Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills
Today, I am pleased to announce that 40 secondary schools, around a fifth of secondary schools in Wales, have been identified as Pathways to Success Schools, so called because of the central role they will play in taking forward Schools Challenge Cymru - the Welsh Government’s multi-million pound, flagship improvement programme to accelerate the rate of improvement in Welsh schools.
These 40 schools, chosen because of their circumstances and current stage of development, have the potential to generate swift and positive results. Schools Challenge Cymru will help them to unlock this potential by empowering them to meet their challenges head on.
Rooted in the belief that ALL children can achieve, Schools Challenge Cymru will inject around £20 million funding, alongside proven expertise, to deliver a package of support that is individually tailored to meet each school’s needs and the needs of their learners. The programme will also provide targeted support to participant schools’ cluster primaries in order to address challenges at the earliest opportunity and improve transition between these key stages of education.
Building on the principles of the National Model, the programme will deliver a relentless focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning. In doing so, I want to make full use of some of Wales’ finest practitioners and highest performing schools to form partnerships and to share expertise. The knowledge and expertise that is needed to improve already exists within the system and we must exploit it. Effective collaboration is vital if we are to move knowledge to where it needs to be and deliver sustainable results. In this way, our aim is make the best practices available to all children and young people in Wales.
Many schools in Wales will benefit from this collaborative approach and it is anticipated that their efforts will stimulate system-wide improvements. In this important sense, Schools Challenge Cymru, and the Pathways to Success Schools, will be a game-changer for Welsh education. They will play a key role in driving up educational standards in Wales for all our learners, raising levels of literacy and numeracy and, in so doing, breaking the link between educational attainment and poverty.
A full list of schools is set out below (Annex 1).
In the coming weeks Pathways to Success Schools will receive further information about how the programme will operate, and how we will work together to best improve educational outcomes for all Wales’s students.