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Cofnod y Trafodion
The Record of Proceedings

Y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg

The Children, Young People and Education Committee




Agenda’r Cyfarfod
Meeting Agenda

Trawsgrifiadau’r Pwyllgor
Committee Transcripts


4        Cyflwyniad, Ymddiheuriadau, Dirprwyon a Datgan Buddiannau
Introductions, Apologies, Substitutions and Declarations of Interest


4        Ymchwiliad i Addysgu a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 3
Inquiry into Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education: Evidence Session 3


25      Ymchwiliad i Addysgu a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 4
Inquiry into Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education: Evidence Session 4


43      Ymchwiliad i Addysgu a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 5
Inquiry into Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education: Evidence Session 5


62      Papur i’w Nodi
Paper to Note


63      Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i Benderfynu Gwahardd y Cyhoedd  o’r Cyfarfod ar gyfer yr Eitem Nesaf ac Eitemau 1 a 2 y Cyfarfod ar 5 Ebrill
Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to Resolve to Exclude the Public from the Meeting for the Next Item and Items 1 and 2 at the Meeting on 5 April



Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle y mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.


The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.


Aelodau’r pwyllgor yn bresennol
Committee members in attendance


Mohammad Asghar

Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Welsh Conservatives

Michelle Brown

UKIP Cymru
UKIP Wales

Hefin David


John Griffiths


Llyr Gruffydd

Plaid Cymru
The Party of Wales 

Darren Millar

Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Welsh Conservatives

Lynne Neagle

Llafur (Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor)
Labour (Committee Chair)


Eraill yn bresennol
Others in attendance


Yr Athro / Professor John Furlong

Adran Addysg, Prifysgol Rhydychen
Department of Education, University of Oxford

Angela Jardine

Cadeirydd, Gyngor y Gweithlu Addysg
Chair, Education Workforce Council

Hayden Llewellyn

Prif Weithredwr, Gyngor y Gweithlu Addysg.

Chief Executive, Education Workforce Council

Claire Morgan

Cyfarwyddwr Strategol, Estyn
Strategic Director, Estyn

Meilyr Rowlands

Prif Arolygydd Ei Mawrhydi dros Addysg a Hyfforddiant yng Nghymru
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales

Huw Watkins

Arolygydd Ei Mawrhydi, Estyn
Her Majesty’s Inspector, Estyn


Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn bresennol
National Assembly for Wales officials in attendance


Jon Antoniazzi


Sarah Bartlett

Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk

Joe Champion

Y Gwasanaeth Ymchwil
Research Service


Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.
The meeting began at 09:30.


Cyflwyniad, Ymddiheuriadau, Dirprwyon a Datgan Buddiannau Introductions, Apologies, Substitutions and Declarations of Interest


[1]          Lynne Neagle: Good morning, everyone. Can I welcome you all to the Children, Young People and Education Committee? We’ve received apologies for absence from Julie Morgan. Can I ask whether there are any declarations of interest, please? No. Can I just, then, declare an interest? My husband is currently working for the University of South Wales and his work involves some work on initial teacher education.


Ymchwiliad i Addysgu a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon:
Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 3
Inquiry into Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education:
Evidence Session 3


[2]          Lynne Neagle: We'll move on, then, to item 2, which is an evidence session with Estyn on our inquiry into teachers’ professional learning and education. Can I welcome Meilyr Rowlands, HM chief inspector, Huw Watkins, one of the inspectors, and Claire Morgan, strategic director? Thank you for coming. It's good to see you again, and thank you for your paper. If you're happy, we'll go straight into questions. Can I just start by asking you how involved Estyn have been in the ongoing reforms to continuing professional development and initial teacher education?


[3]          Mr Rowlands: Thank you very much for inviting us here, first of all. I think professional learning is a very, very important topic to discuss. It's absolutely key to improving education in Wales, especially professional learning that focuses on improving teaching, learning and leadership. It was the main message of my annual report published a little bit earlier this year.


[4]          In terms of our involvement, we've been pretty closely involved right from the beginning, as, I think, I've mentioned before in terms of ‘Successful Futures’. One of the first things that Graham Donaldson did was to request two HM inspectors to be part of his team. So, right from the beginning we've been giving advice to Welsh Government and we were very pleased with the ‘Successful Futures’ document itself because of our contribution to it. It was an independent review and we were glad that its recommendations were fully accepted.


[5]          Our role is to give advice whenever we are asked to do so, and we’ve been regularly doing that. Of course, our engagement with Welsh Government officials is much longer-standing than even that. We've regularly met with officials talking about initial teacher training and professional learning for many, many years. But, you know, our role is to give advice. We don't form policy ourselves and, you know, like everyone else, we’re waiting for the next publications from the Government: the national vision and general strategy and approach towards professional learning. I know officials are working on that. So, like everyone else, we’re looking forward to seeing that published in due course.


[6]          As I said, I did focus on professional learning in the annual report this year. So, there is a particular thematic chapter all on that. We identified some of the elements that make a good professional learning system. There is a lot of good practice in Wales. I think we have a more mature, collaborative culture in education. The regional consortia do mean that there’s greater capacity at that middle tier to enable professional learning and we've also seen the development of new standards. I'm sure all of those things we'll be discussing in more detail later on. Another thing, just to answer your question, is: we did, as you know, move from a six-year to a seven-year cycle in order to release HMI time in order to support ‘Successful Futures’ and the professional learning aspect of the new education reform.


[7]          I think what might be helpful before we go onto any other questions is just if I lay out some general context about professional learning. I think it's a particularly multilayered area of education. There’s a national level of policy and, as I said earlier, I think we do need a clear vision and strategy that ties all the huge amount of work that’s going on across Wales. We need that.


[8]          At the middle layer, of course, there’s been a big change recently. We’ve been moving from local authorities enabling much of this school improvement and professional learning to regional consortia, so that’s a big change, and that’s happening at the same time as, I think, there’s a big cultural change associated with professional learning. The move has been away from professional learning as an event, as a course. You know, you leave school, you go to a course, you listen to someone, and then you go back to school and you try to implement what you’ve heard. That was the traditional model, if you like, of professional learning, and we’ve moved now to a more experiential, collaborative vision of professional learning that involves the teacher in sharing good practice with others, more school-to-school support, and more opportunities to develop their careers within a school, as well. So, there are all those changes happening, and I think while all those changes are happening, I think we need to remember, at the school level, leaders need to create a learning culture, and I think that was one of the main messages in my annual report. That is very, very important. So, we welcome, for example, the establishment of the National Academy for Educational Leadership, because that will give an opportunity to make sure that all leaders understand their responsibility to form that learning culture within a school.


[9]          Finally and most importantly, professional learning is about the individual professional. And just in the same way as I think we’re beginning, now, to get back to realising that the most important thing in education is teaching and learning, it’s that relationship between the pupil—the learner—and the teacher. That’s where all our focus should be. All of us as learners and pupils remember those teachers that inspired us and made learning exciting for us. It’s a human thing, and I think, in the same way, as professionals and as teachers, we remember those individuals that helped us on our professional journey—the teachers, the headteachers, the line managers that actually helped us. So, I think there’s a very important thing to remember here: that the professional learning—although we have to talk about all kinds of structures, and we will, I’m sure, this morning, do that—is about people helping other people. Leadership is about developing people, and I think it’s absolutely important that we remember that.


[10]      Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you very much. You referred to the message in your annual report that teaching was the weakest aspect of education in Wales, so we’re starting this journey, if you like, from a particular base. What kind of particular challenges is that going to present for us in Wales, and how has that statement been received and responded to by the teaching profession in Wales?


[11]      Mr Rowlands: I should explain what that statement means. I was looking at the four elements of education provision that we measure in our current inspection framework. One is teaching, the other one is the curriculum—learning experiences—the other one is care, support and guidance, and the other one is to do with equality and diversity. And the softer two—care, support and guidance and equality and diversity aspects—are very strong in schools in Wales. And what I was saying was that the other two, which are learning experiences and teaching, are the weakest relatively. And of those two, teaching is slightly weaker than the curriculum side of things. How weak it is overall varies from sector to sector. So, in primary, for example, about three-quarters of the teaching is consistently good or better, while in secondary about half is good or better. 


[12]      So, I think it has been accepted well by the profession, because they understand—maybe it wasn’t depicted like this in the media—but it was intended to be a positive statement that teaching and learning is the most important element of education, and that we should focus on it. It’s not a criticism of teachers. What we’re saying is that there hasn’t been, maybe, sufficient focus on those elements over the years, and we should simplify and rationalise what our expectations are for teachers. It’s related to workload, it’s related to expectations and it’s related to professional learning. All those things should be focusing more on improving pedagogy and teaching and learning more generally.


[13]      So, we welcome, for example, the new standards. New standards are being developed, and that puts pedagogy really at the heart of those standards, but also the other elements support those strongly. So, leadership, as we were talking about, throughout the career of teachers, collaboration, professional learning and innovation.


[14]      Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you. Oscar.


[15]      Mohammad Asghar: Thank you very much, and good morning. You’ve just answered a bit of it, but in your evidence you state that there has not been enough support at a national and local level to develop leadership skills and aspiration in experienced senior leaders. Given this, can the Welsh Government curriculum reforms be successfully implemented if we lack the machinery to support ongoing professional development at the highest level in our schools?


[16]      Mr Rowlands: I agree with what you’re saying. If standards and outcomes for young people are going to improve, then the quality of teaching and learning has to improve. That means greater focus on professional learning and on teaching and learning. And the people who organise all of that are the leaders, and therefore it’s important that the leaders have the skills to enable them to focus on the most important elements of education. Therefore, they also need professional learning. And as I say, that’s why we’ve consistently called for there to be the establishment of a national academy for educational leadership. So, we’re looking forward to seeing that develop. I’m on the shadow board in an observer capacity. That is a major building block, I think, that was missing from the education system in Wales, so I think that is to be welcomed. 


[17]      Mohammad Asghar: Thank you.


[18]      Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you. You’ve set out 10 sets of important questions that schools need to answer in order to improve their professional development. Can you just tell us how you think that’s going, and whether we’re on target to address that?


[19]      Mr Rowlands: Maybe one of my colleagues can go into this in a little bit more detail, but the purpose of that was to crystallise what we were saying in the annual report, and the intention was that those 10 questions could be used for self-evaluation by leaders, by headteachers, by governors in every school to see where they are at in terms of professional learning.




[20]      Ms Morgan: I think it’s really important that, when schools are starting that improvement journey, when they’re focusing on developing their staff, that they know where they are currently. Those 10 questions are guidance for schools on self-evaluating that culture within the school. How confident are they that they’re creating the right vision to develop their teachers in the schools? Whether they have a culture in the schools that is open, engaging, that encourages innovation, encouraging staff to take risks, to do things differently, but also that they encourage their staff to engage with research and also engage in research, looking at things like the intelligent use of data. So, it’s encouraging staff to continually develop professionally, and we hope that those 10 questions actually give clear guidance on how schools can approach this. This is valuing teachers and their input into developing learning experiences and, in turn, improving the learning experiences for pupils in classrooms. So, we hope that this will give some very clear guidance, particularly to schools that are struggling with this area, and that it helps them to look at the right aspects. So, that’s how we’re planning for them to be used.


[21]      Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you. And when we had the teaching unions in to give evidence, they identified, I think, two key barriers to this agenda proceeding. The one was workload pressures and the other one was funding. What are your comments on those two areas, and is enough being done to address that at Welsh Government level?


[22]      Mr Rowlands: I think the point about workload is well made. We were putting it in a slightly different way, but it boils down to the same thing. What we were saying was that there needs to be more focus on teaching and learning. Well, that means that there needs to be less focus on some of the other things, which are unnecessary admin, bureaucracy—whatever you want to call it. I think everyone has to look at themselves in the mirror in terms of this, in all elements of the education system. What can we do to free up time for teachers? There’s no doubt that teachers enjoy the direct work with pupils, but what they tell me is that they’re not enjoying all the other unnecessary bits.


[23]      So, we do need to work together on simplifying that, and we do accept our own responsibility in Estyn on this. As you know, we’re having a new inspection framework this September, which is rationalised and simplified. There are only five inspection areas now—only five judgments where there were previously 15—concentrating on the really important elements of education. We’ve also got a myth-busting campaign, trying to explain to schools and leaders what we do actually expect. We don’t expect all this bureaucracy, and we need, I think, to have clearer communication with teachers about that—not only ourselves, but also, I think, Welsh Government. We’re already working with Welsh Government and with the regional consortia to try and get that message across. Shortly after Easter, Estyn will be having a myth-busting campaign on marking, for example.


[24]      So, I think that is certainly one of the barriers. We identified in the annual report, actually, a number of barriers that prevent successful learning. It’s difficult to say about the finance side of it, because there’s a huge amount of money going into professional learning. Now, what I think we don’t have is detailed evaluation of the effectiveness. This is a theme that we’ve mentioned in this committee before—that it’s difficult to say whether there’s enough money for something if you haven’t evaluated it already, and that’s a general theme, I think, in this professional learning area—in terms of money, but in terms of quality as well. There’s a huge variety, and it’s a positive thing that there are so many things happening all over Wales, but it would be better if those were evaluated so that we knew which ones were offering the best value for money.


[25]      As I say, there is a section in the annual report about other barriers to successful professional learning. I don’t know if you want me to go through that with you.


[26]      Lynne Neagle: I suppose, maybe, just touch on them briefly, if that’s okay.


[27]      Mr Rowlands: Well, it is that issue about whether teachers have enough time. Are professional learning opportunities evaluated? Also, how integrated is performance management into the professional learning system? I think there’s a lot to be done with that—that professional learning opportunities need to be identified in the performance management process. That process should be a constructive one. It should be an opportunity for leaders to understand what the needs of that individual teacher and professional actually are, and they then, together, can work out what the actual needs of the individual are and how they can be met. Now, they can be met in all kinds of different ways—formal courses, but also observing other teachers in other schools or within the same school, or a development opportunity. They can step up to a management role, they can take charge of a particular initiative within the school. So, all those are opportunities, and they have to be discussed in performance management to see what the best route is for that individual teacher.


[28]      We also identify that, sometimes, the strategies and initiatives have been implemented superficially. So, a school might say, ‘This other school is doing that; we just do that’ without really understanding. You can’t do that. So, I think that is something we have to tackle. I think we said quite a lot about the more effective use of data and using ICT effectively, as well, as part of a more general approach to innovation. It’s not surprising, I guess, but use of data and use of ICT seem to be a catalyst for better professional learning.


