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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 Addysg a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 7
Inquiry into Teachers' Professional Learning and Education: Evidence Session 7


29      Ymchwiliad i Addysg a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon: Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 8
Inquiry into Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education: Evidence Session 8


57      Y Bil Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol a’r Tribiwnlys Addysgiadol (Cymru): Trefn Gwelliannau
Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill: Order of Amendments


57      Papurau i’w Nodi
Papers to Note


58      Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i Benderfynu Gwahardd y Cyhoedd o Weddill y Cyfarfod
Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to Resolve to Exclude the Public from the Remainder of the Meeting





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


Michelle Brown

UKIP Cymru
UKIP Wales

Hefin David


John Griffiths


Llyr Gruffydd

Plaid Cymru
The Party of Wales

Darren Millar

Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Welsh Conservatives

Julie Morgan


Lynne Neagle

Llafur (Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor)
Labour (Committee Chair)

Mark Reckless

Aelod Grŵp y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Member of Welsh Conservative Group


Eraill yn bresennol
Others in attendance


Anna Brychan

Gwasanaeth Addysg ar y Cyd Consortiwn Canolbarth y De
Central South Consortium Joint Education Service

Alan Edwards

Ein Rhanbarth ar Waith
Education through Regional Working

Rhys Howard Hughes



Dr Kevin Palmer

Gwasanaeth Cyflawni Addysg De Ddwyrain Cymru
Education Achievement Service for South East Wales

Yr Athro/Professor Michael Waters


Prifysgol Wolverhampton
University of Wolverhampton


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


Sarah Bartlett

Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk

Joe Champion

Y Gwasanaeth Ymchwil
Research Service

Gareth Rogers

Ail Glerc
Second Clerk



Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:03.
The meeting began at 09:03.


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 this morning’s meeting of the Children, Young People and Education Committee? Can I ask whether there are any declarations of interest, please? No? Okay, thank you.




Ymchwiliad i Addysg a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon:
Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 7
Inquiry into Teachers' Professional Learning and Education:
Evidence Session 7

[2]          Lynne Neagle: Item 2 this morning—we are returning to our inquiry on teachers’ professional learning and education, and I’m delighted to welcome Professor Michael Waters from the University of Wolverhampton. Would you like to make any opening remarks or are you happy to go straight into questions?


[3]          Professor Waters: I’m happy to go into questions.


[4]          Lynne Neagle: Okay. Lovely, thank you. Well, we’re delighted to have you here. Could you just start by maybe explaining a little bit to us about your current and future working relationship with the Welsh Government?


[5]          Professor Waters: The work I’ve been doing with the Welsh Government is linked essentially to the development of professional standards. I was invited to come about 18 months ago to take part in a working group and, from that, I’ve developed some workshops that have happened for teachers and leaders. I’ve worked with the Welsh Government policy team and I’ve worked with schools across the country, trying to bring the standards to fruit. I’m also a member of the shadow leadership board for the National Academy for Educational Leadership, and so, in that sense, the agendas of the Government are starting to overlap in the work that I do.


[6]          Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you. We’re going to have some detailed questions on the standards, but, just in general terms, could you just summarise how you see these new standards supporting the Welsh Government’s reform agenda?


[7]          Professor Waters: Well, as you know, the Welsh Government has got a terrific agenda of reform in place. There are many, many strands of that reform, and the development of the professional standards, if applied appropriately, and if done well, will harmonise many of those reforms, bring them together in a way that makes sense to teachers and keeps the agenda moving forward at the sort of pace the Government would like to see.


[8]          Lynne Neagle: Thank you very much. Darren.


[9]          Darren Millar: Good morning, Mr Waters. It’s good to have you here. I was just looking at these professional standards—the new standards that are now in the process of being implemented—and it seems to me that they’re wildly different in their format and accessibility to the previous standards. Now, I’m a member of a couple of professional bodies and they have a very simple list of 10 or 12 standards that I have to abide to. Why was such a radically different approach taken with these standards in terms of the way that they were developed?


[10]      Professor Waters: I don’t think they’re wildly different; I think they’re professionally different, and the reason they’re different from what has existed before is that, I think, there was a degree of frustration that the standards weren’t helping the profession to develop in the way it needed to to meet the needs of children in Wales going forward. The working group looked in some depth at examples from countries and jurisdictions across the globe, and talked about the formats and the way that they were presented and the way that standards were offered, and it was decided that what was needed was some real, clear expectations for teachers and for leaders that would help them to focus on the job, would keep leaders and teachers on the same agenda, and would assemble themselves around all those things the Government are doing—the curriculum, the qualifications, initial teacher education—in order to bring that harmony that we were looking for. They’re presented on a web-based platform, because teaching is a complex and multifaceted job. The best teachers know that the number of things that you need to do to be the teacher that you would want to be overlap, they’re complex, and they’re very, very exciting to deal with, but they’re also very challenging. And so the web-based platform gives us the opportunity to move between five standards and to explore those standards in depth. Over time, there will be examples from classrooms across the nation that will enable teachers to see the sort of work that they can aspire towards and help them to have those learning opportunities that take them towards it.


[11]      So, I think there are some crisp standards: there are five standards for teaching and leadership with some overarching values and dispositions explained—the sort of givens of the job—and they’re crystal clear. The descriptors that lie below those standards are opportunities to explore them in a way that opens up teaching to scrutiny and opens up teaching to possibility.


[12]      Darren Millar: Some of the respondents to the consultation on the standards described them as very complex. They said because it was a web-based system you have to drill down to—. And I have to say, it was impossible to drill down via the use of a tablet or a phone when I was trying to look at these. I had to go back to my computer in order to access them, and surely one of the things about standards is that they ought to be accessible. I found them to be very complex in terms of the way that they were laid out. I mean, have teachers got the time to be drilling down on their PCs into these standards all of the time, when there were previously some very straightforward things that they had to abide by? If they were unfamiliar with the previous standards, how do you think they’re going to familiarise themselves with these?


[13]      Professor Waters: The first thing is that, as I understand it, there were 55 previous standards, and now there are five. So, in terms of, ‘Will they have the time to find their way through them?’, I would have thought that was—that sounds to me relatively evident.


[14]      Darren Millar: But you’ve got all the descriptors, haven’t you, underneath those five, which make it much more complex, and they’re difficult to see in terms of the way that they’re laid out, because you’ve got to access them via a computer. We had paper copies of them in this committee; they were very difficult to look around.


[15]      Professor Waters: Yes, the intention is not to produce paper copies. And the working party that developed them, from the beginning, said that paper copies would not enhance the work of teachers, because they’re too complex to wade through. The examples that we looked at from across the globe are often produced on paper, and one of the difficulties was that, as the steps within the standards are explained on those pieces of paper, certain things assume more importance than others. So, the left-hand side of the paper is more important than the right, the top of the paper is more important than the bottom, or the bottom more important than the top, and people stop really looking at the depth of the standards.


[16]      The ambition of these standards is that people will explore those descriptors—not every descriptor all the time, but they will develop the professional habit of looking at their job, with colleagues, to try and make themselves the best teachers they can be. And that means using the web in the way that you use many web-based platforms, to find your way into the bits that make sense, in terms of their linkage to other bits. It’s not about looking at them in order. In terms of the notes that I did today, to try and enable the session, it says the standards are not to be looked at in order, then the descriptors are not to be looked at in their entirety. They’re to be looked at as a continuing role, not a, ‘Once a year, let’s visit the standards, let’s get them on paper so that we don’t miss anything’, but an opportunity for teachers to be the best teachers that they can be, by working through their complex job, through the descriptors.


[17]      Darren Millar: Some organisations as well, in the consultation, raised concerns about the phased approach to implementation—the two-stage approach—with newly qualified teachers being held to account via the new standards from this September, and with the others in the profession, if you like, being held to account from September of next year. Does that give sufficient time for everybody in the profession to be aware of the standards, particularly for those holding those newly qualified teachers to account, so the heads who have got to be aware in order that they can encourage and embed the practice of those standards in their newly qualified teachers who are coming in to work; the regional consortia; you know, all these other guardians of the standards, if you like? Do you think that’s enough time? It’s been sort of sprung upon them, hasn’t it?


[18]      Professor Waters: You’ve always got the problem of changing from one policy to a new one, and one practice to a new one—it’s a bit like changing escalators, you know, you’ve got to readjust quickly, or readjust over time. The decision that was taken, after consultation with lots and lots of people, was that teachers, in schools—qualified teachers at the moment, and leaders in schools—would themselves take responsibility for changing to the new process between now and the end of the current school year, so that this time next year they’re on the standards. And that would be determined by what makes sense to them. They’re their standards—owned by each individual. And, therefore, it might be right for you to change to the standards in November, whereas your colleague might change in March, which is the appropriate point on their performance management cycle. It might be that, if I were moving job in January, that would be the right time to move to the new standards in terms of my formal leadership role.


[19]      For the NQTs, or for people coming through training into the profession, there is always this problem that some people have already begun on one set of mandatory standards, which form a gateway, and the standards for the people coming through training, or in the induction year, are gateway standards. So, we can’t change the rules as they’re going through the process. So, one group has got to start and finish, and another group has got to start on the new ones. And the policy decision has been taken in terms of the timing that you described.


[20]      In terms of whether people are ready, and the guardians of the teachers coming through, I think that there is a lot of anticipation about the value and benefit of the standards. At every level, from consortia, as you mentioned, through to challenge advisor, through to headteacher, there is an expectation that we’ve got to do the best that we can for new entrants to the profession.




[21]      My personal view is the challenge is for those responsible for helping new people into the profession to really do that job effectively using the standards, rather than learn the standards so that you can apply them to people. What we want, at the end of their induction year, is for new teachers to believe that they want to develop for themselves the best standards that they can be as a teacher, not to simply think ‘I’ve finished’.


[22]      Darren Millar: So, what’s being done to help those guardians ensure that these standards are applied? Have they had any training? Have they been given any sort of time to develop themselves, in terms of being aware of the standards? How has that happened?


