Education in Wales partially differs
from the rest of the countries of the United Kingdom. The aims of the
Welsh schools are social inclusion, equal opportunities and also giving
importance to the Welsh-English bilingualism. Education in Wales is provided to
children and young people, allowing them to express their potential without
counting individual needs and problems.
A wide range of qualifications is offered in Wales by
Further Education institutions. There are academic qualifications as A levels
and the Welsh Baccalaureate, or professional courses for individual and
business open to students of all ages. Further Education Institutions are
represented by two organisations: “Colegau Cymru and Colleges Wales” (“Schools & further education in Wales,” n.d.).
They also offer study opportunities to foreign students. There are courses
organised by colleges with the help of businesses in order to raise the
workforce; in fact, there are many part-time students.
school is changing in Wales. A new scholar curriculum is developed and it will
be available by April 2019 for the “Pioneer Schools” (“New school curriculum,” n.d.). It will take one more year for the final
version and other 2 years for being used in all the country.
general, there should be more emphasis on adapting young people to life.
Children will have to gain the ability to learn new skills and use their
knowledge in a creative and positive way. Particular attention will be paid to
digital skills, in taking the opportunities and avoiding the risks that the
virtual world involves. Another key point could be to encourage students on
their performance and in what they have in order to improve themselves.
new curriculum should help Welsh children to become “capable learners, creative
contributors, informed citizens of Wales and the world and confident
individuals” (“New school curriculum,” n.d.). It will have six main subjects: arts, health,
humanities, languages, mathematics and science.
reason why the Welsh School is changing might depend on technology. Computers,
smartphone and tablets didn’t exist in 1993 when the last school reform was
introduced. Technology and globalization have taken the school to be more
flexible and adaptable to this environment. The challenge will probably be “making
learning more experience-based” (“New
school curriculum,” n.d.), and to
give teachers the possibility to teach in more creative ways.
important contribution to the developing of the new curriculum is due to the
work of the Pioneer Schools. They have worked with key figures such as “local
authorities, regional consortia, the schools inspection body, external experts,
the further and higher education sectors, employers and Welsh government” (“New school curriculum,” n.d.). Practical support will be provided for all schools
by the Pioneer Schools Network; consequently, a new development of the
pedagogical skills will probably lead to an efficacious implementation of the
Digital Competence Framework develops essential skills that help to live and
work in a digital world. The Digital Competence Framework has four layers of
the same relevance: “citizenship, interacting and collaborating, producing,
data and computational thinking” (“New
school curriculum,” n.d.).
to the words of the former Chancellor George Osborne, all English state will
become academies. The model adopted is refused by the Welsh government due to
some controversies. With the introduction of academies, local authorities might
not have the same importance than before. There has been some criticism about
some aspects of the academies: the central government itself finances academies;
nevertheless, head teachers have more decision-making power on admissions and
in making changes within the school.
ministers do not want to follow this plan and consequently governing bodies, in
order to apply the reform, “need a ministerial permission to make significant
changes” (Lewis, 2016). Huw Lewis, former Education Minister has doubts about
the positive impacts of the academies in Wales and suggests not to pursue the
English example. From a political point of view, any of the main parties wants
the introduction of academies in Wales. Owen Hathway, an exponent of the NUT
(National Union of Teachers), stated that the increase in standards, better
quality education, the expectations of parents and communities, are not 100%
guaranteed by the academies.
One issue concerns
teachers’ salaries, in fact, “some teaching
unions remain opposed because of concern that Welsh teachers would end up being
paid less than those in England” (Lewis,
2016). Despite the disagreements between the two parts, it seems that an accord
will be found for separate payments in future.