[29]      Ms Morgan: We’ve certainly made progress on professional learning, but I think, in order to make further progress, to take the next steps, we do need to get evaluation right. We’ve said it previously, and Meilyr’s said it this morning, but there is a variety of professional learning activity going on in regional consortia, and what we need to do more of is measuring the impact so that we actually can make those informed choices on what strategies work, that improve professional practice and improve the pupil experience in the classroom. So, that’s where we need to focus on next.


[30]      Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Darren—


[31]      Mr Watkins: Can I just add a little bit to that?


[32]      Lynne Neagle: Oh, sorry.


[33]      Mr Watkins: In terms of schools themselves, there has been a tendency to try and do everything at once. If self-evaluation is successful, if that’s rigorous enough in schools, then they will identify for themselves—teachers will identify for themselves—what exactly needs to be improved, and what they need in terms of their own professional development in order to target that. So, there’s a link, then, between priorities in their school development plan and performance management, so they can rationalise that.


[34]      Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Darren.


[35]      Darren Millar: I just wanted to follow up on this issue of funding for professional development, because it’s very clear from previous evidence sessions and some of the written evidence that we’ve received that this is perceived to be a big barrier, particularly in terms of the cost of covering supply if someone has to be out of the classroom for their professional development. I wondered to what extent you have seen whether that is a factor in the different schools that you’ve inspected over the past 12 months, in terms of teachers being able to access CPD opportunities.


[36]      Mr Rowlands: Well, we’ve written two reports on the whole issue of supply and cover, as you know, and it’s quite a complex issue in itself. I don’t think we’ve done enough detailed analysis of the financial situation. My gut feeling is that there is a lot of professional learning happening. So, if we improve the quality of that—and not so much the quality of individual experiences, but the coherence of that—then you’d get much more bangs for your buck. I’m not sure I can say one way or the other that we’ve got enough money.


[37]      Darren Millar: So, if we’re talking about quality and value for money, are there kite marks for different CPD courses that people go on? Who monitors the quality of the course? Is there any monitoring that takes place?


[38]      Mr Watkins: It’s not so much the quality, but the purposefulness of it, and how purposeful it is in that context.


[39]      Darren Millar: Individual school. Right, I see.


[40]      Mr Rowlands: Yes, as I was saying earlier, there’s a big change of culture happening now and it’s not so much going on a course that is the core of professional learning anymore, but it’s professional development in a wider sense. So, the best way you can actually develop as a teacher is to actually run an initiative yourself, for example, and be in charge of one of the strategic objectives of the school. That sort of opportunity is the way you will develop. But I think there hasn’t been enough evaluation of the effectiveness of these different strategies, no doubt.


[41]      Darren Millar: And, so, the 10 questions will help sharpen people’s focus on the areas that they might need some development in, but then, in terms of procuring the right quality of professional development opportunities for the staff within the school, that’s something that, it seems to me, is more difficult, actually, particularly if evaluations haven’t been done of the outcomes at the other end of those CPD opportunities. That’s why I’m just asking you whether that is something that ought to be monitored, perhaps, in some way, and, if it should be, by whom?


[42]      Mr Rowlands: Yes, I think—


[43]      Darren Millar: Do you witness CPD opportunities, for example, as Estyn? I mean, I know it’s not directly, I suppose, within your remit.


[44]      Mr Rowlands: Yes, we have, and, in the past, we’ve done thematic reports specifically on it. Sorry to come back to the same thing, but the culture has shifted quite significantly and there is much less of that traditional sort of CPD. There’s still room for that; in certain contexts, that’s a perfectly acceptable way of providing professional development, and they do need to be evaluated, and, quite often, there is an evaluation. Schools complete feedback questionnaires and those sorts of things, but what you don’t really have is—. Regional consortia are quite new organisations and they are currently doing a lot of enabling different types of professional learning, but there isn’t a systematic evaluation of those, one against the other. There probably is a bit of questionnaires and that sort of this happening, but it’s not being put together in a consistent way so that you can say, ‘Well, this is much more effective than that.’




[45]      Darren Millar: Okay, thanks.


[46]      Lynne Neagle: Thank you. John.


[47]      John Griffiths: Moving on to initial teacher education, and ensuring that teachers have the necessary skills to be teachers of the quality required after their training, are you confident that the new accreditation criteria and new professional standards will ensure they are equipped with those necessary skills?


[48]      Mr Rowlands: Well, I think there was general agreement that initial teacher training needed to be changed substantially. I think the new accreditation criteria and the new standards are a necessary but not sufficient reason for improvement. I think what we have to have, of course, is good or excellent providers. We have to have colleges and universities that have the will to improve, and I think universities do need to have initial teacher training as a priority for them. I think it fits in very well with the kind of social commitment of universities—developing teachers I think should fit into that wider vision, but we need to see that commitment from universities. I think that community commitment is particularly relevant to, I think, the most important element of improving initial teacher education, which is better working between the universities and schools. I think that, to me, is the core of improving initial teacher training. It’s there in the criteria, and it’s there in John Furlong’s report, and I know you’re talking to John this afternoon. It’s absolutely essential that schools are fully involved in the design and the planning of courses, and in the delivery of courses, the evaluation of courses and the management of courses. So, they need to be full partners, and the reason I say that is that the universities and the schools need to be fully involved in that, so that the universities don’t lose touch with the reality of what’s happening in schools, and also schools understand the challenges and the advantages of working with universities, and research is an obvious part of that.


[49]      John Griffiths: So, are we seeing that necessary change within universities then? Are they moving to that new approach?


[50]      Mr Rowlands: Well, it’s a bit early. I haven’t personally seen any submissions yet—I can’t remember the timescale. But the new courses will be starting in 2019, so we’ve currently got three providers and I think those three providers will probably want to be providers in future, but other providers will want to offer their services as well. They will have to move in that direction, I think, to be successful in the accreditation process.


[51]      John Griffiths: Okay. Could I ask you as well about the current teacher training mentoring scheme and, prior to 2019, your view as to how that might be improved?


[52]      Mr Rowlands: We’re currently, of course, monitoring the progress being made by the three current providers. We inspected them, and we visit them on a regular basis to see whether they’re addressing the recommendations we left with them. We have seen improvements. Is there anything in particular you wanted to see? The mentoring, is it?


[53]      John Griffiths: Yes, the mentoring, particularly. Do you have a view as to how improvements should be best taken forward?


[54]      Mr Rowlands: Well, in broad terms, we want to see that closer relationship between schools and the universities. Only then will mentors—if they feel they’re fully part of the course—. What we see at the moment is quite a large variability between mentors. We’ve got really excellent mentors, but others don’t see it as a major part of their role, and they don’t do it as well. I don’t know if we’ve got anything to add to that.


[55]      Ms Morgan: Meilyr’s right, there’s quite a lot of variability. We are dependent on the quality of the partnership between the universities and the schools. Sometimes we find trainees are in schools where there isn’t a strong culture within the school of professional learning. So, sometimes the mentoring, then, can be quite weak, as it is for current teachers. So, we need, through the newer accreditation procedures, to identify schools where there is a strong culture within the school of mentoring and nurturing of potential. Then we can ensure that our trainee teachers are getting the best possible opportunity to develop those skills early in their career. So, that relationship between the universities and the schools is crucial. We need to get that right. We’ve got high expectations, in the accreditation criteria, of the role of universities and of the role of our schools. Our best schools need to be involved in nurturing the future generation of teachers.


[56]      John Griffiths: Could I ask you as well, in terms of your own organisational resources, whether you feel they’re sufficient to inspect the new partnerships in a timely and effective manner?


[57]      Mr Rowlands: Well, we’ve not had any problems doing that in the past, but you’re right to highlight, I think, the fact that the new accreditation arrangements will demand more of Estyn. There are likely to be more providers; we’re likely to need to inspect them more often. We’ll need to provide more evidence to the accreditation board itself. So, there will be more demands on Estyn. I am worried about future financial settlements with Estyn. We know that we have difficult budgetary decisions to make going forward. I don’t know what Estyn’s budget will be going forward, but it is a concern. I can’t say—I can’t answer. We can currently—. If we were to have major cuts in future, it would be difficult.


[58]      John Griffiths: So, do you make an assessment of those factors and present a case, as it were, to the Government?


[59]      Mr Rowlands: Absolutely. Yes.


[60]      John Griffiths: Okay. Could I ask you, finally from me, in terms of initial teacher education: do you think teaching should be a Master’s level profession?


[61]      Mr Rowlands: Yes, I think that is a good thing to aim for. I think it’s a noble aspiration. I think there’s general sort of international support for making it a Master’s profession. How we get there is more difficult. We saw a bit of a problem with the Masters in educational practice, for example. That floundered, I guess, on the fact that it’s very demanding on teachers early in their career to do extra academic work on top of learning their craft. So, it’s probably better to ensure that all teachers have the opportunity and entitlement to do Master’s work at some point during their career that suits them when they’re ready for it and they can take advantage of it without it being an unreasonable burden. Another possibility, of course, is to have elements of it, at least, or maybe a full Master’s, as part of initial teacher training, but that would probably mean that the initial teacher courses would need to be quite substantially longer—the undergraduate course would need to be four years and the postgraduate certificate of education would need to be two years. That’s another option, I guess.


[62]      John Griffiths: Okay.


[63]      Lynne Neagle: Llyr.


[64]      Llyr Gruffydd: Rŷch chi’n dweud bod recriwtio ymgeiswyr o ansawdd uchel i ddysgu yng Nghymru yn her. Pam ydych chi’n meddwl ei fod yn her? A yw hi’n fwy o her yng Nghrymu nag yn unrhyw le arall?


Llyr Gruffydd: You say that recruiting high-quality candidates in Wales is a challenge. Why is that? Is it more of a challenge in Wales than it is anywhere else?

[65]      Mr Rowlands: Wel, mae’n amrywio o wlad i wlad, wrth gwrs, onid yw e? Yn Iwerddon, er enghraifft, mae yna lawer mwy o hyfforddeion yn ymgeisio am swyddi athrawon nag sydd yng Nghymru. Mae statws y proffesiwn yn wahanol mewn gwahanol wledydd ar hyd y byd i gyd. Felly, mae angen codi statws y proffesiwn yng Nghymru, rwy’n meddwl. Rhan o hynny fyddai lleihau’r baich gwaith ar athrawon. Fel roeddwn yn ei ddweud, y profiad sydd gen i, a’n profiad i gyd, rwy’n siŵr, ydy bod athrawon wrth eu boddau gyda’r gwaith o addysgu plant ar lawr y dosbarth, ond mae yna lot o elfennau o’r gwaith nad ydynt yn eu mwynhau cymaint.


Mr Rowlands: Well, it varies from nation to nation, of course, doesn’t it? In Ireland, for example, there are many more trainees applying for teaching posts than there are in Wales. The status of the profession is different in different nations globally. So, we do need to raise the status of the profession in Wales, I think. Part of that would be to reduce the workload on teachers. As I said, my experience, and the experience of all of us, I'm sure, is that teachers love the work of teaching children in the classroom, but there are many elements of the work that they don’t enjoy as much.

[66]      Mae yna dystiolaeth, a dweud y gwir, gan yr OECD, o ran hyn ar draws y byd, fod athrawon yng Nghymru yn gweithio yn llawer mwy caled a mwy o oriau nag y mae athrawon mewn gwledydd eraill. Nid oes digon o gyfleon ar gyfer datblygiad proffesiynol, er enghraifft. Felly, mi fyddai lleihau’r fiwrocratiaeth a rhoi mwy o gyfleon a mwy o amser ar gyfer hyfforddiant yn gwneud y proffesiwn yn fwy atyniadol.


There is evidence, truth be told, from the OECD, with regard to this issue worldwide, that teachers in Wales work much harder and longer hours than teachers in other nations. There are insufficient opportunities for CPD, for example. So, reducing the bureaucracy and giving greater opportunities and more time for training would make the profession more attractive.

[67]      Llyr Gruffydd: Ond mae lleihau biwrocratiaeth wedi bod yn gŵyn ers degawdau, efallai, fuaswn i’n ei ddweud—mae’n thema gyffredin ers blynyddoedd mawr, onid yw hi? Hynny yw, pe buasai modd i’w wneud e’n weddol hawdd, byddai wedi digwydd cyn hyn, does bosib. A ydych chi’n rhoi gormod o bwyslais ar y broses sydd yn mynd rhagddi ar hyn o bryd, fel yr achubiaeth fawr, neu a oes mwy iddo fe na hynny?


Llyr Gruffydd: But reducing bureaucracy has been a complaint for many decades, I would say—it’s a very common theme for many years, isn’t it? If it were easy to do it, I think it would have happened before now, don’t you? Are you putting too much emphasis on the process that is taking place at the moment in saving their profession or is there something else we can do?

[68]      Mr Rowlands: Nid wy’n credu, efallai, ein bod ni wedi cymryd y peth o ddifri. Rwyt ti’n iawn fod siarad am hyn wedi bod ers blynyddoedd, ond nid wyf yn gwybod i ba raddau mae wedi bod yn rhywbeth rŷm ni wedi’i gymryd yn hollol o ddifri. Mae eisiau, rwy’n credu, symud ymlaen, a’i gymryd o ddifri. Mae’n rhaid inni edrych ar bob blaengaredd newydd ac edrych ar beth yw goblygiadau hynny o ran llwyth gwaith athrawon. Mae’n rhaid inni wneud hynny yn systematig efo bob peth newydd, ac mae’n rhaid inni ei wneud e o ddifri, rwy’n credu. Nid wyf yn credu ein bod ni wedi ei wneud e o ddifri yn y gorffennol.


Mr Rowlands: I don’t think that we have perhaps taken this issue seriously. You’re right that there has been discussion about this for years, but I don’t know to what extent it’s been something that we have taken seriously. I think that we do need to move forward and take it seriously. We need to look at every new initiative and see what the implications of that are with regard to the workload of teachers. We need to do that systematically with every new initiative and we need to take it seriously when we do it. I don’t think that we have taken it seriously in the past.

[69]      Llyr Gruffydd: Ac a fuasai datrys yr issue yna hefyd yr un pryd yn help, nid yn unig i ddenu athrawon newydd, ond i gadw athrawon, neu fwy o athrawon, yn y system, achos mae yna niferoedd yn gadael onid oes?


Llyr Gruffydd: And would solving that issue also, at the same time, be a help to not only attract new teachers, but also to retain more teachers in the system, because many are leaving, aren’t they?

[70]      Mr Rowlands: Yn sicr.