[23]      Professor Waters: As I understand it, the consortia people worked together many times, but quite recently, making sure there’s consistency across the regions of Wales, consistency in practice, so that external mentors for NQTs are ready and prepared to go, and school-based mentors are aware of what the processes are needing to be. But I’ll go back to that it’s the processes and the procedures that are as important as what the standards and the descriptors say. There are five standards. The unpicking of and challenging those standards, I think, is really important, as opposed to, ‘Can you demonstrate on one day in November that you can do the simple performance objective that I’m setting you?’


[24]      Lynne Neagle: Okay, briefly, Darren, because I want to bring Hefin in.


[25]      Darren Millar: I just want to ask you about the role of the Education Workforce Council in being responsible, if you like, as the watchdog to make sure that these professional standards are upheld. In their consultation response, they say that because of the different approaches to the standards that have been taken by the Welsh Government, they feel that it’s necessary to point out that the new standards will hamper rather than help them in their role in statutory fitness-to-practise work. That’s a concern. It’s a concern to me, as both a parent and a constituency representative. Isn’t it a concern to you?


[26]      Professor Waters: Of course it’s a concern to me. Members of the Education Workforce Council executive were on the working party from the beginning of the process of developing the new standards, and were enthusiastic contributors throughout. I think there is a reasoned argument that says we need to be careful, going forward, that we can ensure that every person coming through into the profession is the sort of person we would want to take through. It is for them to make sure they apply the standards appropriately. It would seem to me that the Government says, ‘These are our standards; now please apply them’, and they get on with it. If they can’t do it, then maybe we need somebody who can. The challenge is to apply the standards properly, not to say, ‘Let’s change the standards so that we can make something that works for us in an administrative function.’ We did look in depth at the entry routes into the profession and John Furlong’s work has talked very, very significantly and seriously about making sure that the right people enter at the right level to do the right job for the children of Wales. I think the risk of something that’s perfunctory and works being used, as opposed to something that really challenges the teaching force from its very beginning to do its best for the children, is a really big one.


[27]      Darren Millar: Just one final question on this. You’ve used some strong statements about the Education Workforce Council and its ability or otherwise to be able to enforce these standards. Don’t you think it would have been better if that professional regulator, as is the case in most other jurisdictions in the world, if they had been responsible for developing the standards, rather than your task group?


[28]      Professor Waters: It’s not for me to say whether that would have been better or not. All I will say is that the decision was made to work in the way that we have, and I’ve tried to do my best professionally to support the group and help it move forward. So, whether the regulator should have done it or not was not a decision that I was involved in.


[29]      Darren Millar: I’m just asking your professional opinion. Do you think it would have perhaps been better, more straightforward, if they’ve got to be the guardians of this—the watchdogs of these standards—if they had developed them, as is the case in most jurisdictions?


[30]      Professor Waters: This is not a comment about the particular Welsh Education Workforce Council, but I would suggest that a set of standards, developed in partnership with people across the profession, for the profession, in order to make the profession fit for the job that they’re trying to do—.


[31]      Darren Millar: I’m sure they would have developed them in partnership.


[32]      Professor Waters: Well, maybe they would, but they were part of the process going forward anyway, so I’m not really sure of the point—well, I think I know the point you’re trying to make—but I’m not sure whether it’s in my will to develop it.


[33]      Lynne Neagle: Okay. On this, Llyr, and then I’ll bring Hefin in.


[34]      Llyr Gruffydd: Yes, specifically on this: so that’s how they were developed, but from here on in then, onwards, should the ownership not be now in the hands of the EWC?


[35]      Professor Waters: Well, that’s a really interesting area of debate. Should they be with the workforce? I think that this notion of guardianship and making sure everybody’s good enough is a fascinating one, because at one point there was a lot of concern about how we would make sure that every NQT meets the demanding standards and how we would weed out the weak and so on. So, we looked at numbers, and I can’t remember the figures, but of the many, many, many thousands of people who’ve entered the profession over the last 10 years, there are in the teens of people who haven’t been acceptable. So, it could be that thing that we’re setting up an enormous machine to try and find the odd few, when actually what we really need is a machine that will generate the sort of professional expectation that teachers need across the country for every child, and not be focused on the 5 per cent or the 2 per cent or the 1 per cent that we feel aren’t reaching the standard that we expect. So, when the question is, ‘Would that have been a better place to start?’ and things like that, I’m not sure whether it would, but what I do know is that the opportunities that have been created by the work that’s been done on the standards, in the way that it has, is a really, really massive opportunity for Welsh children.


[36]      Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you. Hefin.


[37]      Hefin David: Just to pick up that point, professions have gatekeeper bodies, such as human resources have the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and accountants have various different chartered bodies. Do you think teaching lacks that kind of body?


[38]      Professor Waters: Pardon?


[39]      Hefin David: Do you think teaching lacks that kind of body and could the EWC fulfil that role in the future?


[40]      Professor Waters: Fulfil the role of?


[41]      Hefin David: Of a chartered body that would act as an accreditor for the profession.


[42]      Professor Waters: Well, the question was, ‘Where should it lie?’ I think there is a debate at the minute about whether you expect the profession itself to moderate and police itself, in a sense. So, you could have the onus placed with central Government; you could have the onus placed with a workforce council—an arm’s-length body; you could have the onus placed with the profession itself through its leadership academy. I think there’s a debate to be held about where it is.


[43]      Hefin David: There’s a model though, isn’t there? There are professional bodies for other professions. Pretty much any profession you name would have a professional body as a gatekeeper of standards, and teaching lacks that.


[44]      Professor Waters: Teaching itself lacks a gate—


[45]      Hefin David: A professional body as the gatekeeper of standards.


[46]      Professor Waters: Yes, teaching in Wales. It does in some countries. It’s different in different nations.


[47]      Hefin David: And it would surely be beneficial to have that.


[48]      Professor Waters: Yes, I think so. My ambition would be to turn it from the gatekeeper of standards to the springboard of standards: somebody who’s pushing the standards forward and encouraging teachers to have yet greater standards five years from now from the standards they’ve got at the moment.


[49]      Hefin David: So, changing and developing—these are standards that can change and evolve.


[50]      Professor Waters: Yes.


[51]      Hefin David: So, with regard to some of the specifics, if I was a teacher and I’ve looked through the standard document that you’ve sent the link to, it’s not interactive. Is it intended to be an interactive document, as in you tap a screen and it takes you to a different part of the standards?


[52]      Professor Waters: The web-based platform is intended to be interactive.


[53]      Hefin David: Right.


[54]      Professor Waters: The idea is that you press the cursor on the standard—the standard for professional learning—and that opens up the statement about the standard. You can then go from that into the descriptors. From each descriptor you can go from professional learning into other descriptors, or you can go across into descriptors for collaboration or innovation.


[55]      Hefin David: Is that available? Is that established?


[56]      Professor Waters: As I understand it, it’s established.


[57]      Hefin David: Okay.


[58]      Professor Waters: I saw it working before I sent the link through to the committee secretary.


[59]      Hefin David: And with regard to some of the language used in the—. I haven’t seen the interactive document, only the document that is available as a scroll-through—.


[60]      Professor Waters: Oh, right. The aim was to not let it be available as a scroll-through, because what then happens is that people print if off and you end up with paper everywhere.


[61]      Hefin David: Yes, exactly. That’s all that I’ve seen. With regard to some of the language, if I was a teacher in a school I’d feel that some of the language is a little bit obtuse.


[62]      Professor Waters: Sorry?


[63]      Hefin David: Some of the language is a little bit obtuse. And I would question what some of the things in it mean. So, for example, ‘seeking advice and support’ under ‘formal leadership roles’:


[64]      ‘confident leadership represents all schools in a positive collaboration or negotiation with interest groups to the benefit of learners across the educating community’.


[65]      I mean, I’m university educated, and have taught in university. I don’t understand what that means.


[66]      Professor Waters: Okay. I can tell you what that means: that good leadership in a Welsh school is not about just making sure that my school is the best school in the area. It’s about making sure that my school is the best it can be, and it contributes and supports other schools locally and nationally to grow and develop, and that the people in my school are encouraged to think of themselves as Welsh teachers helping Welsh children, wherever they may be, to grow and develop. Now, we had long conversations when the working group were developing the descriptors about whether descriptors need to be so precise that they can’t be misinterpreted, in which case they are at risk of becoming trite, or whether they become complex and sometimes difficult to make sense of initially.


[67]      When we did the trials and pilots, the feedback from all the people that took part was that, whilst in the beginning they took the descriptors for teaching or leadership and thought, ‘These are complex, what do they mean?’, once they’d started to work with them, the real benefit was in the fact that the statements were multifaceted. They were overlapping statements and it gave you a chance to explore and develop thinking about the job and develop practice in a way that was better than simply ticking to say ‘I’ve been able to show I can do this small aspect of the work’.


[68]      So the feedback was that the teachers involved thoroughly appreciated the more complex descriptors.


[69]      Hefin David: Okay. So where it says


[70]      ‘positive collaboration or negotiation with interest groups to the benefit of learners’,


[71]      is it then up to the teacher to interpret what interest groups are?


[72]      Professor Waters: No. The real ambition is to enable teachers to work with each other rather than address the standards separately—


[73]      Hefin David: So who are ‘interest groups’?


[74]      Professor Waters: Interest groups are—. If I were a teacher in early years it might be professional associations linked to developing early childhood education, but equally it might be an interest group of people locally who are trying to make sure that our foundation stage provisions are as good as they can be, and we’re working in a collaborative group to make them happen. It might be that I’m engaged in a research project, in which case I look at the innovation descriptors and see what I should be thinking about in that respect.


[75]      Hefin David: Okay. So I’m a teacher, and you’ve explained that to me, and I think that’s fantastic. I’m a teacher in a classroom using the interactive tool. Who’s going to explain that to me when I have that question?


