Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills
I updated Members in June about my plans to embed digital competence in our schools through a new framework that will be available from September 2016. The introduction of a new Digital Competence Framework will be the first step in developing our ambitious new curriculum.
This framework will make digital competence a cross-curricular responsibility in line with literacy and numeracy. It will also cement the place of digital competency as a key skill that all our young people need to succeed.
By introducing the framework into schools, learners will have the opportunity to become confident and creative in their use of digital technologies and develop the skills that our economy needs to thrive. This way of teaching and learning will also have an impact on the fundamental skills of teaching as digital skills become increasingly important in the classroom and will need a fresh perspective from the teaching workforce.
That is why I am keen that this new approach to teaching our children is developed by the very best of the Welsh teaching profession centre stage. Innovative schools and practitioners who are leading the way in their field need to work with the Welsh Government, the regional education consortia, higher education, industry, parents and learners to create a new curriculum that will support and inspire our young people to reach their potential.
So today I am pleased to announce that I have approved a group of Digital Pioneer Schools – the first of our Pioneer Schools programme - who have been selected to create the new Digital Competence Framework. These Digital Pioneers have been drawn from across Wales and represent the very best from our primary, secondary and special schools sectors. They will work across English and Welsh medium schools to ensure that we create a framework fit for all learners.
Their work will start in the autumn term and will be overseen by an independent stakeholder reference group of business and educational leaders, including representatives from our National Digital Learning Council and leading digital employers such as Microsoft and our ICT Sector Panel. I will also be looking to higher education – from the UK and internationally – to quality assure any approach we develop in Wales. I am committed to ensuring that Welsh schools are at the forefront and will draw on expertise from across the world to make this happen.
The schools are: (See Annex)
I’m pleased that we are building on the momentum and desire that exists in Wales to create a world class education system and to bring these schools together to create the new Digital Competence Framework. This innovation will place Welsh learners at a distinct advantage and help to continue our work of driving up standards across our education system.