Mr Rowlands: Certainly.

[71]      Llyr Gruffydd: Yr un broblem yw hi yn ei hanfod, rŷch chi’n meddwl?


Llyr Gruffydd: It’s the same problem essentially, don’t you think?

[72]      Mr Rowlands: Byddwn i’n meddwl.


Mr Rowlands: I would think so, yes.

[73]      Mr Watkins: Beth sydd ddim gan athrawon yw’r amser i feddwl. Maen nhw am wneud popeth yr un pryd: maen nhw am lwyddo a gwneud y gorau dros y plant, ond nid oes amser gyda nhw i feddwl. Pe buasai mwy o amser i feddwl yn eu hwythnos gwaith nhw, rwy’n siŵr y byddem ni’n gweld gwelliant mawr.


Mr Watkins: What teachers don’t have is time to think. They want to do everything at the same time: they want to succeed and they want to do the best for the pupils, but they don’t have time to think. If there were more thinking time in their working week, I’m sure we would see a big improvement.

[74]      Llyr Gruffydd: Ocê. Mae olyniaeth hefyd yn thema yn y dystiolaeth rŷch chi wedi’i chyflwyno i ni. Beth ydych chi’n meddwl y gellid ei wneud i wella cynllunio ar gyfer olyniaeth, a hefyd pam nad yw e’n digwydd yn amlach ar hyn o bryd?


Llyr Gruffydd: Okay. Succession is also a theme in the evidence that you have presented to us. What do you think could be done to improve succession planning and also why doesn’t it happen more often now?



[75]      Mr Rowlands: Rwy’n credu bod eisiau newid mewn diwylliant yn hyn o beth. Rwy’n credu ei bod yn bwysig bod arweinyddion yn ei weld e fel—. Eu prif rôl nhw yw datblygu talent a datblygu’r bobl y maen nhw yn eu rheoli. Roedd Huw yn awdur ar un o’n hadroddiadau thematig am hyn a gall e efallai roi mwy o enghreifftiau i chi mewn munud. Ond rwy’n credu ei bod hollol hanfodol bod arweinyddion yn edrych ar eu gwaith nhw fel datblygu y staff sy’n gweithio yn eu hysgol nhw. Ac mae hynny’n golygu adnabod talent, hyd yn oed pobl yn gynnar yn eu swydd, rhoi cyfleon iddyn nhw i ddangos eu gallu, fel roeddwn i’n dweud, i arwain, mewn blaengareddau—os oes salwch, er enghraifft, bod nhw’n gallu symud i fewn i swydd uwch na’u swydd presennol, fel eu bod nhw yn gallu cael y profiad o wneud gwaith rheolaethol dros dro. Mae yna nifer o gyfleon felly, ac mae’n rhaid i chi edrych ar ddatblygu pob unigolyn yn y ffordd yna, ac mae hynny yn rhoi pob math o gryfderau i chi wedyn fel sefydliad. Mae e’n golygu os ŷch chi, er enghraifft, mas ar ryw gwrs, neu yn helpu ysgol arall, rydych chi yn hyderus bod y gallu rheolaethol yn bodoli yn eich ysgol chi. Felly, newid diwylliant yw e, yn y bôn, rydw i’n meddwl, bod prifathrawon, bod rheolwyr ysgolion, yn edrych ar hynny fel rhywbeth hollol greiddiol i’w gwaith nhw.


Mr Rowlands: I think that there needs to be a change in culture in this regard. I think it’s important that heads do see it as their main role, namely to develop talent and develop the people who they manage. Huw was the author of one of our thematic reports on this issue and perhaps he can give you more examples in a minute. But I think it is vital that heads look at their work as developing the staff that work in their schools. And that means that they should recognise talent, identify talent early in posts, and give opportunities to their staff to show their ability, as I said, to lead, to innovate—if there is illness, for example, that they can then move into a higher post than their current post, so that they can have the experience of doing management work on an interim basis. There are a number of opportunities like that, and you do have to look at developing every individual in that way, and that allows you to develop all sorts of strengths as an institution. It means that if you are, for example, out on some course, or if you’re helping another school, then you’ll be confident that the management capacity exists in your school. So, it’s a change of culture at heart, I think, so that headteachers and school leaders can look at that as something that is at the heart of their work.

[76]      A dyna pam rydw i’n hoffi’r safonau newydd, achos mae e’n lot mwy clir yn y rheini nag yw e wedi bod yn y gorffennol. Nid ydw i’n gwybod os oes gan—


And that’s why I like these new standards, because it’s much clearer in those standards than it has been in the past. I don’t know whether colleagues have anything to add.

[77]      Mr Watkins: Ar gefn beth a ddywedodd Meilyr, mae e’n hynod, hynod greiddiol bod arweinwyr yn adnabod potensial unigolion yn gynnar, ond adnabod potensial arwain unigolion yn gynnar hefyd, a rhoi’r cyfle iddyn nhw i ddangos bod y medrau yna gyda nhw, ac wedyn sicrhau bod y medrau yna yn cael eu datblygu wrth bod gyrfa’r bobl yma yn mynd yn ei flaen. Mae un enghraifft gyda fi—daethom ni o hyd i’r enghraifft yma pan wnaethom ni’r gwaith ymchwil. Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, er enghraifft—mae arweinwyr fan yna yn adnabod medrau neu botensial arwain eu staff yn gynnar iawn, ac yn rhoi’r cyfleoedd iddyn nhw, a phan fo cyfle’n dod, mae rhywun gyda nhw, yn enwedig drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Felly, mae’n cael ei wneud yn yr ysgolion gorau. Mae e’n benodol ac yn gweithio. Lle nad yw arweinyddiaeth mor gryf efallai, nid yw hynny wastad yn digwydd.


Mr Watkins: Following what Meilyr said, it’s extremely integral that leaders do identify the potential of individuals at an early stage, but Identify leadership potential early as well, and give them an opportunity to show that they have those skills, and then ensure that those skills are developed as that person’s career develops. One example I have—we found this example when we did the research work. Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, for example—leaders there do identify the leadership potential of their staff very early on, and they give them those opportunities, and, when an opportunity does arise, they have someone ready there, especially through the medium of Welsh. So, it’s done in the best schools. It’s done in a focused way and it works. Perhaps where leadership isn’t so strong, it’s doesn’t always happen.

[78]      Llyr Gruffydd: A oes yna elfen hefyd o scale? Hynny yw, os ŷch chi mewn ysgol wledig, gydag efallai dau aelod llawn amser o staff, nid yw gweithredu’r diwylliant yna—gofyn ydw i—mor hawdd.


Llyr Gruffydd: Is there also an element of scale here? If you are in a rural school, with maybe two full-time staff members, operating that particular culture—I’m asking the question here—may not be as easy.

[79]      Mr Watkins: Wel, mae dwy ochr i hynny hefyd. Mewn ysgolion bach, maen nhw’n cael mwy o gyfle i gymryd y diddordeb, onid ydyn nhw? Rwy’n derbyn y ffaith efallai bod nhw’n glanio yn y swydd, ac nid yw’n ddyhead gyda nhw i arwain, ond mae dwy ochr iddi.


Mr Watkins: Well, there are two sides to that. In small schools, they have more opportunity to take an interest, don’t they? I do accept the fact that maybe they do land in the post, and perhaps it’s not their ambition to lead, but it is a two-sided thing.

[80]      Llyr Gruffydd: Ie, mae dwy ochr i’r geiniog, oes. Ocê. A gaf i jest ofyn yn fyr hefyd: mae yna gyfeiriadau yn y dystiolaeth ynglŷn â’r angen i gynyddu’r nifer o athrawon arbenigol Cymraeg yng Nghymru. Hynny yw, mae prinder ohonyn nhw ar hyn o bryd. Pam mae prinder, efallai, a beth rŷch chi’n meddwl allwn ni ei wneud i ddatrys y broblem yma, yn enwedig yng ngoleuni dyhead y Llywodraeth i greu hanner miliwn ychwanegol o siaradwyr Cymraeg?


Llyr Gruffydd: Yes, there are two sides to the coin. Okay. Can I just ask also: there are references in the evidence to the need to increase the number of Welsh language subject specialists in Wales. There is a shortage at the moment. Why is there a shortage, and what do you think we can do to solve that problem, especially in light of the Government’s ambition to create half a million additional Welsh speakers?

[81]      Mr Rowlands: Wel, mae hwn yn fater cymhleth ac eang iawn, ac, i ddweud y gwir, gwnaethom ni rhoi tystiolaeth i’r Pwyllgor y Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu am hyn, felly mae e’n sesiwn cyfan jest i drafod hynny. Mae angen gwneud yr holl bethau eraill rydym ni wedi sôn amdano, ac mae hynny yn berthnasol i athrawon Cymraeg a’r rheini sy’n dysgu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Rwy’n credu bod yna bosibiliadau o fewn hyfforddiant cychwynnol athrawon yn enwedig. Rwy’n credu bod eisiau cryfhau y ddarpariaeth yn fanna o ran gloywi iaith i ddechrau, o ran y rheini sy’n dysgu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, ond hefyd o ran rheini sy’n mynd i ddysgu Cymraeg ail-iaith, yn enwedig mewn ysgolion cynradd. Mae eisiau rhoi lot fwy o hyfforddiant fel rhan o’r cyrsiau hyfforddiant cychwynnol athrawon, ac mi fydd hynny’n help.


Mr Rowlands: Well, this is a complex and very wide-ranging matter, and we gave evidence to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee on this, so it’s a whole session just to discuss that, if truth be told. We do need to do all of this other work that we’ve mentioned, and this is all relevant to Welsh-medium teachers and those who teach through the medium of Welsh. I think that there are opportunities within initial teacher training particularly. I think that we need to strengthen the provision in that area with regard to improving language skills initially, in terms of those who teach through the medium of Welsh, but also in terms of those who are going to teach Welsh as a second language, especially in primary schools. We need to provide much greater training as part of those initial teacher training courses, and that would help.


[82]      Llyr Gruffydd: Ocê. Ond, hynny yw, nid yw cynllunio’r gweithlu Cymraeg eu hiaith beth a ddylai fe fod wedi bod, byddwn i’n tybio. A oes yna ddarllen ar draws o’r cynlluniau strategol Cymraeg fesul sir i adnabod twf rhagweledig a wedyn faint o athrawon a fydd eu heisiau i gyfateb i hynny ac erbyn pryd? A ydy hynny’n digwydd o gwbl?

Llyr Gruffydd: Okay. But, of course, planning for the Welsh-speaking workforce in the education sector is not perhaps what it should have been. Is there read across from the Welsh in education strategic plans that the counties are drawing up to look at potential growth and how many teachers we will need, by when? Is that happening?


[83]      Mr Rowlands: Ddim yn ddigon da. Rydym ni wedi gwneud beirniadaeth o’r cynlluniau strategol hynny ac wedi gwneud adroddiad cyfan ar hynny. Rwy’n falch erbyn hyn bod hynny wedi cael ei dderbyn yn eang. Ond mae’n rhyw fath o gylch dieflig, onid yw e? Os nad ydych chi’n cael digon o athrawon, nid yw safon yr addysgu yn ddigon da yn yr ysgolion, felly nid yw’r plant yn dewis gwneud Cymraeg fel pwnc neu nid ydynt yn dewis mynd ymlaen i wneud safon A, ac wedyn nid ydynt yn mynd i’r brifysgol ac wedyn mae llai o athrawon. Felly mae’n rhaid torri i mewn i’r cylch yna yn rhywle, ac rwy’n credu efallai mai’r lle i wneud hynny hawsaf yw yn hyfforddiant cychwynnol athrawon. Achos mae cyfle nawr; mae’n cael ei chwyldroi ar hyn o bryd ac mae’n gyfle, ac mae’n synhwyrol i wneud e. Mae’n lot rhatach hefyd, i ddweud y gwir, i roi’r hyfforddiant i fyfyrwyr nag yw e, er enghraifft, gyda rhywbeth fel y cwrs sabothol. Mae eisiau ehangu ar y cwrs sabothol yn ogystal, ond mae hwnnw’n opsiwn mwy drud.


Mr Rowlands: Well, it’s not happening well enough. We’ve put forward our views on those strategic plans. We’ve put together a whole report on that and I’m pleased that by now that has been accepted on a very wide-ranging basis. But it is a vicious circle, isn’t it? If you don’t have enough teachers, then the quality of the teaching isn’t good enough in schools, and so the children don’t choose to study Welsh as a language or they don’t choose to go on to study Welsh as A-level, and then they don’t go on to university and so on, and there are fewer teachers. So, you do have to break that vicious circle somewhere, and I think that that could be done, and the best place to do it is via initial teacher training. Because there is an opportunity now; it is being revolutionised at present and it is sensible to do it then. It’s much cheaper as well to give that training to students than it is, for example, via the sabbatical course. We do need to expand the sabbatical course as well, but that is a more expensive option.


[84]      Mr Watkins: A sicrhau, hefyd, y bydd pwyslais arno fe yn y safonau proffesiynol.


Mr Watkins: And also, of course, we should ensure that there’s an emphasis placed on this in the professional standards.


[85]      Mr Rowlands: A hefyd o ran y gwaith y mae’r academi arweinyddiaeth yn ei wneud, achos yn sicr mae’n fwy llwyddiannus mewn ysgolion ble mae arweinyddiaeth gref o ran y Gymraeg.


Mr Rowlands: And also in relation to the work that the leadership academy does, because certainly it's more successful in schools where there is strong leadership in relation to the Welsh language.


[86]      Llyr Gruffydd: Diolch.


Llyr Gruffydd: Thank you.

[87]      Lynne Neagle: I’ve got Michelle next.


[88]      Michelle Brown: Thank you, Chair. You’ve noted that only about two thirds of postgraduates entering initial teacher education have a good degree. Can you explain the reasons, in your opinion, why that is?


[89]      Mr Rowlands: I’m not quite sure, to be perfectly honest. It’s a little bit lower than it is in England. There have been efforts to improve those qualification levels. It’s one of the things we look at when we inspect providers. So, there’s pressure on providers to improve that, because we’re looking at it as part of the inspection. In terms of GCSEs, that’s been increased to a B at GCSE, but some people have argued that that is counter-productive, because people who could be good teachers and have only got C grades in their GCSEs haven’t got through. So, it’s quite a difficult issue. I think it is related, though, to what we were talking about earlier, about making teaching a much more attractive proposition. I’m not an expert on systems across the world, but I’m fairly familiar with Ireland, and it’s a very cut-throat competition to get into initial teacher training in Ireland. That’s why you see quite a few Irish people come to Wales to do initial teacher training.


