Wales politics

Teacher training crisis reached, says Leanne Wood

A school classroom where children are studying Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Ministers intended to give teachers a good deal

A "crisis" has now been reached in teacher training in Wales, according to the Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood.

On Sunday, a union warned of a risk of a crisis as targets for trainee teacher numbers in secondary schools and for PGCEs were both missed in 2015-16.

Ms Wood told AMs on Tuesday Plaid had previously warned of a "perfect storm" on the matter and "the crisis is now".

Welsh ministers said taking control of teaching pay and conditions, in 2018, was "crucial" to addressing the matter.

"Back in April Plaid Cymru warned that we are heading for a perfect storm - we are now in the middle of that storm," Ms Wood said.

"The secondary school intake for trainee teachers has dropped a third below the target. The crisis is here and the crisis in now."

The Plaid leader said Wales was currently short of "around 280" secondary school teachers and that a third of current teachers intended to leave the teaching within the next three years.

'Strange anomaly'

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he wanted to get the "right package in place" for teachers, when powers over their pay and conditions were transferred from Westminster next year.

He said he wanted "a holistic package" for the profession.

"Next year we will have the opportunity and the responsibility of controlling teachers' pay and conditions," Mr Jones said.

"We want to work with the teaching unions to put forward a package which makes teaching more attractive for perhaps it has been for some people in the past.

"Getting control of pay and conditions is absolutely crucial to that."

The first minister added: "It's always been a strange anomaly that we have responsibility for education but not for pay and conditions.

"That's at the heart of delivering a good deal for teachers and that's what we intend to do."

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