Praise but Schools Can Still Do Better; EDUCATION: Standards Improve but Concerns Persist

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 16, 2002 | Go to article overview

Praise but Schools Can Still Do Better; EDUCATION: Standards Improve but Concerns Persist


Byline: RHODRI EVANS

MUST try harder were words that figured on many children's school reports and now the same has been said about Welsh schools.

In her annual report, Susan Lewis - chief inspector of education and training in Wales - praised improvements in standards but said problems still needed to be addressed.

Particular issues of concern are a shortage of Welsh teachers and the large number of unsatisfactory computing lessons in secondary schools.

Miss Lewis said, "The big headline is that standards in quality of education and training in Wales have improved yet again this year and that is a credit to everybody concerned."

But despite trumpeting the success of many schools, Miss Lewis raised a number of points of concern.

"I have mentioned there is lots of good teaching and lots more very good teaching and hardly any of it is unsatisfactory, " she said." I want to get to the position where none of it is unsatisfactory."

Miss Lewis also found Welsh schools were experiencing staff shortages, "Primary schools sometimes have difficulty in finding a supply teacher to cover for a teacher who is absent for several weeks.

"Some secondary schools find it hard to appoint qualified staff in one or two subjects, especially Welsh.

"It is not an overall shortage. It is a very specific shortage in some areas."

The report was welcomed by education minister Jane Davidson, who said she was pleased to see such a rise in teaching standards during the past five years.

"The analysis of the chief inspector's report confirms that we have much to be proud of in Wales, but it also underlines that there is much to be done to realise the ambitions set out by the Government in the Learning Country, " she said. …

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Praise but Schools Can Still Do Better; EDUCATION: Standards Improve but Concerns Persist
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