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National Academy for Educational Leadership remit letter 2022-2026
CEO and Chair
National Academy for Educational Leadership
Dear Tegwen and Sue,
I would like to place on record my thanks to you and your team for your work since the National Academy for Educational Leadership was established in May 2018, and particularly how you have engaged in dealing with some of the challenges that have faced the sector during the pandemic. The importance of securing, nurturing and inspiring leaders now and for the future across the entire education system, in both Welsh-medium and English-medium settings, has been brought into sharp focus and remains a key commitment for the Welsh Government.
I am writing to you to detail my expectations and priorities for the remaining term of this Welsh Government. The strategic priorities set out within this letter are therefore for the period 2022-2026. I expect these priorities to remain broadly the same over this period but the objectives beneath them may develop and change over time and an annual update of this Remit Letter will be issued accordingly. The National Academy for Educational Leadership may also need to respond to emerging ministerial priorities or published reports. A list of current ministerial priorities is attached at Annex A.
To support those objectives I can confirm that the National Academy for Educational Leadership’s total available budget for the 2022-2023 financial year is £1,280,000 (indicative), which will be paid in advance according to evidenced need. This funding will also support the
continuation of the Academy Associates Programme.
Further details of the funding position will be set out within a Grant Offer Letter, along with the terms and conditions of funding.
Strategic priorities 2022-2026
The overarching strategic priorities as specified in the 2018-2021 remit letter and detailed below remain valid and should be the basis of supporting delivery of the ministerial priorities set out in the remainder of this remit letter.
- Further develop the National Academy for Educational Leadership as a strategic organisation with a positive and inclusive culture and robust governance
- Contribute to the development of the professional capabilities of current and aspiring leaders across the education system by providing coherence and quality assurance for the range of educational leadership development opportunities available in Wales
- Act as a thought leader; developing, articulating and implementing a vision and strategy for educational leadership in Wales.
The strategic objectives reflect the National Academy for Educational Leadership’s position as a critical element of the middle tier. The National Academy for Educational Leadership will need to work in partnership with other organisations to ensure a strategic focus on leadership development to support our priorities for this term of government, as detailed below.
Curriculum for Wales (CfW)
The National Academy for Educational Leadership will support all leaders in delivering the Curriculum for Wales (CfW). It should work closely with other middle tier partners and all senior leaders in the sector to further develop leadership skills, confidence and capabilities that support the roll-out of the CfW.
Particular consideration should be given to the support needed for secondary schools who will be operating under two curricula until all year groups transition to CfW. This will be an ongoing objective throughout the term of this remit letter.
Particular attention should be given to the role/challenges/opportunities of leaders within the following areas:
- Whole school approach to curriculum design, co-construction with parents, learners and wider community
- Cluster working to develop the learning continuum and shared understanding or progression
- Cultural change to move from accountability based assessment arrangements to those based on assessment for individual learner progression.
In taking forward this work we would expect engagement with the regional consortia and partnership to ensure work is co-ordinated with and complementary to regional activity. This work should be undertaken over the next 3 years (2022-2025) and will be reflected in the grant letters.
Leading curriculum development: cross-curricula themes
National provision of learning opportunities to support leading change in schools through working with the cross-curricula themes will be a feature of professional learning to enable the curriculum. The National Academy for Educational Leadership should therefore support leaders in leading change in schools across the cross curricula themes:
- Reading and Oracy
- Careers and work related experiences
- Human rights
- Local, national and international contexts
- Relationships and sexuality education
This work will be ongoing and will be developed and updated throughout the term of this remit letter and highlighted in the annual Grant letter where appropriate.
Welsh in education
Our vision for a thriving Welsh language along with the introduction of Curriculum for Wales requires a skilled workforce. Welsh Government is developing a 10-year plan to set out the actions that will be taken in partnership with a range of organisations and stakeholders to increase the number of teachers able to teach Welsh as a subject or through the medium of Welsh, to develop the Welsh language skills of our education workforce and to ensure that our leaders are equipped with the knowledge and skills to strategically plan and develop the Welsh language within our schools.
The National Academy for Educational Leadership should therefore continue the work that has already been started to support the implementation of the 10-year plan to:
- Develop leadership capacity for Welsh-medium schools and
- Equip all leaders with knowledge and understanding of how to realise the vision of Cymraeg 2050 in their schools within a culture of schools as learning organisations
Diversity and equity
To support the work of diversity and equity in Welsh education the National Academy for Educational Leadership will:
- Commission and endorse leadership development provision focused on leading schools in challenging socio-economic circumstances.
- Work with Welsh Government officials to promote the development of Community Schools in Wales
- Work with the Diversity and Anti-Racism Professional Learning (DARPL) Project Working Group to actively promote this priority area amongst educational leaders
- Support the development of future leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds to become leaders in the Welsh Education system
- Support the development of suitable resources and training for Governors in (schools) across the education system in relation to the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities and other underrepresented groups.
A recommendation in the final report by the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin Working Group, chaired by Professor Charlotte Williams OBE, was for Welsh Government, National Academy for Educational Leadership and Regional Consortia to ‘support thorough ongoing training to craft, embed and promote attention to ethnic diversity and inclusivity as part of a whole school approach for headteachers and leaders.’ (Rec 26). Specific details of this work will be detailed in the National Academy for Educational Leadership’s Grant letter.
Estyn will be undertaking a thematic review on Governance. This will consider effective practice including acting as critical friends (including challenge at various levels), and the impact of governor training. The National Academy for Educational Leadership should monitor progress with the review with the view to supporting Governors, particularly Chairs and Vice Chairs, in their role as critical friend to the leadership team so they are able to offer effective challenge and support when it is needed.
