Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education
I am pleased to update you on my plans for additional National Professional Learning INSET days 2019- 22 following a public consultation which ran from 5 March – 1 May. A large number of responses were received and I would like to thank all those who took the time to provide their views.
Having thoroughly reflected on all the consultation responses, I am proposing to make amendments to regulations to allow schools an additional INSET day each year for the next three academic years, until 2022. These additional days will take place annually during the summer term specifically for the purpose of Professional Learning to support the introduction and delivery of the new curriculum. I believe that this additional time will be critical to ensure readiness and engagement of all practitioners with the new curriculum.
I will also be making a recommendation to schools that out of the original five INSET days already allocated to them, a minimum of one further day per academic year should also be used to prepare for the new curriculum, this to be taken at a time to suit the school. This approach reflects the feedback calling for more than one day to be made available each year. However in determining my response I have been mindful of the need to balance the needs of practitioners with the impact on parents.
Given this cost, it is essential that INSET days, which provide valuable opportunities for whole school engagement, are used effectively and in a way which supports each school on its curriculum reform journey. To this end, a framework of digital bilingual resources will be developed to support schools and practitioner’s readiness for the new curriculum.
I want to be clear that the proposed additional National Professional Learning INSET should not be seen as a stand alone proposal, or as a suggestion that one additional day per year for the next three years is sufficient in itself to address the Professional Learning needs inherent in the realisation of the new curriculum. Instead, the proposal should be seen within the context of the National Approach to Professional Learning, alongside the additional funding we have made available to create further time in schools for engagement with Professional Learning.
Finally, and in line with my statement on managing workload and reducing bureaucracy on 12 June, this decision represents another way in which we are supporting teachers, by giving them the time to do what they do best: planning and teaching the best possible lessons for their pupils.
The full consultation response report can be found on the Welsh Government website https://gov.wales/additional-national-professional-learning-inset-days-2019-2022