[90]      Lynne Neagle: Thank you.


[91]      John Griffiths: Could I, Chair—? I know we haven’t got much time, but I’m interested in schools serving more deprived areas and the particular challenges they face. Arguably, they need top-quality leadership, top-quality teachers, a top-quality workforce, more than other schools. But there’s a perception, at least, that sometimes it’s more difficult to get that quality into those schools. Is that a picture that Estyn recognises, and, if so, what work is Estyn doing to address those problems?


[92]      Mr Rowlands: I think, you know, we’ve done a lot of reports on deprivation, and I think one thing I can say quickly is that there’s a huge variety. So, you do have, as you know, very, very successful schools in deprived areas. They can manage to recruit teachers, and one of the things they do, of course, is they train those teachers in their own ways of doing things, and they become really excellent teachers, and maybe, if they’d gone to another school, they wouldn’t be as successful. So, I think it really does go down to leadership, because that is the distinguishing feature of those excellent schools in deprived areas. They’ve got really strong leadership teams, and then they mould the teachers that they have into a really strong team. So, I think the key there is going back to leadership and leadership training, making sure that that excellent practice is shared.


[93]      John Griffiths: Could there be any incentives available to attract top-quality leadership to schools serving the more deprived areas?


[94]      Darren Millar: There was Teach First, was there not? Sorry, Chair.


[95]      Mr Rowlands: Well, that’s about teachers, not leaders. I’m not sure how you would do that. I know governors have a certain flexibility in the levels that they set salaries anyway. I think you need to be committed to the school and the type of catchments you’re going to, anyway.


[96]      Mr Watkins: But I think it’s fair to say, as well, that all schools have got their own challenges. The challenges may be different, but they are challenges.


[97]      Lynne Neagle: Okay. Thank you very much. Thank you for coming this morning and for answering all our questions. You will receive a transcript to check for accuracy in due course. But thank you, again, for your time. And the committee will break until 10:35.


[98]      Mr Rowlands: Thank you very much.


Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:26 a 10:35.
The meeting adjourned between 10:26 and 10:35.


Ymchwiliad i Addysgu a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon:
Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 4
Inquiry into Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education:
Evidence Session 4


[99]      Lynne Neagle: Okay. Welcome back, everybody. Item 3 is a further evidence session with the Education Workforce Council. I’m very pleased to welcome Hayden Llewellyn, chief executive, and Angela Jardine, who is chair of the council. Thank you, both, for coming and thank you for the paper that you provided to the committee in advance. If you’re happy, we’ll go straight into questions. Thank you. Darren.


[100]   Darren Millar: Thank you, Chair. Thank you very much for the written evidence. One of the things that has been brought to our attention from the evidence that we’ve received so far is, obviously, that there’s quite a lot of variability in terms of access to CPD. There are some barriers that are very often in place, and that also there’s variability in the quality of CPD and that no-one really monitors it. You draw our attention to this as well in the evidence. Can you tell us how you think that those issues might be addressed?


[101]   Mr Llewellyn: Okay. Firstly, we think, in terms of professional development, it needs to be seen as part of a bigger picture. Sometimes, people tend to focus just on CPD as maybe being a silver bullet and we think our view is consistent with what you’ll read in HR literature and what you’ll see from other professions, in that, in any profession, what you really want to try and achieve is, firstly, to recruit the best people, then when you’ve recruited them, ideally you want to ensure there are decent pay, terms and conditions in place. Then, you’re looking to train and support those people the best you can, so that you retain them and they proceed in the profession. We see professional learning as really being an expectation, but also an entitlement at three different levels—the individual level, the employer level, but also the national level. And we also think professional learning is informal and formal.


[102]   So, that’s what we see in terms of a bigger picture. In that regard, under our previous name—the General Teaching Council for Wales—we actually provided advice to the Welsh Government over a three-year period between 2005 and 2008, and that advice was developed with a lot of work with practitioners. It was for the teaching profession at the time, but we identified a number of matters of concern really, issues in terms of access, availability, consistency and also quality. Rolling the clock forward now, 10 years forward, some of those things have got better, some of them have got worse. Some of them are still the same. So that is the picture that we see for teaching.


[103]   I think it’s no secret as well that registration with EWC has now been extended to a number of other groups in the workforce, so when you consider the other groups as well, some of the issues you see for teaching are really exacerbated for support staff, for the youth service and so on. So, we wanted to give the committee that broader context because that’s the way we see it.


[104]   In terms of just responding to a few of the specifics you raised there, just some examples in respect of the teaching profession. Around 90 per cent of the teaching profession are not in their early years—so, induction or seeking a first substantive job—and they’re not at the national professional qualification for headship or headship level; they’re in the middle of their careers, and 90 per cent of the profession are there. But yet in Wales, we have no national, quality-assured programmes for those people. Too much is really left to chance in terms of the school that they’re in, the headteacher that they have, the local authority that they work within and the consortia provision. So, we see quite a lot of gaps and inconsistencies and, really, accidents of geography for the teaching profession. Let’s say, if you look at support staff there, that’s magnified tenfold because really, there’s nothing in place at all. 


[105]   Darren Millar: Can I just focus and home in on this issue of the quality of CPD for a moment? I was struck by the fact that you’ve got this suggestion that there’s no formal monitoring of CPD activity or quality at the moment across Wales and, where it is done, it’s sort of left to the consortia to sort out. You mentioned that perhaps a national monitoring arrangement might be a good thing. Is that what you’re suggesting to us?


[106]   Mr Llewellyn: It is. It’s certainly a possibility and an option and that’s what you’ll see in a number of other professions. You actually don’t have to look too far in Wales, for example, to see that model. In social care, through the Care Council for Wales, soon to become Social Care Wales, they have a model where the profession, through its professional body, accredits the entry programmes, but they’re also putting in place arrangements where the council will quality assure the in-service programmes as well.


[107]   I think the Welsh Government has made a good start with regard to us because we have now been afforded new statutory powers to accredit teacher training programmes. That work has already commenced following the powers coming into force in mid February, but we would like to see that arrangement go further so that there are quality assurance arrangements in place for in-service programmes as well.


[108]   A perfect example there would be induction. Currently, induction is delivered through individual schools and consortia. In the 16 years since the induction programme was introduced in Wales and the EWC, under our previous name, had a role, 16,000 new teachers have gone through induction in Wales. Only 10 have failed.


[109]   Darren Millar: Right. What do you think that suggests?


[110]   Mr Llewellyn: What I would suggest is that the programme needs some evaluation and some looking at. Is it right? Is it good enough? Is the quality what we need? Because we are, in Wales, investing considerable moneys into that programme. There’s an immediate example where quality assurance could come into play.


[111]   Darren Millar: Many people would suggest that it’s just not robust enough, which is perhaps chiming with your view.


[112]   Mr Llewellyn: That could be a view, of course.


[113]   Darren Millar: Can I just ask—? Obviously, there are new professional standards that are currently being consulted on. You’re going to be the guardians of those standards, but, unusually, and you’ve raised this issue in the past with Assembly Members, you are not the responsible body for developing those professional standards. Do you think that’s an impediment to addressing some of these issues about initial teacher training and about continuing professional development, particularly if they need to be rapidly changed perhaps in the future in order to accommodate changes with the new curriculum?


[114]   Ms Jardine: I think the EWC does have a narrow remit compared with other professional bodies involved in education and, in fact, wider professional registration and regulation. We do see that as something—. We feel Wales would benefit from investing in the work of the council in that area. It would enable us to make sure that, where people are being challenged about their practice, in terms of our fitness-to-practice work, for example, that appropriate levels of support and development have been provided prior to that happening. When you’re looking at availability and quality-assured provision on a national basis, we’re not there yet.


[115]   Darren Millar: So, every step of the way, you ought to have responsibility for the initial accreditation of the teacher training programmes, followed then by responsibility for having professional standards, which link across the two.


[116]   Ms Jardine: We obviously would think that that would make perfect sense. It’s a model that does work well in other professional bodies. It’s commonplace and it seems a little bit odd to us that we’re here, we’re open for business—. I know that we’re growing. We’re told that we’re a young body and these things might happen in the future, but we would certainly welcome them. We think the professionals that are working in our education settings would welcome it too, because it would give that national oversight to, at least, quality assurance and to have coherence in all of those areas. The danger is that if different people have different responsibilities for different aspects, then you do get peaks and troughs in that provision.


[117]   Darren Millar: You touched on fitness to practice there. One of the other unusual things about the remit that you have and the powers that you have is you don’t have powers to suspend people, do you?


[118]   Mr Llewellyn: We have powers to suspend—


[119]   Darren Millar: To suspend the registration.




[120]   Mr Llewellyn: I know the point you’re referring to. We don’t have interim suspension powers. So, if we receive an extremely serious referral, for example, involving a child protection matter, in teaching in other countries, including Scotland, Ireland and shortly Northern Ireland, but also in pretty much every other profession across the world, including the Care Council for Wales in Wales, they have the ability to take that person out of the system quickly, while the investigation is going on, but only for very serious matters. The statutory legislation or the primary legislation that set the EWC up doesn’t afford us those powers. Again, like the ownership of the professional standards, it is an anomaly for the education professions in Wales. 


[121]   Darren Millar: Do you think that has the potential to undermine confidence in the profession, if you can’t do anything to prevent people practising who may have had serious allegations made against them?


[122]   Ms Jardine: It carries an element of risk that we don’t find acceptable, and it’s something that could be easily mitigated.


[123]   Mr Llewellyn: So, it’s the safeguarding aspect that we’re more concerned about. We’ll certainly concur about the perception as well, but it’s primarily the opportunity for somebody to continue to practice somewhere in Wales, rather than taking the safe route for the learners in the short term.


[124]   Darren Millar: And one final question from me. Obviously, we’ve got a new curriculum on its way. It’s supposed to be available fully for people to use from 2018, and then fully implemented by 2021. How ready are we going to be for that, in your view, given the CPD arrangements that we have now and perhaps the initial teacher training arrangements that we’ve got at the moment?


[125]   Ms Jardine: We think that there have been some significant moves very recently. We think that there is a recognition that if all of the reforms are to succeed, then it’s going to be the education professionals that are going to be key to making that happen. And in order for them to be able to make that happen, they have to have the support and the development opportunities necessary. So, I think that’s the first thing to say.


[126]   In terms of timescales, Andreas Schleicher himself says reform takes 10 years. So, it’s a journey; it’s not an end place. We’ve heard all of these things. You’ve got a profession, from our perspective, who is engaged, willing and ready to make the next steps along that journey. And what we need to do now is to make sure that the recent activity, which we welcome greatly in terms of establishing a more robust system for the accreditation of programmes for ITE—that will be key—and the moves to bringing a little bit of energy and enthusiasm into the education department by the secondment of practising headteachers who are used to being involved in leading this sort of work—that’s been a very good development as well.


[127]   And the fact that OECD have been involved in looking at the provision currently and trying to form a model alongside those people in Government, the consortia and ourselves to bring forward a programme that would be appropriate to enable teachers and support staff to be able to deliver things like the Donaldson curriculum, to develop them, and not just be deliverers of that curriculum.


[128]   Darren Millar: But are you confident they’re going to hit this timescale? I mean, we’ve got to upskill the current workforce by 2021 for full implementation, and make sure that we’ve got all new teachers coming through, ready and fit to go with the new curriculum from 2021 and, in fact, being trained to deliver the new curriculum by 2018. Is that a realistic timescale?


[129]   Ms Jardine: With all timescales there’s an element of challenge, I’d say, in that. And I would say also—. I’m not trying to duck the question; what I’m saying is you have an intrinsically motivated set of professionals there who are seeking out professional development. What we need to make sure is that the activity that is happening—and there is a lot of activity happening in building towards a professional learning offer to make this happen—that it’s properly aligned, it has coherence and that it’s available to everybody in the same way and at the same quality. So, there is a big job of work to be done, and from our perspective I think there’s lots to welcome, but also we need to be cognisant of the fact that our schools are full of people who are working hard currently, day in, day out, and we need to be looking at factoring in a reasonable timescale to enable them to develop the skills necessary over a longer period of time, probably, to start engaging with the new work.


[130]   Lynne Neagle: Hefin.


[131]   Hefin David: Can I just pick up that? I’ve met with every headteacher in my constituency, and I had a meeting with headteachers within and outside my constituency, and one of the things that they’ve said is that the standard acknowledgement of teacher time is completely out of date. Is that a fair thing to say?


[132]   Mr Llewellyn: One of the things I would say—and I’m going to whet your appetite for this one—is that the Education Workforce Council has just undertaken the first national workforce survey for the Welsh Government. Results are out next week on 5 April. I can’t tell you the results, but there were so many questions in there to do with how people feel about their jobs, what they find rewarding, what they’d like to see improved, workload, and so on. So, I would encourage you to look at the survey next week and there’ll be information of relevance—hard fact from teachers and practitioners—to give further insights for the first time in some of these areas, building on some of the things that we of course talk about to heads and others on a regular basis.


[133]   Hefin David: Okay.


[134]   Ms Jardine: It moves the discussion beyond the anecdote, we feel, as well. So, for the first time—and the Cabinet Secretary is to be commended on that—this is the first time that the questions have been asked of the profession in this way. It’s really important now that we acknowledge the effort that teachers have made in filling in that survey and looking to have some action to support them to be able to develop as they need to.


[135]   Hefin David: The outcomes will have a huge impact on the kind of professional development you can do. The teaching unions came in on 1 February and one of the issues, they said, was peer review. It is a welcome development, but the headteachers I spoke to said, really, if you’re going to do that, you need a kind of floating faculty that’s going to fill in the gaps. Where is this creative way of professional development happening? We’re just not equipped for it.


[136]   Ms Jardine: I think it’s a culture change, isn’t it, from the current ways of working. Also, there’s a culture change in terms of defining what is CPD and professional learning. We see it as what Hayden mentioned earlier on—it’s learning and development. So, it’s adapting your current skillset and your teaching methods, but it’s also developing yourself as a professional and an individual that can then enhance the learning. So, it’s a broad set that we’re looking at developing. I think the opportunities for that—you’ve got some schools who are very creative in the way that they release staff to work together. We’re aware, with the pioneer schools, for example, of some of the pressures that have been additional to schools. Whilst they’re keen to share the good practice and to work alongside others, it’s the fact that some of the best teachers are taken out of their own classrooms, and that’s a challenge in itself as well.


