Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru | National Assembly for Wales

Y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg | Children, Young People and Education Committee

Hynt y gwaith gan Lywodraeth Cymru wrth ddatblygu Cwricwlwm newydd Cymru | Welsh Government's progress in developing the new Curriculum for Wales

CR 32

Ymateb gan: National Education Union Cymru

Response from: National Education Union Cymru




About National Education Union Cymru:

The National Education Union Cymru stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges to form the largest education union in Wales.

The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.

Together, well shape the future of education.


Our response

The National Education Union Cymru welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation.


We have answered the questions which were able to do at this time. Overall, we remain concerned about the variation in readiness for the new Curriculum across Wales.


In an interview with BBC Wales, the head of WJEC said that lessons could be learnt from the roll-out of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland[1]. We would agree with that. We know that expectations must be made clear to the education workforce and that they must be supported to meet those expectations.


Therefore, we have always said access to good professional learning opportunities and funding is critical. Without sufficient CPD and funding the ambitions of ‘Our national mission’ will not be fulfilled. We note that Professor Mick Waters’ report[2] “Teachers a valued profession” says there should be entitled to seven days CPD. We have always called for this and would be supportive of the 2 extra days CPD. This is vital to implementation of the new Curriculum.


• Progress towards producing a draft Curriculum for Wales in time for its publication by the Welsh Government for public feedback in April 2019;


1.There is concern regarding the progress towards producing a draft Curriculum for Wales. Our members are concerned that not enough practitioners in the classroom are aware of precisely what the new curriculum would mean to them, nor that their school would be ready.


• The role of Pioneer Schools and any opportunities and challenges in their involvement in curriculum design;


2.         Whilst we have been assured by WG that the Pioneer Schools are on track to deliver the new Curriculum in time, we have not been provided with clear evidence of their involvement. WG has informed us the Pioneer Schools have been working within and across the 6 AoLE groups, but we have little anecdotal evidence of their work being tested and refined other than what we have been told.


Professional learning


3.         We are generally pleased to note that money has been passported directly to schools for professional learning on the implementation of the new Curriculum. Generally that decision has been well received in schools, where resources for professional learning has been limited. We are concerned that based on comments from the WLGA and the LAs, the money would not have been used for that purpose if included in the RSG.


·         Workload


4.         Unfortunately little work appears to have taken place so far to alleviate workload of teachers both in the Pioneer Schools or more generally as we approach the stage where the curriculum can be rolled out. This is a crucial issue that has to be tackled if roll out is to be successful and we would like to see WG plans for dealing with this factor and to be involved in positive steps to reduce that burden.



·         Curriculum Roll out


5.         Moving the roll out of the new Curriculum back was the correct step and hopefully should allow schools to prepare properly. We would like to see full engagement with, and from, the education profession when the new curriculum and assessment arrangements become available for feedback in April 2019. That crucial engagement should remain a priority as we work towards the final model and the implementation of the National Approach to Professional Learning in 2020.