[76]      Professor Waters: The lovely thing about it is that the interactive tool does not have to be me going in my little cubby hole and looking at the web-based platform on my own. The real delight in this is that professional people work together. So, as well as looking at it from my point of view, in the schools where this is already going now, where it’s already working, twos and threes of teachers are sitting down together to explore these standards and talk about what they mean, and what they might mean for an early years reception class teacher might look differently to a teacher who’s teaching year 6 or a teacher who’s teaching year 4. What the standard means for a PE teacher in a secondary school might be interpreted differently for a teacher who teaches art or science. The problem with any standard for teaching is that they’ve got to be interpreted for someone who teaches four-year-olds through to someone who teaches 18-year-olds, through a whole range of subjects and a whole range of settings. They’ve got to work for children who are taught in some rural school with just two teachers in the middle of Wales alongside somebody who’s in a school for 600 or 700 pupils, or a school for 2,000—


[77]      Hefin David: I still don’t think you’ve answered my question.


[78]      Professor Waters: I beg your pardon.


[79]      Hefin David: Who is going to help me as a teacher explain what these things mean? Because I haven’t got time to—


[80]      Professor Waters: Every teacher’s got somebody who’s a line manager, somebody who’s responsible for their performance management, and so, on a regular basis, there’s a conversation about that teacher’s progress and development. And so, that’s a chance to look at some of the descriptors and talk about how you, as a teacher, are developing and growing and what I, as a leader, need to help you to do to become a better teacher. And that person is, if you like, the one to whom you would turn to, to talk about what they mean.




[81]      The working group was quite adamant; it’s not about a once-a-year opportunity to sit down and talk about your professional growth. Professionals are always trying to grow and develop; they’re always trying to move forward. So, the more these standards are talked about all the time, as opposed to as a sort of perfunctory, once-a-year or small meeting, lip-service occasion, the better. We need standards that are there for teachers all the time, and standards that they’re aspiring to and growing into.


[82]      Lynne Neagle: Darren, briefly on this, because then I want to move on to the other topics.


[83]      Darren Millar: You were suggesting that—. I think what you were suggesting was that the practice that emanates from the standards will be different according to the working environment and, you know, whether it’s early years, later years, et cetera. But isn’t the idea of standards that there are standard things that teachers would be expected to do in all circumstances—certain types of behaviour, a professional code of conduct that will always be expected? So, aren’t we looking for some consistency here? Because, if you’re talking about every individual’s interpretation being different, how on earth can any of the custodians of the standards actually hold people to account for them?


[84]      Professor Waters: The values and dispositions statements are the overarching statement; as you said, the sort of belief in the job, a sort of Hippocratic oath: ‘I’m going to do this. This is the bare minimum. This is what I’m going to do as a professional’.


[85]      Just as you went through there, you used the phrase ‘the standard’. I’ll just say that standards for teaching, and many, many other professions, began about 15 or 20 years ago, when the public sector was asked to do the sorts of things that the private sector did. If we can cut the job down into very small bits and make sure that you can do every little bit of those small bits, when we put it back together, you’ll be a standard; you will reach a standard. I have to say, I don’t know many teachers who want to be a standard teacher. Most teachers want to be the best teacher they can be, and I think that, if your ambition is to have a standard anything, that’s low-level. If you’re a standard Assembly Member, I think that is probably not what you’d want to be. You would want to be the best teacher you can be. I’ve been teaching all my career, and if I thought I was good enough, I don’t think I would be doing the best for the children or the communities that I work for. You’ve got to have more ambition than ‘standard’.


[86]      Darren Millar: I accept that completely.


[87]      Professor Waters: Good.


[88]      Darren Millar: What I’m saying is that it’s very difficult with these standards, because of the great deal of interpretation that you’re suggesting ought to be allowed. I’ve just clicked on to these standards again, all 108 pages of them, which you download from the website, and I have to say they’re pretty impenetrable in terms of getting to grips with them, unlike the standards that I have for the professional bodies that I’m a member of, and the previous standards, which were pretty straightforward.


[89]      Professor Waters: I dispute that they’re impenetrable. I’ve met teachers who are in schools in Wales who have been using the standards now for quite some time in their evolving format who are excited about that they are giving them the opportunity to think about their job in a way that moves them forward as professionals. They’re not about proving that they’re good enough; they’ve passed that.


[90]      Darren Millar: There are two sides to the standards. There are those who are using the standards, and those who have to hold people to account to use the standards. And if you can’t hold people to account to the standards, then it becomes impossible to ensure that that consistency is there in terms of the application of them, doesn’t it? And that’s the difficulty—


[91]      Professor Waters: When you enter the profession, you’re deemed to be a teacher who is good enough to be with our children, to make the best of their lives educationally. The following year, I would have hoped that we’d moved on, and the following year, moved on yet further, and further, and further. And after 30 years, you’re still moving on. Most teachers stay as teachers. They don’t go into formal leadership roles. So, as they grow, you would want a better teacher every time that you looked at their growth. So, if you stick with standards that you can tick and say, ‘Well done, you’re still good enough’, that seems to me—and I think the working group also felt it seems to be—a very low base of aspiration. Wales is trying to get its teaching force to lift their ambition, to believe in better for their children and to think that they can make the difference. If you do that by saying, ‘Just show us that you can do this once a year’, I’m not sure you’re going to get where you need to be. That’s a personal view and that is, I think, shared by the working group.


[92]      Lynne Neagle: Thank you. We’re going to move on as well. John.


[93]      John Griffiths: Thank you, Chair. I wanted to ask about Donaldson’s reforms to the curriculum, because obviously, the education system in Wales is undergoing very substantial change and there is much else happening apart from the new curriculum that needs to complement it and fit in with it. So, do you think that these new professional standards are going to help produce teachers who will be able to deliver on that new curriculum?


[94]      Professor Waters: In devising that actual detail of the standards and the lovely complexity of them, the working groups took into account the work that Graham Donaldson and John Furlong have been doing in terms of the way in which the profession needs to unfold. The curriculum reforms, which are coming towards a threshold, are, I think, really welcomed by the teaching profession. In developing the standards, the emphasis on pedagogy is at the root of matching with Graham Donaldson’s work. So, the pedagogy for a teacher, the pedagogy standard, in terms of its descriptors, splits down into aspects of advancing learning—making learning better than it is now—influencing the learners—making them more disposed to learning and better able to grasp the learning that’s there—and refining the teaching so that I, as a teacher, am better skilled and better able to meet the needs of our youngsters. Those three elements link directly to Graham Donaldson’s work on the curriculum. Many of the descriptors—the language of them—come straight out of the curriculum work that’s been done. So, there is a harmony and there is a way forward.


[95]      In terms of the work on NQTs and induction-year teachers, the work there has been developed in partnership with John Furlong’s initial teacher education group, which has looked in depth at the descriptors and has tried to make sure that the language of that and the expectations fit with the work that’s anticipated there.


[96]      John Griffiths: In terms of that initial teacher training, what would you say have been the problems to date? I think we’ve heard quite a lot of concern about initial teacher training in Wales and its shortcomings. What would be your view on that and how the standards, again, are going to—


[97]      Professor Waters: I think John Furlong’s report ‘Teaching Tomorrow’s Teachers’ outlines what the problems are, and the work that Ralph Tabberer did before that to set the scene for it. It seems to me that there’s a recognition that more needs to be done to make sure that the best people go into Welsh schools and work with Welsh youngsters and therefore we can try and do all those things that are in John’s report to try and move it on.


[98]      If you’re asking me what my view is: if you want better teachers, then you somehow have to—and this isn’t just Wales—turn the challenge into selecting the best teachers, away from recruiting. Pretty well every country has to set out to get enough teachers—recruit teachers—but actually the countries that have the best esteem in teaching are the ones that are selecting teachers because they’ve proved they’re good enough to be teachers. Always, we’re grappling with the difference between taking those who we would wish to select or having to try and mould those who’ve come forward into being teachers. The entry level is what makes the profession.


[99]      Lynne Neagle: Julie on this.


[100]   Julie Morgan: Just on that, just quickly to ask: how do you know where to find them when you select them? I understand how you’re trying to recruit, but you want to select the people who you think are the best.


[101]   Professor Waters: What I’m saying is that if you set the standards—to go back to this gentleman’s point—that we want and say, ‘This is what you need to be to become the teacher’, the risk is that you don’t get enough and then you haven’t got enough to teach your children. So, therefore, you have to say, ‘Well, will anybody else teach?’ You really do need to—. It’s that endless problem: have we got enough teachers? No, so, well, let’s see who else we can get. It’s there in lots of countries around the globe, as opposed to we’re only having the ones who are good enough, and then we’ve got to work it out from there.


[102]   Lynne Neagle: John.


[103]   Julie Morgan: Sorry, John.


[104]   John Griffiths: No, not at all, Julie. Just one further question from me: one thing that often features in terms of how attractive it is to become a teacher or not is the workload that teachers face, and I think we hear that all the time from the teaching unions and teachers. So, these new standards, how are they likely to impact short term and long term on teacher workload, would you say?


[105]   Professor Waters: They definitely won’t increase workload. However, they will intensify the excitement about the work, the enthusiasm for the work, and the professional endeavour for the job. There’s a lot of talk about workload in lots of nations. Personally, I think it is teachers and professionals feeling that some of the work they’re doing is not making the biggest difference it can to the people that you’re trying to help, the children. And, consequently, if you’re doing work that doesn’t seem to help, you get frustrated by it and you call it workload. I think most teachers are prepared to work incredibly hard to make a difference to the children they teach, and they’re not fobbed off by some of the stuff they have to do to keep other people happy in an accountability regime. And so the ambition of the standards is to encourage teachers to explore their profession to become better professionals, and become more skilful professionals. Most teachers want to do that, and that’s different from workload. Workload’s an easy word and it’s hard to unpick.


[106]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Michelle.


[107]   Michelle Brown: Thank you. Coming back to what John just raised about the workload, that’s often been cited as a major barrier to access to professional development. You’ve explained that one of the benefits that you see of the new standards is that it’ll encourage, in the flexibility of the descriptors—. That one of the benefits of that is that it encourages teachers to get together to have conversations to work out what these standards actually mean for them. I’m kind of seeing there is going to be not maybe an increase in paperwork workload, but surely there’s going to be an increase in the amount of time that not only one individual teacher is going to have to take to go through what does seem to be a more complicated system—you know, you have to go from one thing to one thing to the next thing to the next thing. That’s going to tie up a lot of time with other teachers, as well as the individual teachers. So, how do you think that schools are going to be able to cater for that? Don’t you think that’s going to create a barrier?