[137]   So, there are issues to unpick, but I think the fact that CPD or professional learning is now not just thought of as leaving the building to go and do a day’s course and have burn-up on re-entry—that’s not a model that anybody is putting forward as being a sustainable way to develop the profession.


[138]   Hefin David: So if we’re going to be creative, and we’re going to say perhaps the teacher isn’t tied to a classroom, and we have instead teachers who are in a kind of matrix, possibly, to enable peer review, can we do it without extra resource, or do we need extra resource to do that kind of thing?


[139]   Mr Llewellyn: If you look at the data we currently have—surveys we’ve run of supply teachers and also support staff now doing supply—the two main reasons why supply teachers are being used are to cover short-term absence and professional development. So, that’s fact. Schools need extra bodies to release substantive teachers to do CPD. Those are the pure mechanics of that. That doesn’t go away. You need to manage, as a headteacher, the resources that you have to deliver what you need to, but also give opportunities for professional learning. That’s why, in our introduction, we tried to set out that holistic model that we do see. One of the concerns we have sometimes is that sometimes in education we can chase the latest trend in terms of professional development or CPD, but as a professional body we do see it as formal and informal learning at three different levels—the individual, the employer and nationally. We do think that, in looking at any developments in this area, we need to look as a whole and put a whole model in rather than chasing certain trends and putting little bits and pieces in. Otherwise, we’re going to end up with a partial model. Part of that model absolutely does need to be sharing best practice between people, between schools and between different educational settings. But we would prefer that we develop a whole model, rather than little bits and pieces and then we change our mind and try something else when something doesn’t work.


[140]   Hefin David: Does performance management have a role in that model?


[141]   Mr Llewellyn: I certainly say it would. I’m a bit of a traditionalist in that way; I see a strategic planning model, in any setting, being the right one. So, you’re identifying the priorities for the setting or the organisation, and you work that all the way down to the individuals and back up. So, that helps people be clear on what they’re required to do and, also, they have the training and support to do it. So, I feel that performance management is part of a structure to help you deliver and support people.


[142]   Hefin David: The trade unions are very clear—


[143]   Ms Jardine: It’s about building in growth, isn’t it? It should be about building in growth, so it’s a win-win situation. It’s a win for the establishment, be it a school or the system, and a win for the individual—


[144]   Hefin David: Because the trade unions were very clear that performance management shouldn’t be part of a professional development programme.


[145]   Ms Jardine: I think, in terms of making sure that everybody is having opportunities to access their development, the current system for being able to identify that, very often, is through performance management, so you’d expect those sorts of discussions to take place. Certainly, if you’re looking at a growth model, you want people to identify where they would like to get better, and underpinning that, of course, would be the training needs.


[146]   But to come back to Hayden’s point about having a holistic approach to professional learning, once we know what that approach looks like, then you would be able to properly cost it and then you would be able to assess whether or not the funds are there to go for that model. So, I think there are three steps there that we need to be taking currently, as well.


[147]   Hefin David: Last question: your professional learning passport—is that part of that bigger picture, or does it stand alone? Where does it fit into everything?


[148]   Mr Llewellyn: We think it is. In the work we did for the Welsh Government—as I say, it’s 10 years old now—looking at structures and arrangements for CPD in other professions, in other countries, one of the essential components of that is that you have clear opportunities to record and reflect as an individual, but also quality assurance built into any professional development system. The professional learning passport, as you know, is one of the Welsh Government initiatives under the new deal. It’s only been live since October. Sometimes, we’re asked questions—people seem to think it is a magic bullet or a silver bullet. It’s not; it’s purely an opportunity for practitioners to record their professional learning in a safe, secure environment and reflect on it.


[149]   Early usage is really encouraging—over 7,500 practitioners to date—and we have a clear strategy to grow it from the bottom. So, every new teacher completing their induction has to complete their profile within the passport, so you get a guaranteed new 1,000 users a year. It will be available for teacher trainees, as well, from this September. So the strategy for growing it is very clear. Early usage is really encouraging, and feedback. We’re doing huge numbers of presentations in schools, FE colleges and youth work settings, so we do see it as something important, because what it basically does is give practitioners a tool to record, reflect and think, and it will be trying to embed professional development into their day-to-day thinking.


[150]   Ms Jardine: That is a minimum, as well. There are opportunities within the passport—it’s a lovely tool and is very intuitive to use. You can establish networks through that. You can allow other users to access parts of your professional learning portfolio. You can, for example, put up some research that you’ve been doing and ask peers to assess that and to feed into it, so it does have wider potential for developing the profession.


[151]   Hefin David: There are two points I’d make: it sounds really interesting, but I don’t think headteachers are buying into it. I’d like to see if you can do some work with headteachers to get that. I’ve forgotten what the other point was, so there we are.


[152]   Mr Llewellyn: Just responding very quickly to that, we emphasise it’s early days. It’s literally been live for six months. Early usage is very encouraging. We’ve either done or have scheduled over 100 presentations in schools alone, and we’re now, having developed it and tested it, and knowing that the technology works, rapidly pushing out that promotional campaign so that schools, FE colleges and other settings have an opportunity to see it, get the staff trained up—


[153]   Hefin David: It would be interesting to see how it fits with your bigger picture, though.


[154]   Lynne Neagle: We need to move on now.


[155]   Hefin David: Sorry.


[156]   Lynne Neagle: Thanks. John.




[157]   John Griffiths: On initial teacher education, could you tell the committee whether you think the new professional standards and the new accreditation criteria will equip new teachers with the skills that are required?


[158]   Mr Llewellyn: In respect of the criteria, the EWC has been actively involved in that work, and as I mentioned earlier, we have a central part in that moving forward in that we will be the body that accredits teacher training programmes in Wales, moving forward. So, we’ve worked carefully with Professor Furlong and others in developing the criteria. We think it’s a very encouraging significant step forward, because Professor Furlong, ourselves and others have looked at the best models across the world and we’ve basically seen that with teaching training in Wales, there needs to be an improvement, and that’s been evidenced by Estyn and others.


[159]   So, some of the additions into the criteria, for example schools and universities working in partnership to deliver, the greater emphasis on research and looking at the ratio between the lecturer and the number of trainees—these are really positive steps. We think the addition to the EWC’s role as a professional body to accredit programmes is absolutely the right thing to do, and we’ve emphasised in that regard that it’s important, as well, that compliance is monitored thereafter.


[160]   In respect of the professional standards, again, we’ve been working with Mick Waters and the Welsh Government team. What are being proposed are pretty ambitious, actually, compared to the standards we had before. There are things we very much like and some aspects where, again, we’re working with Mick and the team there to point out where we think there could be some improvement. But it’s important to point out that what we’re trying to do in Wales in terms of the standards is quite different and quite radical.


[161]   Ms Jardine: What we like about them is the opportunity for the growth from the initial practitioner level to sustained practice. The current set of standards don’t do that, so there are positives. And, of course, things like entitlement and a responsibility for developing your professional learning is embedded in those standards, as well.


[162]   John Griffiths: Okay. In terms of induction, are there any major points you would make as to how induction could be improved in the short term and the longer term?


[163]   Mr Llewellyn: Adding to some of the points I made in my introduction, really, I think there would be value in some evaluation of the induction programme. As I mentioned, with the number that have gone through it, very few people have not met the induction standards, so I think there would be some value in some formal evaluation of the programme. Also, because it’s delivered across schools and across areas, there is scope there for variation in terms of the induction experience that professionals enjoy. We undertook a survey back in around 2013 of the cohort that went through induction in that year, and we were getting feedback about variation in experience, so that’s really our position. I think the time is right to have a look at it.


[164]   Ms Jardine: And that’s compounded, of course, by the fact that a lot of the newly qualified teachers undertake their induction via supply routes; they’re not in a substantive post. So, there are significant challenges for individuals there to undertake their induction and complete it in a timely fashion. So, I think a review would be very useful to look at all of those things as well.


[165]   Mr Llewellyn: In that regard, our data show that 80 per cent of new teachers doing induction don’t have a substantive permanent post; they have a post of a term or two terms or three terms. So, it can often be a difficult start for a new teacher in Wales.


[166]   John Griffiths: Okay. Generally, if the Education Workforce Council was challenged as to how it will ensure that initial teacher education is sufficiently robust as we move forward, what would be your response to that?


[167]   Mr Llewellyn: Well, the criteria that we’re developing with Professor Furlong and the Welsh Government team, and the processes that we’re putting in place to accredit programmes, are robust. They mirror best practice in other countries, for example Ireland and Scotland have been at this for some time, but also other professions. At the end of the day, we are a regulator, so we’re used to dealing with difficult matters and dealing with difficult decisions that sometimes involve taking somebody out of the system and they’re no longer able to practice. That is the approach, as a regulator, that we have to apply in accrediting teacher training programmes moving forward. Quite simply, if they don’t meet the standards set, they won’t be appropriate to run, and if the standards drop during the course of the accreditation period, that will have to be the council’s stance, and that’s what you see elsewhere.


[168]   Ms Jardine: And I think there’s further reassurance because, built into that, Estyn will inspect on an annual basis as well. So, there will be some quite tight monitoring of those programmes so that they don’t develop into something else between the award of the accreditation and the next application. So, they will be closely monitored.


[169]   John Griffiths: Do you have a view as to how many partnerships you expect to come forward for accreditation?


[170]   Mr Llewellyn: It’s an interesting question, and one where there’s an element of commercial-in-confidence, really. We opened the new accreditation arrangements on Monday 20 March, so we wrote to all existing providers, previous providers who don’t provide at the moment, and those who’ve expressed a possible interest in providing in the future. So, it was quite a wide letter, but all the information is available on the workforce council’s website. The indication seems to be that, between current providers, past providers and possible new people in the game, there will be more than enough parties looking to provide, but I don’t think it would be appropriate to give definitive numbers.


[171]   John Griffiths: Okay. And just finally from me, then, Chair, your view on whether teaching should be a Master’s-level profession.


[172]   Ms Jardine: Well, it’s been a long held view, really, that that’s an aspiration that we really should work towards bringing to life. Of course, you’ll remember we had the Master’s in educational practice, and the final cohort to that is just working through now. In reality, we had issues, obviously, where it was targeted—first years of teaching, very challenging—but, nevertheless, there’s a cohort of people there who are research engaged, research savvy, who have gone through that rigorous programme, and have qualified with a Master’s in educational practice and who have had their aspirations raised, as well, in terms of what they can do to contribute to education not just in their own setting, but beyond. We’d be keen to have those people involved in developments of professional learning on a national basis as well. In fact, we’ve got a research in education group established, and we’re in contact with some of those people and we’re asking them to reflect on their experiences and to involve them in some research of the future to help develop the profession as a whole.


[173]   So, yes, it’s an aspiration we absolutely support, and we would look forward to having opportunities to engage in Master’s-level study in formal settings with the backing of HEI accredited programmes, for example. We would say that that is more than appropriate, and we think that there would be a buy-in from professionals—that 90 per cent who aren’t early teachers, and they’re not in formal leadership roles. There’s a huge body of people that would welcome that. In terms of the future of initial teacher education—Hayden, I don’t know if you want to say something about that?


[174]   Mr Llewellyn: Well, I’ll just add to what Angela first said. This is why we’re advocating a holistic look at CPD, really, because we’re looking, as I say, not to put in little bits of an equation, but to do it all together. For example, we’re really encouraged that the Welsh Government has opened work in developing a leadership academy, but, in that work and other aspects, let’s do the extra bit and look at the academic accreditation that that could bring as well, because, not just look at the professional recognition, look at the academic bit as well, and that could help take up towards a Master’s-led profession.


[175]   In respect of initial teacher training, probably a similar comment. We think the developments are really positive. It has to be the right way to go because our initial teacher training has not been regarded as good enough but, again, let’s involve the academics and get the school-based learning and the academic learning, and get it together. Because the best models internationally indicate that that is the best way to learn. You do the practice-based and you do the theoretical or academic-based stuff as well.


[176]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Oscar.


[177]   Mohammad Asghar: Thank you very much, Chair. Good afternoon to you both. My question to you direct is: given the dramatic decline in the trainee schoolteachers over the last 15 years, do you think that there are enough full-time teachers employed across Wales to both sustain and enhance educational outcome across the country? And, in the short term, what is the major challenge to creating a fully sustainable teaching workforce in Wales?


[178]   Mr Llewellyn: If I cover the first bit, then I’m going to hand over to Angela. Again, I’m going to dangle another carrot in front of you—


[179]   Lynne Neagle: If I can ask for brief answers as well, because we’ve got a few Members who want to come in on this.


[180]   Mr Llewellyn: Of course, okay. The Education Workforce Council is holding the first policy briefing, sponsored by Llyr Gruffydd, on 18 May in the Senedd on recruitment, retention and career progression in teaching. It’s using data from our register, gathered over 16 years. So, for example, one of the things that we’ll do at the session is dispel some myths about retention. What we’re going to do is take a cohort of new teachers from 15 years ago, 10 years ago and five years ago and see where they are. So, we’ll actually prove where they are. We’re also working with other countries to see where people who trained in Wales are currently. For example, we found out in the last few days that there are seven trainees from Wales working in Tasmania currently. So, encourage you or your researchers to come along to that event.


[181]   The facts that we have—ever so quickly on it—but to encourage you to come to the event are that, in 2006, when Professor Furlong did his first review, we were overtraining teachers. We were training too many—2,200 got qualified teacher status in Wales every year. Only 1,500 registered with us; only 1,200 met the induction standard. We were training for England, training for Ireland, training for unemployment. So, we cut our numbers. But we now issue 1,100 QTS certificates. We’re turning out half as many teachers, but the teacher training colleges can’t recruit even those numbers now. So, we didn’t have an issue, but now we seem to have an issue. In terms of solutions, we need to be looking—I think, in Wales—to make sure teaching is attractive. We need to look at some of the things that seem to be discouraging people to become teachers; for example, the B grades, and the perception that people seem to have of the profession in terms of workload and so on. In the Education (Wales) Act that set up the EWC, as well, there’s a whole section that can allow the Welsh Government to invite the EWC to undertake promotional campaigns on its behalf. We think now is the time to call that bit of the Act in.


[182]   Ms Jardine: Yes. I think, in terms of sufficiency, we suffer in Wales because we hear what’s going on in England on our news and, very often, that’s taken as fact for Wales as well. What we’re trying to do, through this policy briefing, is remove the anecdote and to bring forward actual figures of the actual position in Wales. We think that will be very timely because we’re hearing, anecdotally, recruitment issues in headteachers in west Wales, for example, that newly qualified teachers aren’t securing substantive posts. There might be reasons around that. But what we want to do is to make sure that the information is based on fact for Wales and not for England.


