“Radical action is needed to create a truly equitable education system for all.” – FE News

In a keynote address to the Bevan Foundation later that day (16e June), the Minister of Education will present measures to tackle the impact of poverty on educational attainment and set high standards for all.

Some of the actions described will include:

  • Explore ways to encourage teachers to go to the most disadvantaged areas, in order to solve the problems that many schools face when recruiting and retraining teachers in difficult areas. The objective will be to test different approaches initially.
  • Introduce a peer support program for senior managers working in the most deprived areas. As part of this program, they would benefit from the mentorship of colleagues who have worked in similar fields and can offer practical advice and support.
  • Commission research on teaching learners in ‘mixed-level groups’. International data indicates that many of the countries with the fairest systems are those that have adopted mixed groupings for the longest time possible. This will result in national guidelines for all schools.

The speech will present a series of measures as part of an overall systems approach, supporting early childhood education and care, primary and secondary education and all forms of education, training and learning while throughout life after 16 years.

These will be underpinned by our schools’ focus on effectively engaging with their communities, providing the highest quality teaching and leadership, and emphasizing health and welfare.

This whole system approach will work with the new curriculum for Wales and ensure that all learners, from pre-school through to post-16 and lifelong learning, are supported throughout. of their school career.

Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language said:

“Above all, our national mission is to achieve high standards and aspirations for all by addressing the impact of poverty on educational achievement and to create a truly equitable education system in Wales.

“We know that the disruption caused by the pandemic has exacerbated the gap between learners from low-income backgrounds and their peers. Now more than ever, it is time for us to take drastic and sustained action and create an equitable education system for all of our children and youth.

“As we move towards delivering our new curriculum for Wales, we need to ensure that all of our learners are supported to reach their full potential, and that’s why I outline the steps we will take. to fix it as an absolute priority.”

The plans will also see the Welsh Government working more closely with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), a respected charity working to close the disadvantage gap. The two organizations will form a “strategic partnership”, with the Welsh Government drawing on EEF’s expertise and experience in the education sector. It is planned to work with the EEF to provide professional learning and guidance to teachers on evidence-based ways to improve the level of achievement of learners from low-income backgrounds and support their well-being.

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