[108]   Professor Waters: ‘Qualified for life’, Graham Donaldson’s work, talks about the investment we need to make in the teaching force in the way in which they see their job, and their job needs to be one where they collaborate with others, where they see themselves as innovators, where they invest in their own professional learning. And that’s a different job from that which is trying to satisfy people that they’re doing the basic standard job as well as they can. Everywhere I’ve been—I’ve met 1,000 and more teachers across Wales—I’ve met very little example of people worrying about whether they can make this work in terms of time, but much more enthusiasm for how we can make this work in terms of the benefits to our children. I’ve heard comments like, ‘I’ve been waiting all my career to be treated like this so that I can offer what I’ve got to offer’, said fully in front of 50 other people in a room. Now, I think that’s the sort of ambition you want to hear rather than, ‘Will I have time to do this?’ The challenge for leadership is to make the sort of culture that enables teachers and leaders to get together and work and develop in the way that this is proposing. It isn’t easy, it’s incredibly challenging, but it’s incredibly rewarding and supportive if we can get the climate right. It is about the climate and the culture as much as the workload. So, I, personally, don’t think it is a workload issue at all.




[109]   Michelle Brown: It’s not so much the physical workload, it’s the amount of time. What concerns me is that, if the schools don’t have the cover to cover the time, when are the teachers going to have these conversations with each other? Are they going to be given time off—time away from contact with the pupils—to have these conversations or—?


[110]   Professor Waters: I could open up a really long conversation here. Most of the leaders of the schools, the headteachers, have already been talking about how you help this to happen in a school, and it’s about using the time they have got more flexibly, rather than saying, ‘We need more time’. We’ve met this conversation just before the summer about, ‘Will there be training for this?’ and, ‘How will the training be organised?’ I naively sat with the working group saying, ‘In what sense do we need training? There is a set of descriptors and people have got a year to explore them before we come to any point where they’re going to be judged. Why don’t we get to know the standards, because they’re our standards, my individual standards, and explore them from there?’ Heads are already, in several schools, the ones that have been piloting them for quite a while, have already come up with ways of getting people to work on some of the things you were talking about, discussing the standards, looking at each other’s practice, which aren’t—they’re just moving time from one thing to another, rather than thinking, ‘We’ve got some more to do’. There are plenty of things they can cut down because the standards are creating time. They already spend time with every teacher, going through the 55. Well, that’s time. Over the course of a year in a big secondary school, that’s a lot of time. So, how can we use that time more effectively and more efficiently, as opposed to, ‘Is there more time coming? Is there more training?’ is the—.


[111]   Lynne Neagle: Okay. Llyr, are you moving on, because I just want to—?


[112]   Llyr Gruffydd: Well, I am, but it’s—


[113]   Lynne Neagle: Just before you do that, then, can I just ask—? The standards basically give teachers a right to continuing professional development. What redress have they got then if that culture isn’t there in the school to give them that entitlement?


[114]   Professor Waters: Back on the culture of the school, then. The standards for leadership and the descriptors for leadership really do emphasise the importance of professional learning, and professional learning is yet one more plank of what the Welsh Government is trying to use to lift standards in Wales. So, we’ve got to rally behind the notion of professional learning. If you’re in a school where there isn’t that culture, then, at the appropriate time, you talk about, with your leadership, your headteacher, ‘This isn’t working’. And I have to say, leaders are also held to account, by whoever performance manages them, to say, ‘How are we doing?’ So, there are five standards. How is professional learning in this school? Let’s have some examples of that, then, that have really shown us how teachers have moved forward. Let’s pick three teachers and see what their experience has been over the year, as opposed to coming into the room and telling me that you’ve done it so I can tick the box, in the way that was described earlier. I think it isn’t about can you prove you’ve done it somewhere, it’s actually about interrogating what’s going on in the school, talking about it at every level, and making sure it’s there.


[115]   What redress have they got? In the overarching values and dispositions, there’s a statement about every teacher should feel that they’re part of a learning organisation. In the leadership standards, there is a descriptor that talks about leadership helping every teacher to recognise what it’s like to work in a school that’s well led and focused on learning, and the schools that do that see the benefit in absolutely amazing ways. The schools that focus on learning, where the leadership recognises their role in that—every teacher should feel they’re in a school that’s well led. If I were an NQT, my career would be informed by the first job I got, and, if I was in a school where the leadership talked learning and saw learning, professional learning, as absolutely fundamental, my chance as a professional would blossom. If I were in a school where they didn’t, they wouldn’t, so leaders have got to be convinced. So, now you’re back into the leadership academy helping people to see how they can help people to develop, and I think the whole system—. And, across the globe, folks are waking up to the fact that it’s not about what you provide and what you do to people; it’s actually how you make them take responsibility for themselves. That’s what professional is: taking responsibility for yourself in order to meet the needs of the people you serve, building your own esteem, building the respect of colleagues through the work you do.


[116]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Before I bring Llyr in, Hefin, you had a brief question on the professional learning passport.


[117]   Hefin David: Yes. I think it’s an opportunity to ask that question. The Education Workforce Council had £300,000 this year from the Welsh Government to develop the professional learning passport. Is that a good vehicle for achieving that kind of learning?


[118]   Professor Waters: The professional learning passport I was actually going to mention earlier and we went sort of away from it. I think the work on the standards complements the work that’s been done on the professional learning passport and, as I understand it from the people that I’ve worked with at the workforce council, there’s now an effort to make the passport yet more dynamic to make it fit with the web-based platform and try and keep it going. I think the challenge for the professional learning passport is to get it used often and regularly and part of the routine of being a professional teacher, so that teachers want to use the passport. It’s not a mandatory thing; you’re invited to use it. It shouldn’t be an evidence document that proves I’ve done things; it should be the unfolding story of my professional development that I can use to inform the way I move forward. As I’ve been around Wales meeting teachers, I think there’s excitement about the standards, linked to the fact that the passport can be a prompt, and I don’t have to use my passport on my own—. It’s a bit like when you’re in the queue at passport control. You show people your own passport and where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing previously, so the passport can be like that for teachers. Let’s share—. Let’s get all our passports out and see where they match and where we’ve been.


[119]   Hefin David: What about a vision of it—? This is my only question. What about a vision of it being someone based in a school in south Wales, struggling with their scheme of work, trying to think of innovative ways of delivering to the standards, and someone in north Wales is doing something that is a few miles down the road and has improved that kind of scheme of work? Can the professional learning passport enable that kind of collaboration?


[120]   Professor Waters: I think the professional learning passport could do that really, really well. This problem of ‘somewhere else in the forest we’re already doing that but nobody knows about it’ is a really big one. What we’re trying to do is create, with the workforce council—. We’ve got the standards here and we’ve got the passport there; we’re trying to create a shared space on the web where people who are developing innovative practice can make available the work they’re doing to anybody to look for, and the workforce council’s challenge is to make it possible for folks to know what’s there. Often, the danger is you don’t even know it’s there to go and look for it, so they’ve somehow got to make it accessible.


[121]   Hefin David: A teacher could use that to alleviate workload as well, given that you’re sharing practices or anything.


[122]   Professor Waters: Yes, that’s right. Yes.


[123]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Llyr.


[124]   Llyr Gruffydd: Yes, thank you. You’ve spoken a bit about the cultural change that we need to see and that this is part of, but of course that doesn’t happen overnight. In our evidence from a breadth of stakeholders, they all said they would need help, they would need support, they would need training. So, we’ve sort of teased around the issues of where do they get the space to just sit down and start thinking that way, because it will take time to get to the point where it happens normally and naturally as part of their work. So, do you have any concerns around that, and do you think that bringing this in as soon as it is coming in is—? I suppose you’ve got to do it at a certain pace, but is there enough support there, because it should be there already, shouldn’t it?


[125]   Professor Waters: Is the question about do people need training?


[126]   Llyr Gruffydd: Well, yes, it is, but, generally, ‘How do teachers get their heads around this, because they’re firefighting?’ We’ve tried to tease this out a few times, but we haven’t really heard a definitive answer about—. What I’m hearing is: ‘Oh, you know, it’s cultural change and it’ll become part of their normal working life’, but, of course, there’s a hump in the road you need to get over in order to reach that point.


[127]   Professor Waters: I think there’s a risk, in all the developments in Wales, that we feel that we’ve got to train people on every aspect of it and then they’ll know what to do. There are some bits where they need to understand the unfolding picture. I think the big picture is what people need to know about. When I stand up in front of 100 teachers to talk about the evolving processes—when you start to talk about all the things going on you realise that they’re busy in their classrooms and this is all happening and everybody’s getting excited, but they haven’t quite caught on to what’s happening. So, I think the challenge is to get people to understand the big picture for Wales and then to think they’ve got a role to play in it. The standards are but one part of that. If they can grab the standards in the sense that you need to be the best professional you can, and that includes collaborating with everybody else and working with others and finding people in different parts of the country who are doing the same thing and grab the opportunity, then part of that, in terms of professional learning, is to pick up on some of the other things—the curriculum development and the way that the areas of learning are unfolding and developing and what they can do for making an NQT’s year the best it can possibly be, and what they can do for any trainee teacher in the school. Most teachers have pretty good ideas on what they can do. Inside the workforce there is a massive wish to make it better. So, it’s not simply the centre telling them what they’ve now got to do. It is about them grabbing the agenda and moving it.


[128]   Llyr Gruffydd: So, are you not concerned that a lot of the evidence we’ve had from some of these stakeholders, be they trade unions or workforce council or whatever, keep coming back to issues around workload and training? Because if that’s the case, it doesn’t sound as if they’ve understood what you’re trying to achieve.