[183]   In terms of encouraging new people into the profession, there’s a lot that can be done, not just a sort of recruitment campaign, if you like, but looking at what those inhibitors are. I don’t think we’ve clearly defined what the inhibitors are at the moment. So, it’s asking that question. And looking at whether we are making it as attractive as possible. So, going back to Hayden’s original point, it’s the whole package. It’s not one thing. It’s not ‘Push up teachers’ pay’—that’s not going to attract people into it. It’s a whole thing. So, are we enticing them in? Are we sharing the benefits of what a fantastic job it can be, the rewards you get from working with individuals, seeing them develop and learn, as well as making people feel supported and developed in their roles?


[184]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Llyr.


[185]   Llyr Gruffydd: Yes, thank you. You touched on a lot of what I was going to ask, but I’ll just ask specifically about whether you feel that there are enough specialist Welsh language teachers at the moment. My presumption is that there aren’t. You could probably confirm that, if that’s the case. But also, then, what do we need to do? How can we increase the numbers, given the Welsh Government’s aspirations in terms of increasing the number of Welsh speakers in Wales?


[186]   Ms Jardine: We gave evidence to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee on this, actually.


[187]   Llyr Gruffydd: [Inaudible.] I should read their report.


[188]   Ms Jardine: We think that education is key to this. So, it’s a long-term aspiration, but we do think that there need to be specific actions in place to build towards that aspiration. So, for example, we would look at the broader education workforce as well, because, in schools, it’s not just down to one teacher in front of one class of pupils. We know that there are a range of professionals that support learning, and all of those people need to be given opportunities to develop, and to engage with the Welsh language.




[189]   So, we would recommend looking at the whole of the workforce, and we would recommend looking at the communities around the school, so that the Welsh language just doesn’t become something that you learn in school. And, very often, the learning support workers are key to that, and the youth workers that now will come under our umbrella as well. There are real opportunities here. Certainly, in our register, we encourage people to identify what their Welsh language skills are, and, so, that will be a basis. We need to find out what the skills are currently. We’re aware that there are recruitment issues into Welsh-medium schools, but, also, we need to be enhancing what we’ve got, because there are lots of settings where the Welsh language is embraced in English-medium settings, and teachers are developed and encouraged to use what they know.


[190]   So, it’s a continuum of identifying what the issues are— we’ve got data from our database on that—looking at where practice is good, and building on that, and sharing that, which is something else that we can help with. And I know that Estyn is very good at pointing out case studies that we can refer to. And having that long-term holistic vision. I keep coming back to the word ‘holistic’. The danger is we think, ‘Oh, we need to do something about the provision of Welsh language teachers’, and we focus all the efforts there. It’s one part of the same thing. We need to develop the profession as a whole in order for them to deliver what we expect of them.


[191]   Llyr Gruffydd: But do we have an idea of how many we need? Is there any work, in terms of workforce planning that’s happened, to identify to what levels we need to get in terms of Welsh-speaking teachers?


[192]   Ms Jardine: We know anecdotally as well—not anecdotally, but we know there’s a growth in pupil numbers, don’t we? So, the numbers that we have in teaching aren’t going to be sufficient anyway for that, and we also know that the expectations are increasing. So, what we’re looking at is a move from conversational Welsh to integrated Welsh proficiency as well. So, we know, in terms of the teachers that are on our register, what their levels are, what their competencies are, and their involvement in training courses as well.


[193]   Mr Llewellyn: To be blunt about it, we know the numbers who have those skills currently—that’s on the register. We know that applicants per post for Welsh-medium, or Welsh, are low, and sometimes not recruited. So, if that’s our baseline, if we’re going to get to 2050, it’s clear that we need to add to that. Absolutely clear. And, as Angela said, that needs to be done at the teacher level, but also the support staff level, and all the different registered groups. And we need to start quickly, because those years can drift away from you before you know it. But, Angela’s point about looking holistically we feel really strongly about, because, in Wales, sometimes, we mustn’t chase rainbows, we mustn’t look at the next big thing—look holistically, look at the bigger picture, and create a plan, because, with the curriculum, the Welsh language, additional learning needs, and initial teacher education, there are a lot of priorities there, and sometimes that can put a strain on our schools and our teachers.


[194]   Ms Jardine: Action doesn’t result in progress, does it? But what does is if those actions are aligned, and that they’re coherent, and that they have an overarching strategy and vision to support them. So, that’s what we’d encourage.


[195]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Michelle.


[196]   Michelle Brown: Thank you, Chair. Good morning. I just wanted to ask about how we—. It’s been pointed out by Estyn that about two thirds of graduates entering initial teacher training don’t have a good degree. I know it’s a little bit of a catch-22 situation, isn’t it? If you’re not getting the numbers applying in the first place, you can’t up the level at which they’re coming into their course. But have you got any views about how we can improve this situation?


[197]   Ms Jardine: Well, we’ve looked at what’s happened since the introduction of the mandatory B grade for entry into programmes of initial teacher education, for maths and English, in undergraduates, and that’s proved to be a barrier to more people than maybe we would have thought initially. So, whilst it’s good to have an aspiration to have higher qualifications on entry, we’re not there yet.


[198]   Mr Llewellyn: There seems to be, from the feedback we’re getting, about a half a dozen reasons why we can’t get enough teachers to fill the training posts that we have. So, before we can think about getting the best calibre—. Absolutely we need the best calibre, but that comes alongside getting enough. We need enough of the best people. As we’ve hinted already, the sorts of reasons would appear to be the B grades, publicity in respect of the quality of ITE in Wales, incentives in England in comparison, perceived workload and also very few substantive permanent jobs for new teachers. There seems to be a bunch of reasons, so I think we need to start tackling those. We do need that promotional campaign that we talked about at a national level, and we’ll start to tackle some of these things. I would expect that when Professor Furlong gives evidence to you later today he will probably say the same as me: there’s no point having fantastic new robust programmes if you can’t get the right quality of people in to do them. You’ve got to have both together—the best people in and the best programmes. One or the other is not good enough.


[199]   Michelle Brown: Thank you.


[200]   Lynne Neagle: Okay? Thank you very much. We’re out of time, so can I, on behalf of the committee, thank you for coming this morning, giving evidence and answering our questions? We do appreciate it. You will be sent a transcript to check for accuracy in due course. Thank you very much.


[201]   Ms Jardine: Thank you. Before we go, could I just invite Members—? On the professional learning passport, what I didn’t come back and say was that we are more than willing to come and do a demonstration to the committee on what the passport is, what it can do and what it looks like so that you can bring that into your considerations.


[202]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you very much for that.




Ymchwiliad i Addysgu a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon:
Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 5
Inquiry into Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education:
Evidence Session 5


[203]   Lynne Neagle: Good morning. Welcome to our committee, Professor Furlong. As Members know, you are an expert adviser to the Welsh Government and also author of ‘Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers’, and we are delighted that you’ve been able to join us, so thank you for that. Would you be able to make some opening remarks, and in doing so maybe explain a little bit more about your role and the work of the expert group on ITE to the committee?


[204]   Professor Furlong: Yes, okay, certainly. I’m an expert adviser on initial teacher education, and, just as a quick overview of what I’ve been doing since I was appointed, I was appointed by the previous Minister, Huw Lewis, in 2014 to review the system of initial teacher education in Wales and to set out some options for change, and that’s what I did in this document here. I thought there were going to be two major levers for change for the current system. There are plans about future systems, but for the current system the two major levers for change were to establish some accreditation criteria, which many other countries have but were very light touch in Wales, and the other one was to develop some new standards for teaching. Eventually, that task was assigned to Professor Mick Waters, and I began working, after the initial report, trying to develop some new criteria for the accreditation of courses.


[205]   That work proceeded—it started in—. We’d finished the work by this time last year—by March—and we had a series of new criteria based on a number of principles: a much greater role for schools in initial teacher education, a much clearer role for universities, explicit planning on how you bring those two groups and perspectives to work together, joint accountability and a very important and strong role for research underpinning all of that.


[206]   The election then got in the way, so although we’d finished this work by last March, it wasn’t formally put out for consultation until the autumn, and that finished in the autumn [correction: by Christmas]. Then, after that, this new expert forum was established, really to see the reforms through the next stages of the whole process. We’ve had a number of tasks since we were established just before Christmas. The first was receiving feedback in relation to the accreditation criteria, and then revising the criteria and publishing them very early this year. Then, we also, as part of the process, asked universities that want to be involved in teacher education in the future to express a preliminary interest in making a preliminary bid. They did that by January, and we as an expert forum received those statements of intent and gave them preliminary feedback. They don’t have to actually make a formal bid until December.


[207]   What was interesting was that, currently, there are five universities involved, and we had expressions of interest from 10 universities making bids, potentially, for double the numbers of teachers that we actually need in Wales. So, there’s an interesting—there’s been a change of culture and a lot more interest in getting involved in initial teacher education in relation to these new criteria.


[208]   So, that was the work we were doing then. What have we been doing since then? Well, as I said, the work on the standards by Mick Waters has been going on, and we’ve got to make sure that what we’re doing actually relates to that, so we’ve done quite a lot of work, working with him and giving advice about how the two things can be shaped together. Last week, there was an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development workshop on how to develop research capacity in initial teacher education—that’s something else that the expert forum was centrally involved in. Today—we’re meeting for the rest of the day—we’re receiving the results of a rapid review of the impact of incentives on teacher recruitment. That’s another piece of work that was commissioned—it was one of my explicit recommendations. Then today we’re beginning our work on alternative routes into teaching as well. We wanted to make sure we got the main body of work—the process—in train, and then we can turn our attention to that.


[209]   What’s interesting about how the expert forum works is that one of the comments—it wasn’t an explicit recommendation in my original report, but it was something that was clearly noted—was that there wasn’t anybody in Wales actually providing the leadership for initial teacher education, and so this expert forum has come to take on that role. Once the Education Workforce Council gets going with its work in this area, where it will have an accreditation board with a chair—I’ve actually seen that board doing the leadership work, so it may be the expert forum is not needed in nine months’ time, we just don’t know, but it’s quite clear at the moment that it is to oversee this whole process. We keep on putting new things on the agenda in order to make sure that the progress really happens. So, that’s what I’ve been doing.


[210]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you very much. You’re also a member of the curriculum advisory group.


[211]   Professor Furlong: I’m on the independent advisory group, yes, that’s right.


[212]   Lynne Neagle: How confident are you that implementation of the new curriculum is on track to meet the Cabinet Secretary’s deadlines?


[213]   Professor Furlong: Right. Well, actually, when I’m on there, I’m always only wearing my hat as someone responsible for initial teacher education, but I do have some oversight—some access to those sorts of initiatives. I think it’s actually going really well, but I think it’s very radical, what we’re doing here in Wales—very radical indeed. The whole idea of redefining a curriculum and an assessment process from the bottom up, with a mechanism of using pioneer schools, is really very radical. I’ll just give you an example: I was in Singapore 18 months ago, and I was working with a university there, and I was asked to go and give a talk to the ministry while I was there. I ended up talking about the reform process and the curriculum in Wales, and talking about how it’s being done collaboratively amongst schools working together with some expert support. I asked after I left—they were all terribly polite—‘Who, actually, was I talking to?’ I said to my host, and they were saying, ‘Oh, those 80 people—they are the full-time professional curriculum developers for Singapore’.


[214]   What we’re doing in Wales is the absolute antithesis of that. There are not 80 people sitting in a room—we have a similar sized population—with 80 experts in curriculum development. We’re working collaboratively on the ground. That’s a very radical approach, but what it does, potentially, is it gets huge buy-in from the profession—I think there is very real evidence of that. It’s starting to produce new guidelines that the profession can actually own and are actually relevant to what they actually do.


[215]   So, that’s the exciting part of it. The challenge is actually, I think, how you then link that with that expertise. There are things that are known—there is good evidence out there internationally about what works and what doesn’t work. I think getting that into a bottom-up system is the challenge of how you bring those two things together. That’s one of the questions I constantly have—how you both give ownership to the profession but also get the profession to understand that there are huge libraries full of evidence about what works and what doesn’t work and what good ideas might be. But, I think it’s incredibly exciting, and I think it actually is, more or less, in progress—that’s the sense that I get from sitting on that committee.




[216]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. John.


[217]   John Griffiths: In terms of your recommendations in your report, are you content that they’re all being implemented effectively?


[218]   Professor Furlong: Well, there were nine of them—they’ve all been touched on, which is amazing. I did a report on teacher education in Wales in 2005-06, and once I’d written the report, no-one talked to me about it ever again—some things happened and some things didn’t, and it went off in a direction of its own. What Huw Lewis was clear to me at the beginning about was, ‘If you write a report—’. It wasn’t his idea—he said, ‘Just be an adviser’. I said, ‘I want a report—I want it written down’. He said, ‘Well, that’s fine, but you’ve got to stay around to make sure it happens’, which is actually much more challenging for an academic. We’re not used to doing that sort of thing—we just write the report and go away, and someone else makes it happen. So, that was a really good principle of how to use external people.


[219]   All of those things have been touched on in different ways—every single one of my nine recommendations. I think the thing that I’m most concerned about is the one on research capacity. If you’re going to have an independent education system that’s becoming increasingly different from the rest of the UK, if you’re going to actually want to build evidence into what people do, then the research capacity in Wales is at a terribly, terribly low ebb. The biggest marker of that, which I put in this report, is that when the universities go to put forward their best researchers every five years for comparing quality of research, there was nobody last time, in 2014, from Wales who was involved in teacher education who was seen as worthy of putting forward in the national competition for research excellence—not a single person.


[220]   That means that there is nowhere to go for close-to-practice research in relation to bilingual education, in relation to the foundation phase, in relation to the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and in relation to the teaching of children from poor backgrounds. These are all major, major policy issues in education, and we don’t have research capacity to address these issues. If you want to get evidence into teacher education, whether it’s continuing professional development or initial teacher education, you do need some capacity to do those things on the ground.


[221]   Why you need the research done here—why don’t you just borrow it from someone else? Why you need people here is that you need people—if you commission a piece of research, then you get the benefits of what it tells you. But, much more important than that, you get people who are doing the research who are at the forefront of the conversations, nationally and internationally, and bringing all those networks into Wales—all those conversations that are happening around the world about what good practice looks like. You’ve got nobody here doing that work. So, that, for me, is a really, really big issue—one I’ve constantly talked about. Lots of conversations have been had about it—what we do. We haven’t got much money, I understand that. I put in specific proposals and there is now the possibility of some money being made available. But, actually, it hasn’t been grounded—we don’t actually know what’s going to happen.


