'Teachers in Wales Are Learning from the Best.' Teachers and Policymakers Must Learn from the Best to Be the Best, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams Will Tell Higher Education Leaders This Week. Here She Explains Her Strategy for Raising Standards

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 30, 2017 | Go to article overview

'Teachers in Wales Are Learning from the Best.' Teachers and Policymakers Must Learn from the Best to Be the Best, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams Will Tell Higher Education Leaders This Week. Here She Explains Her Strategy for Raising Standards


To create an education system that is a source of national pride we need to learn from the best. I am unashamed to say that Wales will learn from the best so that we can be the best. To do this, I have been seeking creative thinking from the wider international community. Earlier this month we welcomed educationalists from Australia, Scandinavia, north America, Asia and Europe at an international OECD workshop in Cardiff to help further develop initial teacher education (ITE) in Wales.

Our recently published accreditation criteria for ITE programmes, alongside our new professional teaching and leadership standards, reflects shared ambitions for the profession. From initial teacher education, into the classroom and through career-long professional learning, our national approach focuses on ensuring and developing a high-quality teaching profession.

Our expectations are simple but ambitious. The criteria set out fundamental changes to ensure an increased role for schools, a clearer role for universities, joint ownership of the ITE programme, structured opportunities to link school and university learning, and the centrality of research.

I believe that empowering our Education Workforce Council (EWC) to accredit individual ITE programmes, through the establishment of the Initial School Teacher Training Committee (known as "the Board") is crucial. It will enable more specific consideration of how the programmes will raise the quality of provision - attracting people with the right skills, qualifications and aptitude to enter the profession.

I am determined that ITE in Wales is strengthened through a collaborative system, where universities and schools work in partnership, supported by the consortia and recognising the centrality of research.

It is essential to build greater capacity for research at all levels of teacher education. …

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