[129]   Professor Waters: Well, I think there are several things. If you talk about professional associations, unions, the reaction to the standards, I would suggest, is mixed. They’ve been involved for a long, long while in where we are and what they’ve done. They’ve been to workshops that teachers are at and seen the reaction of the workers themselves. They have a role to play, and it’s right that they sort of point out where they think things should go. It is mixed, so I can’t generalise, but the conversations that I last had with members of the Welsh Government office through the back end of this summer term, and with individual associations, one at a time, were very positive, cordial and, I think, respectful of the way it’s going. There were various differences within that—if you take leadership, I think when you become a head of a school, most people who become a head of a school know that their first duty is to the best outcomes for all of those children in the school. To achieve that there is this fundamental role, which is to make the people who are working with those children the best they can be and to keep improving those people and do everything you can to help those people improve. That will have impact over 20 years because the NQT in 20 years’ time is the headteacher you would wish you could have been. It’s this big belief in the system.


[130]   Now, I think the system has got into a habit of thinking, ‘This is new—we’ll need training, and we’ll need cascade training, if possible, because that’s the cheapest, and we’ll need to get people in rooms—hundreds—’. Now, when you talk about the amount of time that people spend in rooms listening to somebody at the front telling them something they can’t quite understand yet is enormous. You put 100 people in a room for an hour, that’s 100 hours. You have a school closure day, where you get everybody in a room and talk to them in a big secondary school, that’s a phenomenal number of hours. So, could those hours be used in a different way? I think we do get in the habit of saying—. I respect the union colleagues, but I do think if somebody says, ‘Let’s develop’, they say, ‘Where’s the resource?’ It’s part of what you have to say. When we’ve said, ‘Where’s the resource?’, we say, ‘And where’s the time?’ You know, it carries on like that. Wales, it seems to me, is trying to say, ‘We want better for our children. Let’s change the way in which we operate.’ So, it means changing not just the curriculum, and the teacher training, leadership and that everything else should change; it’s actually thinking again about the culture so that we’ve got an ambition that’s different and invest in the teachers to invest in themselves. I’m not sure you need to get hundreds of people in rooms all the time.




[131]   Llyr Gruffydd: Okay, so when do you think the standards will start having a noticeable effect across the profession?


[132]   Professor Waters: I think the standards have already started to have an impact. I’ve been in a few Welsh schools this term. The excitement about standards, in the sense of, ‘We’re doing this, and we’re seeing how it links to the descriptor’—. On the question there, that came from over there, about the complexity, people are saying, ‘We’ve looked at this, and this descriptor is here, but we are realising this, and this, and this’. There are some who are worried, and there are some leaders in schools who are worried, that they haven’t now got the device that will hold somebody to account on one day in June to try and prove it. And there are some teachers who are now worried that they can’t bluff their way through one day in June to get through into the following year. And there is a bit of nervousness, and if that 5 per cent are worried about it, I’ve not really a problem with that, but don’t let’s hold everybody else back for the 5 per cent.


[133]   Lee Neagle: Thank you. Mark.


[134]   Mark Reckless: Professor Waters, were you trying to say we should be moving away from a model where teachers are taken out of the classroom, or a school closed, and you’ve got 100 people in a room being taught how to be better, and saying that training and professional development should be integrated into their normal teaching work week?


[135]   Professor Waters: I said: it’s not necessarily the default position to get people in a big room and talk to them. There are lots of models of teaching and learning that could be employed to help people to learn. So, one method is to get everybody in a room, but don’t let’s use it all the time. Let’s find the best teacher, let’s get that best teacher working with people and helping them to develop. Let’s let people spend time seeing the best teacher in practice. At the minute, the model for—. How do you know what good practice is? You know because somebody comes and tells you yours is or isn’t good enough, and you read in reports what you should be doing, but you’re not quite sure. Things ripple through teaching in a sort of hearsay way based on what somebody thought somebody meant.


[136]   Mark Reckless: Is it for the head and a school to take responsibility for that, rather than looking for someone else or for more resource in order to do the professional development?


[137]   Professor Waters: Is it for the head or the school? In terms of professional learning, I think every person leaving initial training should come in thinking, ‘I’ve only just started, and I’m going to be the best teacher I can be, and it’s a long way, and I’ll never finish.’ I think all professionals know they’ll never be finished. That’s where your baseline stuff goes wrong. Because, if you’ve finished, this time next year you’ll be the same again, whereas I’ll want people to be—and I think the working group that worked on this are very clear—‘You’ll never finish.’ That’s one of the real indicators of professionals: you never believe you’ll have finished; you’re never the finished product, and you delight in that. Now, what that means is you’ve got to find practice that moves you on, and it might be that you sit in an auditorium and listen to somebody telling you how it might be. It could be that you link up with somebody in Japan who is doing something really innovative, and you’re part of a learning group in a global community and, from that, you can then tell some of your colleagues what you’re doing. It might be that you work alongside an expert who is showing you something that you’ve never seen before. It might be that you take your intractable problem and you work on it with three other people who’ve got the same intractable problem, and you work out to get in touch with somebody else. But the model that we are all standard and we do standard things to standard people, and keep processing them in the same way so that they come out as a slightly better standard, but some won’t be, seems to me a little bit lacking in use of resource. That’s all I’m saying.


[138]   Mark Reckless: Thank you.


[139]   Professor Waters: It needs to be explored, and the professional learning group is doing that. It’s saying, ‘Do we have to keep doing what we’ve always done, or shall we do it in other ways? Is there a better way of using resource?’


[140]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you very much. Well, we’ve come to the end of our time, so can I thank you very much for attending, Professor Waters? We very much appreciate you coming, and we’ve enjoyed our discussion with you today. You will be sent a transcript to check for accuracy in due course. But thank you again for your time this morning.


[141]   Professor Waters: Can I just say ‘thanks very much’? It’s been a pleasure working with teachers in Wales, and working with Welsh Government officers and working with people across the profession. What I have learned is that, across Wales, there’s an ambition for the Government policy that really wants to make it come to fruit. They know, these teachers, that they want the best for children, not just this year, but so that Wales becomes the country that we’re trying to make it be, and as society grows and develops as we go forward, and contagious professionalism is at the root of it.


[142]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you very much.




Ymchwiliad i Addysg a Dysgu Proffesiynol Athrawon:
Sesiwn Dystiolaeth 8
Inquiry into Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education:
Evidence Session 8

[143]   Lynne Neagle: We’ll move on then to our second evidence session this morning from the education consortia. I’m delighted to welcome Dr Kevin Palmer, from the Education Achievement Service for South East Wales; Anna Brychan from Central South Consortium Joint Education Service; Alan Edwards from Education through Regional Working; and Rhys Howard Hughes from GwE. Thank you very much all of you for attending and thank you for the paper that you provided as well. If you’re happy, we’ll go straight into questions. I’ve got Julie Morgan first.


[144]   Julie Morgan: Thank you, Chair, and bore da. Could you give us an update on progress in developing the professional learning offer—if you could say what it’ll look like and what benefits it’s going to bring? I don’t know who wants to start—Anna.


[145]   Ms Brychan: Diolch yn fawr. I’ll start, if I may. I hope it’s helpful, but we thought it would be easier to absorb all our information if each of us takes the lead on various questions and then, if there are additional examples you need or that we need to give, we’ll do it like that. So, the first one has fallen to me. I wasn’t here last time, but I looked at the information you’d had last time, and there have been a lot of developments since then on the professional learning offer—both in the extent of what all the regions offer, but also the level of work we’ve done together. So, there’s been particularly a focus on the professional learning pathway and around leadership specifically. So, we all, for example, offer now a professional learning programme for new headteachers and aspiring headteachers that are common across Wales, and a lot of that work has happened since we last met you.


[146]   Each of us too has a professional learning offer, which is very extensive, for all our schools and all our practitioners and that includes everybody from learning assistants to executive headteachers. I’ve brought mine along and everybody’s got one. I think in the last meeting, each of us submitted last year’s offer. These are obviously now much more reflective, and increasingly so, of the kinds of skills and developments that teachers and practitioners generally will need to prepare them for the new curriculum, and the pioneer schools, which have obviously been taking the lead in that area, are central to our delivery model and their knowledge and expertise is being used to develop the professional learning offer. Do you want to add your bit?


[147]   Dr Palmer: Yes. So, I think that our idea is that, as Anna has given you something of an overview, we’ll come in now with some specific examples that may be common across regions, but may be specific to a region. The one I have chosen to talk about just for a minute or two is the way we’re working with our excellence in teaching framework, which is a document we use to underpin professional conversations between teachers and teachers, teachers and leaders and leaders and leaders. We’ve reformatted that framework to take account of the new standards. So, I noted you had Mick Waters earlier on, and we’ve worked with Mick to see how those standards would play out into a framework for a professional conversation between colleagues that is different from the conversation we would have had previously, and takes account of those new dimensions—so, collaboration, innovation and leadership. In the context of being a teacher, we now have a framework for those conversations. That also gives us a framework for the professional learning offer we make across all of the regions, which will extend into the teaching and the support workforce, as well as the leadership workforce.


[148]   Mr Edwards: The example I wanted to pick up, especially in our consortia, is that there was an issue with recruitment of mathematics teachers at secondary, and we had a number of teachers that were looking to develop their skill set that had possibly a maths qualification, but not experience of teaching that. So, we’ve developed work with universities, looking at a postgraduate diploma, then, in mathematics education. So, it’s a specific professional learning offer for teachers to upskill themselves in that area so that, as they’re moving through in their career, they can find other pathways to support their development.


[149]   Julie Morgan: So, that would be a particular one for your consortium, because you have more issues about recruitment of those.


[150]   Mr Edwards: Yes, recruitment pressures, although—


[151]   Ms Brychan: If I can add to that, the challenge in recruiting mathematics teachers is one that’s common to us all, and I think we’ve all got—. We, for example, have got the Teach First model in our region which has concentrated particularly on core subjects, and essentially we’ve tried a lot of different models because we know that that’s an area that we need. So, each of us has that as a priority. I think that’s a common national lack.


[152]   Mr Hughes: From the GwE point of view regarding professional learning and how important it is on the agenda, we’ve recently been through a complete restructure of the service in GwE to reflect the expectations on the service. So, professional learning is very high on the agenda. We’ve actually got a professional learning senior lead now for the region. All staff are expected to produce a professional learning offer in the areas that they’re leading as portfolio leads, core leads, senior leads, and it all feeds in through our new planning structure so that we have a consistent approach to professional learning across the region and meet the needs of the schools, the local authority consortia and Welsh Government.