The Welsh Government is promoting focus on community schools and encouraging more schools to adopt a community-based approach. To support this work the National Academy for Educational Leadership should explore with both primary and secondary sectors proposed Community schools and learning, providing feedback to the Welsh Government.
It is expected that this work should be completed by summer 2023.
Additional learning needs
The ALN reforms aim to deliver a fully inclusive education system for learners in Wales, in a system where the education needs of children and young people are identified early and addressed quickly, and where all learners are supported to reach their potential. Under the new ALN system, planning will be flexible and responsive, our professionals will be skilled and confident in identifying needs and deploying strategies to help learners overcome their barriers to learning, and the learner will be at the centre of everything we do.
The National Academy for Educational Leadership should support all Leaders in implementing the ALN Reforms. It should work closely with other middle tier partners and all senior leaders in the sector to further develop leadership skills, confidence and capabilities that support the roll-out of the ALN Act. It should increase the understanding and confidence of leaders to implement the ALN Act and improve outcomes for children and young people with ALN. It should develop the skills of the education workforce to listen, identify, and respond to the needs of children and young people when they require extra support to flourish in education.
Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) sector
To support the post 16 sector the National Academy for Educational Leadership will support leaders in the Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) sector, specifically for Further Education (FE), Adult Community Learning (ACL), and Work-based Learning (WBL) as directed by Welsh Government, responding to specific areas of activity that will be identified in the grant letter.
These activities will support further understanding of leadership development in post 16 education sectors.
Youth work sector
The National Academy for Educational Leadership should ensure that youth workers are represented on both the stakeholder groups and in the Associates Programme. You are expected to continue to work with, and further develop links with, the youth work sector to strengthen leadership development opportunities to both strengthen the sector and to provide opportunities for promotion and career development.
We expect you to work closely with both the Education Workforce Council (EWC) and Education Training Standards (ETS) to take this area of work further.
This work will result in the Youth Work Sector strengthening the leadership professional learning offer available to youth workers and support the development of the youth work profession and career structure.
Well-being of leaders
We know that our education workforce is critical to the success of our reforms. Welsh Government working in partnership will take action to support the wellbeing of all staff working in our schools and colleges so that everyone in our education community feels valued. To support educational leaders the National Academy for Educational Leadership will provide support and strategic direction to equip leaders to enable them to lead where staff well-being needs have been identified. The National Academy for Educational Leadership is expected to work closely with Welsh Government and Education Support partners to ensure that leaders’ well-being is prioritised and systematically supported, creating a sustainable and resilient leadership workforce.
Succession planning and gaps in provision
We need to understand current and future leadership capacity in the education sector in Wales and I note this is something that you have identified in your ‘Heads Up - Strategic proposals to support the well-being of school leaders in Wales’ report. Initial recommendations should be made by April 2023 and further work should be undertaken throughout the term of the Remit letter.
We also need the National Academy for Educational Leadership to consider the gaps in leadership provision available to leaders in Wales. The National Academy for Educational Leadership should therefore undertake work to provide information and recommendations on understanding the gaps in provision for leaders across the education system in Wales. Initial recommendations should be made by February 2023.
Other areas the National Academy for Educational Leadership is expected to consider and provide the Welsh Government with recommendations include:
- Understanding of the changing face of Leadership in the school sector and further information will be outlined in the Grant Letter
- Respond to IWPRB recommendations including for Executive heads and working with other key stakeholders develop succession planning proposals that work at local, regional and national levels, further details being provided in the Grant Letter
- Provide clarity on the next steps for supporting headteachers in Wales (ongoing).
Partnership working and role of the National Academy for Educational Leadership
To achieve these priorities the National Academy for Educational Leadership will need to work in partnership with other members of the middle tier, including the Regional Consortia, Higher Education Institutes, EWC and Estyn. We will work with the National Academy for Educational Leadership and other partners to create a greater understanding and appreciation of the role played by each member of the middle tier. This in turn will lead to more effective partnership and collaboration. I would also like to emphasise that the National Academy for Educational Leadership was established as an organisation to provide coherence and quality assurance for the range of educational leadership development opportunities available in Wales and I believe that the above reflects this.
I very much look forward to working with you both to achieve these priorities, and wish the National Academy for Educational Leadership every success in continuing to support educational leaders in Wales.
Jeremy Miles AS/MS
Gweinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg
Minister for Education and Welsh Language
Annex A: Ministerial Priorities
All policies should try to consider the following 5 priorities where appropriate.
- Raising attainment of disadvantaged learners and tackling the aspiration gap
Above all else, our national mission is to tackle the impact of poverty on educational attainment and set high standards for all.
- Learner and Staff Wellbeing
Everyone has the right to a happy education experience. We must build a reputation, across the UK and internationally, for putting wellbeing and children’s rights front and centre of our reforms.
- A Second Chance Nation
Tackling the impact of poverty on education is not something that ends at the school gates. To back the aspiration of everyone, we need clear and tangible policy reform that strengthens Wales’ lifelong learning offer for all citizens.
- Winning the technological race
Wales should become an international leader in embracing digital and technology to raise attainment and skills of all learners, regardless of background.
- Welsh - use, not simply ability
We have ambitious goals for increasing the number of Welsh speakers but all our interventions need to be seen through the lens of whether they encourage the actual use of Welsh - this goes beyond creating rights, and indeed even beyond creating speakers. The language belongs to us all, regardless of ability, and we want to encourage everyday use by everyone of however much they have, even if it is only a few words.