[222]   So, there are lots of conversations. It isn’t that no-one’s worried about it. Every time I have this conversation, people say, ‘My goodness, is there really nowhere where there’s real expertise on teaching in a bilingual context, or on learning a second language work, which Wales ought to be an international leader on?’ There is no substantive place you would go to where it has really high-quality close-to-practice research that helps teachers to do that. So, everyone agrees it’s a problem, but how you deal with it is another matter.


[223]   The other one, of course, is whether we are going to go down to have a four-year undergraduate degree, which I’ve talked about, or whether you have a two-year postgraduate qualification. Lots of other countries have talked about that. That depends on the outcomes of the Diamond review—whether we can actually go down those sorts of routes. Again, it’s been talked about—everything I’ve put in there has been taken really seriously, but some of them have been driven faster than others.


[224]   Lynne Neagle: Hefin on this.


[225]   Hefin David: Just that issue on research, given that you’ve got university academics who are developing courses and running courses, why is it so difficult to get them to engage in that kind of research?


[226]   Professor Furlong: It wasn’t in the past—it’s just gone downhill in the last 10 years. I did a report for Jane Davidson, when she was Minister for education, looking at research capacity in education in 2001, and said, ‘We’ve only got about 80 active researchers in Wales on educational practice—be careful, it’s starting to go downhill’. And now we’re down to none, formally returned, in the national assessment game. So, it is a recent phenomenon how bad it’s got, and if you read this report, it’s actually quite critical of our universities.


[227]   Hefin David: Is it because academics are too busy training teachers and don’t have enough time to engage in research?


[228]   Professor Furlong: It’s about who has been employed, all right? That takes us back to the standards that have driven the whole system—a very, very simple checklist of behavioural standards. If you want that, then you employ part-time casual staff who’ve just retired, and they’re the people who’ve been doing teacher education in Wales, and they’re not part of the research culture in a university. What you actually want is people who can cross both those divides. That’s how the university sector—.


[229]   There’s also evidence in this report about the contracts that people are on. For example, if you go to Bangor University, there’s research done at the university, but in the education faculty, 80 per cent of their staff are on teaching-only contracts; 20 per cent are teaching and research contracts. Completely the opposite to every other faculty in the university; they work on 80:20 the other way. That’s an example—and high amounts of casualisation. You asked the question about who does the job on the front line and there’s been a lot of casualisation. That’s because, for the universities, it hasn’t been a very high priority. We’re getting evidence, with our 10 interested bids, from which we wanted a research-led but strongly school-linked system, that universities are starting to get the message that if they don’t take this stuff seriously, they’re going to lose it. All the time, over the border, there was the idea that you get universities out of this stuff entirely and hand it over to the schools. That’s not the direction that Wales is heading in, but it’s an interesting thing in the back of vice-chancellors’ minds, I think.


[230]   Lynne Neagle: John.


[231]   John Griffiths: In terms of the new professional standards, then, and the new accreditation criteria, would you be confident that they will deliver the skills required of new teachers, and if so, why?


[232]   Professor Furlong: Well, what we’re saying is that students already spend a lot of time in school, but the way in which it’s worked in the past is that they just go to school and do their practice rather on their own. It’s a very old-fashioned model. And actually, schools will have one or two students, it’s something that they don’t take terribly seriously; it’s not in their accountability procedures and it’s not part of their Estyn work. What we’re doing is trying to change that culture so that when they’re in school, which is for large amounts of their time, the school itself has the responsibility and it is accountable for systematically supporting them and training them and developing them. That is a real cultural change for schools, to be actually held accountable for that work. I think that will actually unleash huge amounts of enthusiasm, and lots of much more structured opportunities to keep up to date and to develop in the way that they need to.


[233]   And then, there’s another explicit requirement that universities have an important role, they can bring knowledge of good practice across the whole country and internationally; they can bring research, in theory, so making—. What we’ve said is that they’ve got to find ways of not just writing essays on it, but bringing it into the new teacher’s classroom practice. They’ve actually got to develop ways. It’s a very difficult thing to do, but there are some interesting examples around the world, where you might have joint appointments of people, you might have joint seminars, or you might get students to be team teaching, giving feedback and then criticising that from the point of view of, ‘What does the latest research say?’ You can do a range of different strategies and it’s up to the programmes themselves to define what they are. So, we’re putting in place all of those things.


[234]   There is evidence from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that the best forms of teacher education—and it’s the strapline that we use here—is rigorously practical but intellectually challenging at the same time. That’s what the OECD, when it looks around the world to highly successful teacher education systems—that’s what they do. They don’t let one off at the expense of the other. They don’t say that just doing things academically or just doing things practically is enough; they say you want something rigorously practical and intellectually challenging at the same time. Now, whether it will actually work is really interesting. We have internationally—. There’s evidence from individual courses, so my own university, the University of Oxford, has worked like this for the last 30 years and there’s quite a lot of research evidence supporting the ways in which that’s been effective.


[235]   There are similar things happening in Scotland, in parts of the States in America, and in Australia, so there is evidence. What we don’t have, though, is really large-scale evidence anywhere in the world about whether these things make a difference. One of the other things that’s missing at the moment in Wales is actually having a proper evaluation strategy. In fact, for the whole of the curriculum initiatives, there isn’t really a well-developed evaluation strategy. How will we know whether this new curriculum, whether these new assessment procedures—? There’ll be Estyn, and there’ll be exam results, but they only give you one dimension, and the aspirations of the curriculum reform much more than just exam results. We haven’t got a well-developed evaluation strategy, but, of course, that’s expensive—doing evaluation of national change. But in the initial teacher education, I would be like to be talking to people about—because this is kind of a first, internationally. We’re the first country to actually say, as a whole, ‘We will do it like this—rigorously practical, intellectually challenging.’ We’re the first country to get a grip on that. We’ve got individual universities who have done it, but this is the first time it’s been done internationally as a whole field, and I’d love to see some proper evaluation of how it actually works out in practice. But all the signs are good, and that’s what the OECD recommends.


[236]   Lynne Neagle: On this, Oscar.


[237]   Mohammad Asghar: Thank you very much, Professor. Listening to you, being the leader in the education system in the world, I thought it was strange, listening to you, that you go to different countries to just learn how they can improve their education system, but just within our own country, the border between Wales and England undoubtedly offers the opportunity for teachers to share best practice. However, in terms of teacher training, it also poses certain barriers to retain the best Welsh talents in Wales. Given the incentives offered for trainee teachers in England, therefore, how do we attract the best-quality candidates to train and teach in Wales?


[238]   Professor Furlong: Thank you for that. Well, we’ll be receiving this afternoon this rapid review that’s been done by a colleague about the impact of the assessment [correction: incentives], so we’re formally taking that this afternoon, but one of the things that the report shows is that, if you were a teacher with a first-class degree in physics, you get £10,000 more to go to England. If you want to be a teacher and you’ve got a first-class degree in geography, you get £22,000 more by going to England. So, there is a difference, and people who are in charge of recruitment in our universities at the moment worry about that difference. There is also this difference between whether you actually do need to have a level B in English, maths and science—or Welsh, maths and science—which is lower in England. There are debates about both of those things, but whether those things are actually stopping us getting our best people—.


[239]   I think that, from what I read from this report that we’ve just been working with, the evidence there is that we do need to retain our incentives. Given that England has such strong incentives it would actually be impossible to give them up. Interestingly, though, we haven’t been spending all of our budget. Twenty-five to 30 per cent of people applying for teacher education gets some kind of extra bursary like this, but we haven’t been using all of our budget, in that it seems we haven’t had enough people. That percentage ought to be higher, in terms of who qualifies for a bursary, but we do need to keep that going. We need to think, though—. We’ve had this huge debate in all of the groups I’ve been in that a lot of the people at the front line of recruitment are saying that if you qualified as an English graduate 10 years ago and you want to come into teaching but you’ve only got a C in GCSE science, should that stop you becoming a teacher in Wales if you’re otherwise extremely good? At the moment, it does. But on the other hand, we do want our teachers to be generally well educated. It’s absolutely defensible that teachers ought to be able to demonstrate that they have got good qualifications across the board in those core subjects of English, maths and science, so how do you square that circle?




[240]   In the group that developed the accreditation criteria—that’s where we discussed it—we actually went to a vote twice on this. I lost out, so I had to accept the status quo. For me, personally, I think that we ought to be able to say these are exit criteria. So, you can come on a course, but you won’t be qualified as a teacher until you’ve actually got the equivalence of a GCSE in science level B or GCSE mathematics level B—the equivalent of it. You can develop equivalence courses. So, it ought to be exit criteria rather than entrance criteria. In England, they don’t use GCSEs. They give prospective candidates tests on entrance and to actually see where they are now. So, there are things that can be done. Certainly, people on the front line of recruitment say that this factor is stopping some of our best students coming here.


[241]   The other thing, of course, is actually getting a reputation for running really good courses as well. That’s another one. I think that’s actually really, really important. For me, though, probably one of the big ones, in terms of getting high-quality candidates, is looking again at the undergraduates. So, if you’re familiar with the figures, most of our secondary teachers come through the postgraduate certificate of education route; about half of our primary teachers come through a three-year bachelor of education degree—an undergraduate degree. It’s only three years. In Scotland, it’s four years; in Ireland and Northern Ireland, it’s four years; in England it’s both mixed—there are different routes; sometimes three, sometimes four. I think that one of the things that—. The problem—. Again, there’s evidence in this report I did that the entry levels of young people coming in to do their undergraduate course in education is really quite low. It’s lower than going into nursing, for A-level results. In some places it’s easier to get into a course that studies education but doesn’t make you a teacher. It’s easier to get into a qualified teacher route than to go into one that just studies education at 18. So, there are some real discrepancies there.


[242]   One of the things that I think that we can do to actually raise the quality of the profession, certainly at primary level, would be to move to a four-year programme, as they have in other parts of the UK, and debate whether we actually want to move that up to Master’s level. If you do engineering, you do a three-year undergraduate course which then moves straight into—. The fourth year becomes a Master’s and it’s professionally oriented—maybe that sort of model. What they’ve done in Scotland is to really strengthen this stuff. What they’ve done in Scotland is: they already had a four-year degree, but what they’ve done—. Actually, it was as a result of Graham Donaldson’s work there—he did some work on teacher education before he was doing the work here in Wales. He argued that the strongest way to get really high-quality people in for primary would be to insist that they had a four-year degree and they spent two years doing a main subject. So, do two years in English or two years in mathematics, and then do two years in education. And they’re not necessarily one after the other—maybe integrated, the programmes—but that’s to change the character of the programme. What that’s done has really boosted the quality of the people applying because people can see—young people can see—that, ‘Suppose I didn’t go into teaching in the end. I thought I wanted to at 18. I’ve got a really solid basis in mathematics, geography or foreign languages, as well as education.’ That really has pushed up the quality of the people applying.


[243]   It’s an example of the sort of thing that, if we do get the green light to go to four years, as a result, we can be debating those sorts of questions. I don’t have a view as to what shape those longer courses might look like. We’d want to wait until we get the green light to do it. But it’s one of the issues, and I think that’s what you’re really moving to. It shouldn’t be a kind of short—. If you imagine what it’s like to be a primary schoolteacher, you’ve got three years at the moment. You’ve got 10 subjects to cover. You’ve got to learn about the processes of teaching and learning, and you’ve got to have the equivalent of a year’s experience in school. Trying to squash all of that into three years is just incredibly demanding. It doesn’t seem surprising to me that sometimes there are questions about the quality of it. So—


[244]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Llyr, on this.


[245]   Llyr Gruffydd: Well, you’ve actually addressed the issue I was going to ask—the alternative routes into teaching are those that you’ve touched on—


[246]   Professor Furlong: Well, those are the alternative ones, yes. We’re just about to start that work. I think it’s really, really important. I don’t think that the experience we've got at the moment is really terribly strong. I think it's immensely variable. So, we have the graduate teacher programme, which is where people are given training on the job, and if you read the last Estyn report, it’s critical. It comes out saying that it’s somewhat worse—not hugely worse, but somewhat worse—than conventional routes. And if you remember, they’re pretty critical of conventional routes as well in terms of quality.

[247]   So, the big thing about it at the moment is that it’s immensely variable. So, if you’re placed in a school, some schools give very high quality training, kind of on their own with a little light touch from a university, which is what they get. Others don't give very much at all. It's very, very variable. And that’s the experience you’d get looking at alternative routes in other places as well. From my point of view, there’s too much variability, but it has huge potential in bringing in different populations. So, bringing in particularly people in rural locations, and bringing in people who want to change careers. I mean, the issue about how you get people who’ve already got mortgages and families and things like that, who, at the age of 35, think that this is what they want to do is a really, really important issue. It isn't just about worries about supply. It's also about making sure you’ve got a broad cross-section of people in your profession. So, we’re just about to start looking at that. I mean I, myself, would like—. Well, what I wrote in the report I did in 2006 was that there should be a single national provider, but with strong local clusters of networks of schools in different places that actually provide really high quality of training on the ground. That’s where I’m kind of starting from, but I’m open to listening at the moment. We’re just about to begin that review process, but there will be something, and it will be, I hope, different from what we have at the moment.


[248]   Llyr Gruffydd: Thank you.


[249]   Lynne Neagle: John? You're okay. Darren.


[250]   Darren Millar: Yes, I just wanted to ask—I know that initial teacher training is your expert field, but, obviously, it's really important that people keep their skills up and, where we have a workforce that is very large in Wales, it’s got to be geared up to deliver an education. You can only change it little bit by little bit if you just focus on the initial teacher training. So, I'm just wondering if you've got any thoughts about the quality of continuing professional development for teachers here in Wales and the capacity for that to change in order to help drive the sort of education system that we all want to see.


[251]   Professor Furlong: Okay. Well, again, looking from the outside, because it's not something that I focus on, I think there is a much greater understanding now of what needs to be done: the idea that this stuff should be based in schools, primarily driven by schools, and by individual teachers’ needs, but also that it needs to be linked with external support. So, you actually need to change the cultures of the schools so that CPD is part of what every school and every individual teacher takes for granted. But you also don't do it on your own. There's only so much you can do like that. You have to be linked with other schools and you have to be linked with external bodies: people who challenge you, question you, and can bring other things to the table from knowing what happens elsewhere that's good practice, what the current research is saying and those sorts of things.