[153]   Julie Morgan: Right. So, some things are universal to the consortia and some things are particular to each individual consortium. So, do you think—? Obviously, you’re working with the pioneer schools. Do you think this offer will be ready by July 2018?


[154]   Dr Palmer: I think we’re all going to answer that, but I’ll take the first point if I may. The question of readiness is a significant question for our workforce, so if we frame that by saying we know that in the curriculum reform agenda there will be changes to what we teach, there will be changes to organisational structures in schools and there will be changes to the way we teach and assess, and to the way schools are accountable for outcomes in the context of the new curriculum. So, the stakes are obviously very high in curriculum reform. The question as I read it is, ‘Will the workforce be ready for that at the point at which it matters, and how will we get them there?’, and so colleagues will contribute their bits in a second, but I’ll take the first if I may.


[155]   So, the first—and it goes back to the previous speaker you had here—is the role of the new standards. So, the new standards are available now. They’re being worked on—. They’ve already been worked on at a consultancy level by schools and they’re being worked on in all regions by all schools, whether they’re pioneer schools or not. I think you will have heard this before, but it’s critical to note that in the pedagogy dimension of the standards, you can’t get away from the four principles; you wouldn’t want to, but they are there in the standards. So, there’s a really fundamental link between the new expectations of the curriculum and the outputs that it’s expected to deliver, and the standards through which we talk to our teachers. 


[156]   The second dimension is the professional learning offer roll-out that you’ve seen when Anna held her document up, and that, across all regions, includes work in the new curriculum as an entitlement for all teachers and leaders. So, certainly from December 2017, if not sooner, all teachers and leaders in all of the regions will have an entitlement to work in the context of the new curriculum. So, as the area of learning and experience conveyor belt rolls on, and things come off the AoLE conveyor belt, all schools will engage with the outputs of that at a critical level.




[157]   I mentioned the new guidance documentation that we’ve executed in the region around the new standards and around the new curriculum. Versions of that approach will be taken across all of the regions, and every time we talk about teaching in maths, every time we talk about leadership in the middle, we’ll talk about that in the context of the new standards and in the context of the new curriculum.


[158]   Finally—and we’ve worked with colleagues in the Welsh Government department on this—all of the regions will have in place, certainly before the end of October but probably sooner than that, a model of dissemination based on key questions. Those key questions are awareness raising, embedding information about change, the professional learning approach and securing confidence through challenge and support. So, that’s a common approach across all of the regions. So, all of our advisory teams, with all of our schools, will be able to go into those processes. So, that’s the generic answer, but you can see it touches on the education achievement service at certain points of detail. Other colleagues will have examples from that.


[159]   Ms Brychan: We know how significant a challenge this is. I was looking, before we came, at some of the survey results. The Education Workforce Council did a survey of teachers earlier in the year, and, at that point, they weren’t feeling—or the ones that responded to the survey—. I’m always a little bit wary because people select themselves, but it was an indication of the job of work that needed to be done in terms of levels of confidence and readiness. I think what I can say confidently in that, in planning the professional learning offer—I think there are 270 programmes or something in here for this year—all of that work is being done consciously around the standards, about what we know about the curriculum, and all our other models of schools working together are concentrating on that. I think one of probably the most positive things is the way that, often, schools themselves have taken the leadership in this, in that, for example, on our patch, all the Welsh-medium primaries—there are about 50 of them—came together, two years ago now, and said, ‘Look, this is the challenge that’s facing us in 2018’. They’re all passionately engaged in what the curriculum is trying to do and want it to work effectively for their learners. So, they’ve come together and said, ‘Right, we are going to concentrate our efforts, as clusters and groups, in these two years on preparing our staff, on trying things out, sharing what we learn’, and an awful lot of schools, in whatever funded groups we have for them to work together, have started doing that and started doing that two years ago. What we can now say is that the pioneer schools as well, who are often, anyway, the schools that offer the professional learning in the region already, are now much more plugged in, if I can put it like that, and their information is increasingly influencing the professional learning offer we have. So, I think we can be confident that all our efforts are concentrated in that direction, but time will tell the confidence levels of teachers, and I think that’s worth returning to regularly to test too.


[160]   Mr Edwards: I think, just to follow up, really, on what Kevin mentioned when he was talking about the last question, we’re focusing as well on developing teaching and learning in general. So, if you improve teaching and learning, as the new curriculum is implemented, you’re in a better place to do that. So, all of our professional learning focuses on improving pedagogy in line with the new standards so that teachers are better prepared for the changes that are likely to come.


[161]   Mr Hughes: Yes, and this is obviously a key driver for all this, and where we’ve got a national approach with regional variances, regional delivery methods—. Up in the north, we’ve got cluster leads working with pioneer schools now, so there’s a lead for developing all schools, not just pioneer schools, making sure that all schools are ready for the new curriculum and the recommendations in ‘Successful Futures’. Also, all four regions are working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, as you know, with schools learning organisation mindsets, and that feeds into the professional learning offer, making sure that that’s as effective as possible to move forward. I could give much more detail, but that’s just a quick overview of some developments.


[162]   Julie Morgan: So, in terms of the timescale, these are optimistic answers.


[163]   Mr Hughes: Yes, we’re involved in all these work streams at the moment. They’re all developments. They’re all working towards preparing the workforce for the future, but also preparing people now. So, what we’re doing now is that we’ll be evaluating effectively, learning, changing as we move on, to make sure we’ve got the effective workforce in place for the new curriculum.


[164]   Mr Edwards: And I think, in the way we’re preparing them now, we’re building that capacity for the future, aren’t we? We’re developing the capacity within schools to become more resilient, to become self-improving so that they can—.


[165]   Ms Brychan: And if you talk to teachers as well, often what they’ll say about the new curriculum is, ‘The principles of this are all about effective teaching and learning.’ So, as long as our endeavours in professional learning concentrate on that, use all the research about how professional learning works best, that is the best preparation for what they now need to do, and, in any event, is what we should be offering and giving teachers.


[166]   Julie Morgan: And then my last question is: how closely is your work on professional development aligned with the wider education reforms?


[167]   Dr Palmer: I’ll start with that, if I may. In our minds, there are four transformational elements to the wider reforms. We’ve talked about the new curriculum, and the new curriculum is a product—if you want to put it that way—that our schools work on. There’s the professional standards that you’ve heard about already, and those are closely linked together; the professional standards will help our schools to understand and implement the curriculum. Then there’s the professional learning approach, so that’s a well-researched, well-established approach to professional learning for professional adults. So, those three things link together. Then, as Rhys mentioned earlier on, there are schools as learning organisations.


[168]   So, we see schools as being in the middle of those four transformational elements, and we’ve done the work with many schools on how critical it is that those elements talk to each other; that you just don’t try and ‘do’ schools as learning organisations, you just don’t try and take on the new curriculum, but that you make those elements work together, and all of our professional learning provision is premised on taking those elements together. That’s why I think the answer to your question before, ‘Are we optimistic?’, is ‘yes’, because we see how all of those elements fit together.


[169]   Mr Hughes: And just to add to that, to make sure that everything aligns, we’re working very closely as four regions. For example, we’ve got a sub-group looking at specific leadership development and aligning with the academy priorities, and so on. We’ve also recently established a professional learning sub-group that will liaise with the leadership one and take the consistent approach and aligning all the reforms as we move forward.


[170]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Mark.


[171]   Mark Reckless: As you seem to encourage teachers to take up professional training opportunities that you offer, what do you find are the biggest barriers to their doing so?


[172]   Mr Hughes: Okay. If I start with this one, if I may, and then colleagues will come in as appropriate. Obviously, we’ve thought carefully about these issues as we’ve been developing the professional learning offer and making sure that we engage with stakeholders and include their opinion and adapt as we move forward. So, as regards the barriers, really, time is one, obviously. Financial issues for schools is another one. Lack of access to quality supply teachers—so, for example, if there’s a seven-day programme and a practitioner wishes to engage, it’s very difficult, at times, for schools to find quality supply teachers who are available to fill the void. And also workload issues come into the mix. So, these are all elements that we consider, and then we try and offer a variety of different professional learning approaches to accommodate the workforce and make sure that professional learning opportunities are available for all. I can go into more detail about what we’re doing, if you’d like, but those are the main barriers, as a starter.


[173]   Mark Reckless: You often see the beginning and the end of the term having inset days or particular training in schools, and I know many teachers spend significant proportions of the school holidays preparing and working on lesson plans for the future. Does any of the training happen within those school holiday periods when you wouldn’t face those issues, albeit, of course, that the teacher is taking that time to do professional development?


[174]   Mr Hughes: It depends how we view professional development, really. We’re trying to move away, locally, from the use of the word ‘course’, where people go on ‘a course’ and sit there all day listening to somebody and then go back to school and do the day job. It’s a professional learning approach, where there are specific stakeholders from different schools, consortia, LA that come in and co-deliver, but also there’s a specific project that benefits the individual, benefits the school, is part of the school development plan and, at the end of the day, benefits the pupils in the school to move the whole system forward. So, I suppose, yes, there will be elements of the professional learning that happen during a school holiday period, especially maybe with the distance-learning approach, and maybe the one-to-one mentor, but in general, locally, we don’t hold specific development days where they come out to a central location during school holidays at the moment.


[175]   Mark Reckless: Central South consortium: I understand, recently in the Public Accounts Committee, you said that, in future, professional development was going to be provided free of charge to teachers and the schools who employ them. Can I ask (a) how is that being funded, and (b) is that a common approach across consortia or specific to Central South?


[176]   Ms Brychan: We all, I think, have a mix of free—well, fully funded—or practitioner- or school-paid-for programmes, but I think what you’re referring to is that the model in Central South, where hub schools are responsible for providing and delivering professional learning programmes used to be—. Until this year, other schools used to pay to use that provision. Now that’s funded centrally and it is funded by grant. Now, there are two things, I think, to bear in mind around this. First of all, the barriers that Rhys mentioned earlier on about, essentially, cost, time and workload; this is an attempt to address the cost element of it, and the indications are, although we’ve only had this in place since April, that the uptake of the programmes we offer is considerably higher now, which does suggest that that was an issue that was previously there. It does raise questions about sustainability over time, and we’re still grappling with that, but the fact of the matter is, at this crucial time when we’re preparing for a new curriculum, as we need more teachers to engage with the professional learning offer, that appears to be happening.


