Williams: “Promoting High Standards in teaching must be the priority”

February 1, 2011 4:01 PM

The Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams AM will today urge the Education Minister to take decisive action to improve the support and training provided to teachers in Wales.

Her call comes after the publication of two reports which have been highly critical of educational standards in Wales and following new figures last week which revealed that Wales spends £604 less per pupil on education than in England.

The recent Estyn report was particularly critical of the training standards in Wales stating that "Teachers and leaders need more training in how they deliver literacy and numeracy."

Welsh Liberal Democrats are would improve standards in schools by:

Updating the initial teacher training course to ensure it is fit for purpose.
Giving teachers the freedom to teach by reducing the burdensome curriculum.
Scrapping the General Teaching Council for Wales and investing the money in a Quality Teaching Scheme, to provide up-to-date training and professional development for teachers and head teachers and to encourage high-fliers to become teachers.
Guaranteeing teachers the right to an unpaid sabbatical year if they want to pursue academic or practical study.
Allowing schools more freedom to reward good performance and making it easier for them to tackle poor performance by extending pay flexibilities and simplifying performance management and capability procedures.

Kirsty Williams said:

"Great teachers make for great schools, enthused children and lay the foundations for a successful economy. We ask a great deal of our teachers but too often, we do not give them the support and the training that they need to do the job.

"It is clear from the Chief Inspector of Schools highly critical report that training needs to be urgently addressed.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats will invest in our teachers, giving the time and opportunity to improve as well as giving schools more freedom over performance management.

"Our schools will only improve when we give teachers the tools and training they need to inspire our children."

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