[252]   So, I hear all those conversations now being made. I hear that. I think, though—. I remain sceptical that we've actually really got a whole strategy in place. I don't—sorry, it sounds like I'm boasting—but in initial teacher education, we've driven forward with the levers for change; we've got a clear view about what we're doing; we've got a programme of work; and things are starting to change in a systematic way, and a principled way. I don't quite see that coherence in the CPD developments as yet. I think we're still at the stage of saying, ‘What is it we need?’, and I think those people have now got a vision of what they want, but what are the levers to make that actually happen? How do we actually get every school in Wales really taking CPD seriously, forming the links, spending its budget in a systematic and appropriate way, to address its own needs, working with other schools and working with external partners? I don't know whether we've actually worked out where the levers for change are to make that happen across every single sector.


[253]   Darren Millar: So, you think some sort of national strategy would help. I mean, clearly, a reskilling of the workforce to deliver the new curriculum in Wales is going to be required. Do you think that gives us the opportunity to try and align things and to deliver the sort of strategy you’re talking about?


[254]   Professor Furlong: Yes. It’s an interesting one, because it has to be national strategy for a devolved system, and that’s actually quite difficult to get right. England has had huge experience of national strategies that you just dump on people, and it doesn’t actually work. You don’t get any buy-in to them. So, we have to have a national strategy for a devolved system, but that doesn’t mean to say you don’t think about, then: what are the levers to make that happen? The conversations that I’m having with colleagues leading on this stuff, as an outsider, are saying, ‘Have you worked out, really, what those levers for change really are?’ and I don’t know that we have. We’ve got more aspiration than plan.


[255]   Darren Millar: It seems to me—. You mentioned the importance of outside challenge, as it were—some sort of monitoring of quality to make sure that taxpayers have got value for money for the investment that’s being made. What sort of level do you see that role should be at? I mean, do you think there ought to be a national approach with the Welsh Government monitoring quality? Do you think that the regional consortia ought to be the responsible body, or do you think it needs to go all the way down?


[256]   Professor Furlong: I think it needs to be all of the above. Who actually does the work—? I mean, Estyn clearly has a role, and I’m delighted, actually, just in relation to that, that Estyn, in their new frameworks, are starting to recognise—. They’ve been driven by—. It’s one of the reasons they didn’t do initial teacher education stuff very well in schools; they’ve been driven by having one question: ‘What is the impact of any of this on the kids?’ There is only one ‘learner’ for Estyn, and that has been the child. They’re now starting to recognise there are other learners. It might be new teachers in the school. It might be existing teachers in the school. So, that allows them, in their new framework, to ask the sorts of hard questions that need to be asked. But it’s not just their responsibility. We do need a national vision, but I don’t want to see the consortia going off in different directions. I don’t want to see individual schools going off in different directions, or local authorities. We need a national plan. It will be that the consortia have a central role in managing that and delivering that.


[257]   Darren Millar: Yes. I mean, we’ve obviously got the pioneer schools doing some work on this. One of the streams is professional development. As far as your perception, or the evidence that you have about how effective that work is being undertaken or shared collaboratively, perhaps, with others—do you have a view on that? Is that something you’ve taken much note of?


[258]   Professor Furlong: The impression I get from sitting on the independent advisory body is that there is really exciting work going on amongst the pioneer networks. The question is how you get what they’ve developed across the system as a whole. And I think there is, at the moment—which is recognised—there is a gap between those who are on the inside track of development, and those who are on the outside track. And that’s a challenge of thinking that through.


[259]   Darren Millar: I think, you know, when we’ve heard from headteachers, people in leadership, in particular, they seem to suggest that the professional development stuff is one of those things that is easier, in many respects, to identify where there’s some good practice, and ought to be easier, therefore, to replicate. Would that be your view, compared to developing a new curriculum from scratch?


[260]   Professor Furlong: Pass.


[261]   Darren Millar: Okay. Just one final question—


[262]   Professor Furlong: To do them well, they’re both—[Inaudible.]


[263]   Darren Millar: A couple of final questions. We’ve got some new professional standards, which are currently out for consultation. Do you think they’re fit for purpose? Do you think they’re going to help?


[264]   Professor Furlong: I like the wheel, with the five different dimensions.


[265]   Darren Millar: Lots of graphics, yes, but are they going to make any difference?


[266]   Professor Furlong: I think they will make quite a lot of difference in some ways. I like the general approach. I like the fact that there is now a unified framework, which will go from initial teacher education right through to leadership, and that’s actually really, really important. In the past they were quite separate things. I like the way in which Mick Waters has developed them. Very collaborative. He’s actually got lots of buy-in. People are very excited about those sorts of things. But from my point of view, from, again, initial teacher education, there are still quite a lot of holes in them. They need some further work to actually make a difference.


[267]   Darren Millar: And do you think there’s sufficient emphasis within them on the importance of CPD?


[268]   Professor Furlong: That’s an interesting point. I think it is there, about taking responsibility for your own learning, but it’s very much an individual model. It doesn’t actually tell you, then, what you do with them. They’re seen, I think, as a resource that will be used by headteachers to link to other—. They won’t, in themselves, make CPD happen, but they’ll soon be part of a system. That’s how they’re envisaged.




[269]   Darren Millar: And one final question on the national leadership academy. What sort of role do you think that that could potentially play, not just in terms of supporting the development of headteachers, but also other leaders, and developing leadership skills in aspiring leaders?


[270]   Professor Furlong: I think it really must do that, and I also think it ought to be doing—. When I talked about the expert forum that I’m working with—the body that actually is, at the moment, anyway, doing the thinking in initial teacher education—I would like to see the leadership body do that. I’d like to be able to see some place where senior teachers in Wales could come together and work together and actually contribute to the policy-development process. That again is something that’s currently lacking as well. So, I do think it’s in principle—I don’t have a detailed understanding of how it’s working, but I do think it’s a really, really important initiative.


[271]   Darren Millar: Okay, thank you.


[272]   Llyr Gruffydd: Just to pick up, do you have a view on the NPQH requirement for headteachers?


[273]   Professor Furlong: No, I don’t.


[274]   Llyr Gruffydd: You don’t have a view.


[275]   Professor Furlong: No, I don’t have a view. Sorry.


[276]   Llyr Gruffydd: Okay.


[277]   Lynne Neagle: Before we go on to sufficiency of the workforce, can I just clarify a couple of points? You’ve referred to the Master’s situation. If it was your choice, would you say that we should be going to an all-Master’s profession in Wales?


[278]   Professor Furlong: I’d love to.


[279]   Lynne Neagle: Right. Okay, thank you. And just two quick questions on initial teacher education. You referred to Estyn’s role generally. Are you satisfied that they’ve got the capacity to fulfil the inspection role in ITE?


[280]   Professor Furlong: I think they’re stretched. So, for example, in relation to the previous rounds, under the previous requirements, they’d only managed to look at existing provision—I think it was almost seven years before they got back again to look at the programmes, and that really is too long. We have said in our new accreditation criteria that they ought to be doing that every five years and feeding that in, so that people reapply for accreditation for their programmes every five years. If they’re not able to do that, then that’s a problem. So, I think they’re kind of on the edge, do you know what I mean? They’re kind of hanging in there. They just about fulfil their requirements, and that’s about capacity, not will or expertise, because they seem to me to be extremely good at what they do.


[281]   Lynne Neagle: Okay. Thank you. And the accreditation criteria, is that going to give trainees enough in-school time?


[282]   Professor Furlong: Yes, absolutely. We already have—if you’re on a postgraduate programme, you spend two thirds of your time in school. The issue is about making that really work, rather than just being put in the classroom and the door shut behind you—really, really making that a training experience, which includes taking responsibility as well, you know, doing the whole thing. But, no, we certainly have enough time—it’s about how you use the time.


[283]   Lynne Neagle: Okay. Thank you. Llyr. No, you’re okay. Michelle.


[284]   Michelle Brown: Professor, you’ve answered a lot of the things that I wanted to ask, but if I could just come to retention of teachers. What’s your view on the retention rate of teachers and whether it could be improved? Do you think there’s anything wrong going on with retention?


[285]   Professor Furlong: I do think retention is an issue. I think it’s not quite as bad as where England has found itself recently. As far as I understand it, they have both retention and recruitment issues at the moment. That’s not to say it’s not coming over the hill, and if you look at patterns over time, it actually varies depending on both of those. Recruitment in and leaving relates to the economy, so when you get a good economy you get lots of people leaving and far fewer coming in. So, you always need to have an issue about that and there are also lots of complaints about stress.


[286]   What you do specifically is really, really hard. I do think the issue about the accountability pressures are felt really, really strongly by teachers today. It isn’t about the level of work, I think it’s actually about the accountability stuff. My hope is that, with the curriculum and assessment changes, where there is a greater sense of ownership of what you’re doing—even though it’s hard work, the greater sense of being responsible and having a voice and having responsibility for the new curriculum—I think this will actually change the quality of the experience of what it means to be a teacher in Wales. So, I would hope, in the medium term, that that would affect retention.


[287]   Michelle Brown: Is there any work being done to try and understand why teachers leave the profession? Obviously, the longer a teacher has been teaching—that’s a lot of experience and ability that you’re losing.


[288]   Professor Furlong: The big drop out is within the first three to five years. That’s when the big drop out is. That’s when people find—they’ve done it, they’ve got qualified—actually this is too stressful for their lives. When the economy is good, there are lots of other opportunities out there. The other drop out, of course, is that so many of our new teachers don’t get permanent posts as well. You find them floating around at the beginning of their careers, after they’ve put all their investment and the country’s put all its investment into training them, and they’re moving from one short-term post to another to another to another, and then they give up and do something else. So, there’s a wastage there. There’s certainly no work going on in Wales in looking at that systematically. There has been work in other countries, including England.


[289]   Michelle Brown: Would you recommend doing some work of that kind in Wales so that we understand that?


[290]   Professor Furlong: One of the things about the—what we had on the impact of incentives, what the Welsh Government called a ‘rapid review’. A civil servant was asked to go and find out what we know and just look quite quickly. What she makes clear is there is so much we don’t know about recruitment and retention. Our model that we use for judging how many teachers we have is out of date, and it’s also not geographically or linguistically sensitive. There’s lots of information we simply don’t have about who comes in and why they come in, and when they leave and why the leave.


[291]   Michelle Brown: Okay, thank you.


[292]   Professor Furlong: The EWC, of course, who were here before, are well placed to—because they’ve got a lot of the preliminary data, they can actually develop that in important ways.


[293]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you. Is there anything that we haven’t touched on that you think the committee ought to try and cover in recommendations to the Government on this issue?


[294]   Professor Furlong: I don’t think so. Just to go back to the standards, which I said, in broad terms, I think are really good, but there are some missing things that I think are important. I’d be interested in your views. They don’t tell us much about equal opportunities. In other countries, it’s written in centrally, people are understating what the barriers to learning are, whether social or cultural or geographic or economic or whatever. There’s not very much in them at the moment about the curriculum itself—where it’s come from, how it’s developed, how it’s changed. There’s very little on subject knowledge, knowing your subject, and what we call, rather grandly, pedagogical content knowledge—knowing how to teach that knowledge. They are very lightly touched on in the current draft. Assessment is very lightly touched on. It just says to do good assessment. Well, there’s dozens of things you need to know about how you assess kids, different ways of doing it and how you build the information back into your teaching. There’s lots of things like that.


[295]   One thing I’d be very interested in is your views on whether it’s sufficient to say in the standards that you teach all children equally. Do we actually need to elaborate that ‘all’? It kind of implies that ‘all’ really does mean ‘all’. But we know that there are—. If you don’t draw attention to it, then will you get teachers to really focus on children with additional learning needs? I don’t think we need long lists of dozens of different things but, if we don’t draw attention to that and if you don’t draw attention to the fact that we have a large proportion of our kids—whatever happened yesterday with Brexit—in this country where English is an additional language, and that’s not mentioned as well—. So, just saying ‘all learners’, I think, actually does need some nuancing. I’d be interested in your views on that. It does seem, for me, that those are important things. I hope, in giving feedback to those who drafted these, that they will take those on board.


[296]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you. I’m sure those are issues we’ll want to follow up with the Cabinet Secretary when she’s in next week. Okay, well, we’ve come to the end of our time. Can we thank you for attending? We know that you’re very busy.


[297]   Professor Furlong: It’s all right—a pleasure. It wasn’t so difficult after all. [Laughter.] I did one of these in Stormont once and, I tell you what, that was much tougher than you lot.


[298]   Lynne Neagle: All right. [Laughter.]


[299]   Professor Furlong: They just played with me. They just—you know. Gerry Adams [correction: Martin McGuinness] was there.


[300]   Lynne Neagle: We’ll take some learning from that for ourselves then, I think. Thank you very much for coming. We’ve enjoyed having you here and listening to your answers.


[301]   Professor Furlong: Thank you very much indeed.


[302]   Lynne Neagle: You’ll be sent a transcript to check for accuracy in due course. Thank you very much.


[303]   Professor Furlong: Yes. Okay, all right. Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.




Papur i’w Nodi
Paper to Note


[304]   Lynne Neagle: We will move on now to item 5, which is papers to note—a letter from Adam Price AM, which is copied to the committee. It is a letter to the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language and it’s on the new guidance on securing provision for young people with learning disabilities at specialist further education establishments. I’m not clear, as this has been copied to us, whether we will definitely get copied into the response. So, I would suggest that it would be a good idea for us to write to the Minister and say that we are interested to receive his response, if that’s okay with everyone.


Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i Benderfynu Gwahardd y Cyhoedd  o’r Cyfarfod ar gyfer yr Eitem Nesaf ac Eitemau 1 a 2 y Cyfarfod ar 5 Ebrill
Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to Resolve to Exclude the Public from the Meeting for the Next Item and Items 1 and 2 at the Meeting on 5 April








bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o’r cyfarfod ar gyfer yr eitem nesaf ac eitemau 1 a 2 y cyfarfod ar 5 Ebrill yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(ix).


that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the meeting for the next item and items 1 and 2 at the meeting on 5 April in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(ix).



Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
Motion moved.




[305]   Lynne Neagle: Item 6, then, is a motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public for the next item and items 1 and 2 at the next meeting. Are Members content? Thank you.



Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Motion agreed.



Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 12:11.
The public part of the meeting ended at 12:11.