[177]   Mark Reckless: So, to the other members of the panel: this Central South model where schools are not having to pay for the training that’s delivered through a hub school, is that common across the regions, or are you still having significant reliance on schools having to pay for professional development for their teachers?


[178]   Dr Palmer: I’ll go first on that for us. We’ve moved in EAS. Over the course of the last four years, we’ve moved from quite a heavy fee-based approach to, the objective is, a no-fee-based approach, and we do that by making use of the grants that Welsh Government makes available to us. So, you know the example of the Pioneer grants. There are other grants for capacity building that we can use to meet the costs. There’s always a cost. Whatever the cost is, it’s always there, so we’ve moved from—. If you think about a balance of three things, there’s the grant that we get from local authorities to deliver our service; there’s the grant we get from Welsh Government that’s focused on specific priorities, for example, the Pioneer programme; and then there are fees. Probably four years ago, the balance of those things for professional learning was heavily fee based, when I first came to EAS. It is now—. The fee income requirement for us is less than a quarter of what it was, and the objective is to move, if we can, if we can afford to move, towards a no-fee principle. In the professional learning offer that we provided to you previously, you’ll have seen that pretty much every programme in there is offered at no charge to the schools.


[179]   Mr Edwards: Ours is the same. We’ve moved towards the no-fee. Our current professional learning offer, as Kevin said, if you look through that, they’re all no-fee. The only thing we haven’t—. Sometimes there is a supply fee for schools for certain things, but we don’t charge them to actually attend any of the training and professional learning opportunities that are available.


[180]   Mr Hughes: We’ve started with the approach of trying to fund as much as possible within GwE. We have a combination. Some are what we call ‘fully funded’, but then even though it’s fully funded, there is obviously a cost to the school, which might be supply cost, or might be even the fact that they haven’t got a body to replace the teacher in the classroom and so on, which I referred to earlier, but we’ve got a combination of fully funded and some are part funded. Working with Bangor University, evaluating our leadership development programmes, there is a conversation at the moment regarding what’s the most effective way, because sometimes if we charge a minimal fee, there is a level of engagement and commitment.




[181]   However, with the financial restraint for schools, similar to colleagues, we’re trying to make sure, using the grants available to us as a consortium, that we provide fully funded opportunities for practitioners.


[182]   Lynne Neagle: Darren on this.


[183]   Darren Millar: I just wanted to ask a question about access to those professional development opportunities for supply teachers. So, do you open them up so that anybody who’s a registered teacher within your region can attend? And do you promote them, not just to the schools, but also to that supply teacher base, so that they can maintain their skills? You referred to, I think, a little bit of a concern over the quality, sometimes, of supply teachers being a potential barrier to people accessing professional—


[184]   Mr Hughes: Accessing quality supply teachers, not the fact that there’s no quality in the supply teachers—


[185]   Darren Millar: Yes, yes.


[186]   Mr Hughes: But, yes, the aim is to make sure that there’s a professional learning offer available for all practitioners. That includes, as Anna mentioned, teaching assistants, NQTs, teachers, senior leaders, all the way through the system, but it also includes supply teachers.


[187]   Darren Millar: So, you’re actively offering professional development opportunities to supply teachers, for example, in north Wales, right at the moment.


[188]   Mr Hughes: They’re available, but I think we need to work more regarding targeting supply teachers and maybe even a bespoke programme for supply teachers. That’s the conversation we’re having at the moment. It’s a big challenge to make sure that all the workforce is ready for the new curriculum, so it’s a particular challenge for the supply teacher market as well, to make sure, because they’re not working on a daily basis, maybe, in a school. So, we need to look after this part of the profession as well, and that’s a conversation we’re having at the moment as we’re restructuring and looking at the professional learning opportunities that we can offer. We maybe need a bespoke one for supply. It’s similar to the higher education institution scenario. We work with HEIs to bring everybody up to speed on certain developments.


[189]   Darren Millar: I appreciate that, but the question I’m trying to get answered is: are they routinely invited to participate in the current offer of professional development opportunities?


[190]   Lynne Neagle: Kevin.


[191]   Dr Palmer: Yes.


[192]   Darren Millar: They are in your area, but is that consistent everywhere?


[193]   Dr Palmer: There’s a degree of consistency that is driven around the NQT entitlement, so it’s almost a statutory level of consistency, because NQTs have to have a programme of support, and many NQTs are also supply teachers. So, that cohort is dealt with by that requirement. There’s probably variation, and that variation is—if I think about my own region—it’s relatively straightforward for us and Central South to provide services to supply teachers because they will be in one or the other of our regions and we can manage that fairly straightforwardly. The further west and north you go, the more complicated it gets, actually, so the answer is: in some regions we actively target, for want of a better phrase, supply teachers, and I do it through the supply agencies—I meet with supply agencies reasonably regularly to do that; in other regions, that’s emerging.


[194]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, Hefin on this.


[195]   Hefin David: The Welsh Government invested £300,000 into the professional learning passport. What do you think of it?


[196]   Dr Palmer: Great idea. I’ll tell you what I know, because I’ve only recently looked at the actual online version of the passport. So, in the sense that it provides a digital environment for teachers—well, all teachers, actually, as we go through the process—to register evidence or exemplification of their having met standards as you go through the new standards, that’s a great idea. I think there’s probably work to do on the interface. From what I’ve seen, the interface wants to reflect the dynamic involvement that the standards themselves reflect when you look at the way that Mick Waters has presented the standards. I don’t know that the interface does that yet, but the functionality, the way that you can gather evidence or exemplification, map it to a standard or a level, according to the way the standards are set out: good idea.


[197]   Hefin David: What about as a vehicle for sharing professional practice and professional development as a reflective practice?


[198]   Ms Brychan: I think, like you, that the idea is an excellent one and the angle I come at it from is the workforce development angle. It is voluntary, but it very much for individual practitioners to hold all their professional development information in one place. I think the interest for us will be in terms of promoting teachers working together, collaboration between them. To gauge and plan our professional learning offer more effectively, the question will come down to how much information can we reliably mine from that to make sure that, for those practitioners who are registered in Wales and who are on that system, we have for them a professional learning offer that they need, based on what they’ve done and what they’ve already got, and more detailed information about the professional expertise of our workforce, which arguably we don’t have very ready access to now, apart from via our individual relationships with schools.


[199]   Hefin David: Can I put a scenario to you? You’re teaching in the classroom and you’ve got to develop a scheme of work for the next term and you’re struggling to be as creative as you want to be because of time constraints and workload pressures, but someone else in a different area of the country in a different consortium is doing that as a teacher in the classroom. Can the professional learning passport enable that sharing of expertise in a reflective way?


[200]   Dr Palmer: It could. It would depend on some technical questions around permission settings and access to different domains and all that—


[201]   Hefin David: But in principle, would it be possible?


[202]   Dr Palmer: In principle, it could. What I would say is that something already does that, which is the Hwb. So, if I were in the scenario that you’ve just painted, what I would do is use the Hwb to access resources, and we very actively encourage communities of practice within the Hwb to do precisely what you’ve just described.


[203]   Hefin David: Therefore, would the PLP be duplicating that when it doesn’t need to?


[204]   Dr Palmer: Only if it did what you’ve just suggested it would do. So, what the PLP does is it provides me as an individual practitioner with my exemplification of having met the standards. That’s its primary function. It could be that in my—. I’ll just play the scenario you’ve described out. So, I’ve exemplified that I’ve met the standard for innovative planning or collaborative whatever it is, in there. I might have a digital product as a consequence of that; it could be a lesson plan, it could be some kind of pedagogy instructional resource. That product within the PLP is not a sharable product amongst other professionals because it’s my PLP, right? However, I can very easily—and I’ve seen this—you can very easily take that product and stick it in the Hwb in the professional learning space that it belongs in, and then all sorts of other functionality pops out of the Hwb to enable this teacher to pick that resource up and retask it or reorient it to a different function or use it for exactly the same thing.


[205]   Hefin David: So, you’d need to link the PLP to the Hwb. Is that what you’re suggesting?


[206]   Dr Palmer: If you wanted to remove the active step of taking this digital product and putting it in one place and then putting it in another place, then you’d have to link the two. You’d need some kind of technical solution that does that and it would present itself as a button. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that functionality in the specification for either the PLP or the Hwb.


[207]   Mr Hughes: I think that’s coming into a discussion on the effective use of professional learning passports. The professional learning passport is there. We’re encouraging it through all our programmes now—encouraging practitioners to engage. We’re working with EWC; they’re coming up to the north to give an overview—


[208]   Hefin David: I’ve seen a demonstration of it.


[209]   Mr Hughes: —and a demonstration as well—raising awareness. But as we move on, we need to make sure that there’s an effective use and it links to other opportunities that are available locally and nationally, so that in the end the individual has a record of their professional development. The professional learning passport then should help them align the further developments that they need. It will obviously link to performance management and all the other development aspects in the school, so—


[210]   Hefin David: Because the teachers have got to see a value, and the value’s got to be—


[211]   Mr Hughes: Of course, yes.


[212]   Hefin David: —some kind of mechanism like that.


[213]   Mr Edwards: I think the useful element of the professional learning passport then is that it’s a useful interface where teachers can engage with the standards to start to understand the standards and pick where they want to develop. And then as Kevin said, if you’re developing a certain area, you’ve got then a platform where, as a teacher, you can say, ‘Actually, I want to learn how other people in Wales are developing that.’ It gives them that access to something.


[214]   Hefin David: So, to achieve the professional standards, should it be mandatory, using the PLP to demonstrate the achievement of professional standards? Yes or no—or maybe?


[215]   Ms Brychan: I don’t know if I’ve thought about it—maybe, yes.


