The announcement builds on the recommendations in the independent review of ICT in Wales, and Professor Graham Donaldson’s review of Curriculum and Assessment arrangements in Wales, which was published by the Welsh Government in March.
Both reports highlight that digital competence will be central to a young person’s success in life.
Although the Minister has yet to formally respond to Professor Donaldson’s report, he has today announced he wants to progress work to develop a new Digital Competence Framework that will help schools embed digital competency into their teaching and learning from September 2016.
The Digital Competence Framework will be produced through partnership working between Welsh Government, leading schools in the field that will be awarded Digital Pioneer status, regional consortia and experts from higher education and industry.
It will enable schools already at the forefront of embedding digital competence into their teaching and learning to share their best practice across Wales.
The Minister said:
“After considering Professor Donaldson’s report, alongside the findings of the independent review of ICT, and early findings of our Great Debate, I have decided that an effective and consistent approach to teaching digital learning competence is too vital for both our young people and our economy to delay.
“I will therefore be asking our regional consortia to identify a small group of those schools and practitioners already leading the way on the digital agenda so they can help us to design and develop our new Digital Competence Framework, both by drawing on their own experiences and on international best practice.
“Through partnership working we have a real opportunity to build a world class approach to digital competence here in Wales and I will be asking these Digital Pioneer schools to work alongside businesses and educational leaders, including our National Digital Learning Council and employers such Microsoft.“
The Minister confirmed the new framework would be rigorously quality assured by UK and international higher education institutions, and that Welsh Government would work closely with the British Council to develop new professional learning experiences, international opportunities to support teachers and practitioner focussed programmes to support the teaching and learning of digital competence.
The Minister added:
“Our new Digital Competence Framework will be very exciting but it will require us to think carefully about how we support our professionals to deliver in the classroom.
“This means better practitioner development, both through our New Deal for the profession and improved Initial Teacher Training, and working closely with partners such as the Open University to ensure we are utilising the wealth of existing skill and knowledge to help deliver the exciting vision of digital competence that Graham Donaldson has outlined.”