“Learning Passports” for Teachers in Wales
Last May, the Welsh government announced that it would be launching what they call a “New Deal for Teachers”.
Estyn is Wales’ schools watchdog, releasing a report every year on the quality of teaching in schools across the country. In the latest annual report, it was found that there were fewer schools with “excellent” teaching than last year.
But, it wasn’t all bad as schools had made an overall improvement, with more of them being classed as “good” or better in around half of the schools in the country.
And now it has been announced that the New Deal will be coming into effect in September, at the start of the new academic year – but what will it actually mean for the education system in Wales?
The ultimate aim is to improve teaching in the classroom for the country as a whole. This is hoped to be done through reshaping how teachers are trained, so that their own skills can progress throughout their career.
There are around 38,000 teachers in Wales, and each will be given a professional learning passport to record their professional development. This passport will enable teachers to both identify and record learning opportunities, enabling them to develop their professional career.
The New Deal will also see revised standards to set out the required professional skills and knowledge to deliver new curriculums in the future. These new standards will be entwined with the promised support so that the latest research on effective teaching will make it into the heart of the classroom.
While the teachers will be expected to keep their practices continually updated, they will be getting more support while they do so.
Education Minister Huw Lewis said that it was essential to have “high capacity, high skilled professionals” teaching in their schools.
“We are currently undertaking one of the most ambitious series of education reforms Wales has ever seen,” he explained. “The quality of the professional at the chalk face has a huge impact on the quality of teaching and learning.”
Mr Lewis added that giving teachers the ability to reflect on their own development is one of the driving forces of the New Deal, which is hoped to lead ultimately to a self-improving education system.