Wales politics

'Urgent action' needed on new school curriculum rollout

Child using a tablet computer
Image caption There is more emphasis on digital skills in the new curriculum

Teachers will not be ready for a new school curriculum without "urgent action" by Welsh ministers before its introduction in 2022, AMs have warned.

Their report calls on the education secretary to prepare a detailed plan to ensure the workforce is prepared.

The committee heard many teachers were not fully aware of the changes and only a minority felt well ready for them.

The Welsh Government said it was working closely with teachers to ensure they were ready.

The curriculum is based on a review by Prof Graham Donaldson that suggested changes such as more lessons on computer programming and more cooperation between primary and secondary schools.

In September, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams announced there would be a "phased roll-out" of the curriculum from 2022 - a year later than originally planned.

The assembly's children, young people and education committee recommendations to Ms Williams, published on Thursday, include:

  • establishing to what extent teacher workload is harming recruitment
  • revising new professional standards to identify more clearly the key standards expected of teachers
  • exploring further whether there is enough support for new teachers in the early years
Image caption Lynne Neagle said the committee would continue to scrutinise the reforms

Committee chairwoman, Labour Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle, said: "Recent actions by the cabinet secretary for education including launching the new professional standards for teaching and leadership and delaying the rollout of the new curriculum to 2022 are to be broadly welcomed, but more needs to be done to address the issues highlighted during our inquiry.

"The evidence we received suggests that the current workforce do not feel prepared for the implementation of the new curriculum and as such urgent action is required by the Welsh Government to rectify this."

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "There will always be challenges when introducing a new curriculum but we are working closely with teachers, with an emphasis on strong leadership and professional learning, to make sure that they are ready for when the curriculum is introduced in 2022.

"We are listening closely to what teachers are telling us and our decision to change the timeline to give an extra year will mean all schools have the time to engage with the development of the curriculum and be fully prepared for the changes."

The spokesman said ministers would respond formally to the report in the new year.

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