprehensive review of teacher education in Scotland.

I very much look forward to receiving Professor Donaldson’s report and recommendations later in the year.