The Minister confirmed he is establishing an Independent Advisory Group, chaired by Professor Donaldson and supported by Professor John Furlong, whose own independent report on initial teacher training in Wales, “Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers” was published recently. The Group will offer guidance and support as progress is made towards realising the radical vision set out in Successful Futures.
Regional Education Consortia will be asked to identify primary and secondary Pioneer Schools who will be invited to take the lead on the development and design of the new curriculum, working with experts from Wales and internationally.
The Minister said:
“Successful Futures provides the foundations for an ambitious, engaging 21st Century curriculum shaped by the very latest international thinking. Together, we now embark on the next stage of the journey.
“I was heartened by how the people of Wales engaged with the Great Debate that followed the publication of Successful Futures. They understand how crucial this moment is for the future of education in Wales and there is an enormous appetite for change. That’s why, after consulting with them, I am accepting Professor Donaldson’s recommendations in full.
“The teaching profession must now play a central role in delivering the new curriculum. Pioneer Schools will be asked to work closely with a range of partners but they will lead on the design and development of the new curriculum. Together we will embark on building a curriculum that embraces four key purposes, supporting children and young people to be:
- ambitious, capable learners ready to learn throughout their lives;
- enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work;
- ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world; and
- healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
“I appreciate we are asking much of our teachers, lecturers, leaders and support staff. But I know the commitment exists within the workforce to deliver the very best for our young people and we will support them on this challenging, exciting journey.
“Our New Deal for the Education Workforce provides teachers with the opportunity to access high quality professional learning at every stage of their career. It has been developed with the requirements of the new curriculum in mind so it enables us to prepare the workforce for the changes that lie ahead.
“It’s crucial too, that we ensure new teachers are fully equipped to deliver the new curriculum. Professor Furlong’s report clearly and convincingly articulated the implications of the new curriculum on initial teacher training and I’m delighted he has agreed to support Professor Donaldson on the Independent Advisory Group.
The Minister also confirmed he will publish a framework for the implementation of the new curriculum in the autumn. He said:
“Change on this scale is too important to rush but the process will evolve with purpose and momentum. We have a clear blueprint but I am not setting a timetable for implementation. We will take views from the Independent Advisory Group and others, as part of our continuing Great Debate and I will report back in the autumn.
“We know our reforms and investments are paying off. Standards are rising and there is a new momentum building in Welsh education. We have introduced rigour and challenge across the system, while supporting the pupils and schools most in need with substantial extra resources.
“We are not letting up in the drive for improvement. It’s now up to all of us to ensure that momentum is maintained and we deliver a curriculum that is Made in Wales, by Wales, suitable for the 21st century”.
Professor Donaldson said:
“I’m delighted the Minister plans to take forward the recommendations of Successful Futures but it is only one stage in a very long and important process.
“What we’ve done is to make clear what our aspirations are and set some sign posts for how we should move forward. The critical thing is to turn those aspirations into reality and that depends on everyone across Wales engaging in that process.
“We need to ensure the way in which the review was conducted, with a strong sense of inclusion and ownership of the direction we want to go in, is maintained. I very much look forward to assisting as best I can in turning our aspirations into reality”.
The Minister and Professor Donaldson have recorded video messages which can be viewed below.