[216]   Mr Hughes: I think we will see, as we progress now, effective practice, and if that effective practice reflects that it does benefit the individual and it is worth while them engaging in it, then I can’t see why not, because it links to the individual leadership review and the use of the ILR in the leadership development. So, in an ideal world, we need to tie them all together so that it is beneficial for the individual.


[217]   Hefin David: Because I can see—


[218]   Dr Palmer: I think what you’re describing is—


[219]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, Hefin, we’re going to have to move on from this now, because we are short of time.


[220]   Hefin David: I was quite enjoying that seminar.


[221]   Lynne Neagle: Yes, I know. Llyr.


[222]   Llyr Gruffydd: Diolch. Rydw i eisiau gofyn ychydig gwestiynau ynglŷn â recriwtio a chadw athrawon, retention, sydd yn destun gofid i nifer. Mae yna gyfeiriad wedi bod yn gynharach at ymchwil y Cyngor Gweithlu Addysg a rhai o’r ystadegau a gafwyd yn hwnnw. Yn amlwg, mae’n faes y mae angen mynd i’r afael ag e, ond mi ddechreuaf i gyda recriwtio athrawon. Rydym ni wedi trafod tipyn fan hyn yn y pwyllgor, ac wedi gweld tipyn o dystiolaeth, ynglŷn â rhai o’r rhwystrau sydd yna i recriwtio pobl, ond mi fyddwn i’n licio clywed ychydig ynglŷn â beth ŷch chi’n trio ei wneud fel consortia i fynd i’r afael â rhai o’r rhwystrau yna. Hefyd, efallai y gallwch chi roi rhyw ddiweddariad i ni ynglŷn â’r ymgyrch ‘Darganfod Dysgu’ a pha effaith ŷch chi’n meddwl y bydd honno’n ei chael.


Llyr Gruffydd: Thank you. I want to ask you a few questions about teacher recruitment and retention, which is a subject of concern for many. There’s been reference to the research by the EWC and some of the statistics that have emerged from that. Evidently, it’s an area that needs to be tackled, but I’ll start with recruitment of teachers. We’ve discussed quite a lot in this committee, and had some evidence, about the barriers that are there in terms of recruitment, but I’d like to hear a little bit about what you’re trying to do as consortia to tackle some of those barriers. Also, maybe you could provide an update about the ‘Discover Teaching’ campaign and what impact you think that’ll have.

[223]   Mr Edwards: I’ll start with this one, if that’s okay. Actively, as four consortia, we are working together to address the recruitment issue. We’re trying to support each other in that process, and the ‘Discover Teaching’ was where, as four consortia, we pooled our resources together to develop this area. That was launched in May, with support from the Welsh Government and then all of the consortia. That has helped to increase the profile of teaching in Wales and, as part of that, we’ve developed a range of areas. So, for example, across consortia, we’ve held recruitment fairs for potential headteachers who may want to come and work in Wales, allowing them to understand what it’s like to work in Wales, showing them why it’s attractive to work in Wales. So, we’ve been promoting those. There’s been a range of adverts. There is a website for ‘Discover Teaching’, which we’ve linked with local authorities to advertise posts that they’ve got coming up, so it’s advertised on a national basis as well. And then, also, I mentioned earlier about the upskilling of non-specialists, because we know that, if there are recruitment areas, there are teachers out there that may be looking for work, but their expertise at that stage doesn’t allow them to access certain roles. So, we are looking at ways in which we can upskill. I mentioned earlier the postgraduate diploma as an example for maths teachers who may want to engage.


[224]   And then, also, on top of that, one of the things that we know is a barrier to recruitment and retention was workload, and that came out in discussions through this. The first part of that workload programme was launched last week, where, initially, we were looking at feedback for teachers. We know that, over time, feedback has become something that has increased workload on teachers, wherein the system has driven a kind of systemic view that teachers have to spend a lot more time providing that feedback, planning their lessons, and so on. So, we’ve worked with Estyn, the Welsh Government and the unions, then all of the four consortia, to put together guidance for teachers, to say, ‘This is what you should do, this is what you don’t need to do’, to support them in reducing that workload. If we can reduce that workload, hopefully, over time, we’ll retain the teachers, because they’re not getting to those high levels of stress and things that they have had in the past.


[225]   Llyr Gruffydd: So, to what extent do they not realise what they have to do and what they don’t have to do already, then? Is that a failing in the system, clearly?


[226]   Mr Edwards: I don’t think it’s a failure in the system. I think what’s happened is, over time, expectations have been increased, but, because of those expectations, they’ve been interpreted in different ways in different schools. So, what this does is this gives useful guidance for all teachers and all schools to say, ‘This is what the national picture is. This is how I can support to reduce my own workload’, and also allows them that kind of freedom, then, doesn’t it, to say, well, okay, they feel safer to not do something they might have done before.


[227]   Mr Hughes: A dod i mewn yn y fanna, rydw i’n meddwl ei bod yn holl bwysig i’r proffesiwn, fel yr ydym ni’n symud ymlaen, wneud yn siŵr bod delwedd y proffesiwn yn un sy’n annog pobl ifanc i ddod i mewn i’r proffesiwn. Rydym ni’n gweithio fel pedwar consortiwm gyda’r sefydliadau addysg gychwynnol, ac maen nhw rŵan, wrth gwrs, yn ailedrych ar eu rhaglenni ac yn y blaen. Ac mae’n bwysig bod y rhaglenni yma yn adlewyrchu’r math o broffesiwn y bydd y bobl yma yn mynd i mewn iddo, gan hefyd baratoi’r bobl ar gyfer y cwricwlwm newydd a’r swyddi yma nad ydym ni’n gwybod beth sy’n bodoli ar hyn o bryd. Wedyn, mae’r pedwar consortiwm yn gweithio gydag addysg gychwynnol athrawon ar hyn o bryd hefyd i wneud yn siŵr eu bod yn ddeniadol i bobl. Mae eisiau gweithio gyda myfyrwyr, plant, pobl ifanc yn yr ysgolion, er mwyn codi ymwybyddiaeth o fanteision y proffesiwn ar wahanol lefelau, a hefyd gweithio gyda phobl sydd yn y proffesiwn yn barod i wneud yn siŵr eu bod nhw’n ymwybodol o’r posibiliadau sydd yn y proffesiwn iddyn nhw symud ymlaen yn eu gyrfa, os mai dyna y maen nhw’n dymuno ei wneud, a rhoi’r cyfleoedd yn y rhaglen dysgu proffesiynol iddyn nhw allu gwneud hynny.


Mr Hughes: If I can come in there, I think that it is vital for the profession, as we move forward, to ensure that the profession’s image is one that encourages young people to come into it. We work as four consortia with the ITE institutions, and these are now, of course, re-examining their programmes and so on. And it’s very important that these programmes reflect the kind of profession that these people will be entering, and also that they prepare people for the new curriculum and jobs that we don’t know what they actually will be at the moment. The four consortia are working with the ITE institutions at the moment to ensure that it’s attractive to people. We need to work with students, children and young people in the schools in order to raise awareness of the advantages of the profession at various levels, and also to work with people who are already in the profession, to ensure that they are aware of the possibilities in the profession for them to progress in their careers, if that’s what they wish to do, and to give opportunities in the professional teaching programmes for them to be able to do that.



[228]   Ms Brychan: I ychwanegu rhywbeth yn fyr, yn ychwanegol at beth oedd Rhys yn ei ddweud, un o’r pethau—yn amlwg mae baich gwaith yn ffactor sydd wedi cael ei gydnabod ac sydd yn codi’n gyson pan fo rhywun yn siarad ag athrawon. Ond rwy’n credu mai un o’r elfennau eraill rŷm ni’n rhoi mwy a mwy o bwyslais arni yw creu cymunedau er mwyn i athrawon weithio gyda’i gilydd, ond hefyd rôl mentora. Un o’r pethau yr oedd Rhys yn ei ddweud yw ein bod ni i gyd wedi bod yn gweithio gyda’n gilydd gyda’r sefydliadau hyfforddiant cychwynnol i athrawon i roi mwy o ddylanwad i ysgolion go iawn ar gynnwys y rhaglenni hynny. Un o’r pethau creiddiol i’r gwaith rŷm ni wedi bod yn ei wneud yn hwnnw yw mentora—sut y mae mentora athrawon yn effeithiol o gychwyn eu gyrfa ymlaen. Ac rŷm ni’n ffyddiog y bydd model fel yna yn ateb rhai o’r pryderon sy’n codi pan fo rhywun yn holi athrawon ynglŷn â pha mor hapus neu faint o reolaeth sydd gyda nhw dros eu baich gwaith a’u gwaith. 


Ms Brychan: Could I just add something briefly, in addition to what Rhys said? One of the things—evidently, workload is a factor that has been recognised and does arise consistently when people talk to teachers. But I think that one of the other elements that we’re putting more and more emphasis on is creating communities for teachers to collaborate, but also the role of mentoring. One of the things that Rhys said is that we’ve been working together with those ITE organisations or institutions to give more of an influence to schools on the content of those programmes. One of the core elements of the work that we’ve done in that area is mentoring—how do we mentor teachers effectively from the start of their career and onwards. And we’re confident that that kind of model will answer some of the concerns that arise when people talk to teachers about how content they are or how much control they have in terms of their workload.

[229]   Ond hefyd rydw i’n credu beth sydd wedi bod yn ganolog i waith y pedwar ohonom ni yw sicrhau ein bod ni’n cynnig i athrawon datblygiad proffesiynol sydd yn adnabod eu statws nhw fel pobl allweddol yn ein cymunedau ni a’r dylanwad sydd gyda nhw. Felly, ein gweledigaeth ni i gyd, mewn gwirionedd, yw bod Cymru yn cynnig i athrawon y gefnogaeth yna trwy gydol eu gyrfa nhw a bod hwn yn le gwirioneddol ddeniadol i ddysgu ynddo fe. Mae gyda ni gwaith i’w wneud o hyd ond dyna’r weledigaeth sydd gan y pedwar ohonom ni ar gyfer y gweithlu.


But I think what’s been central to the work of all four consortia is ensuring that we do offer teachers professional development that does recognise their status as key people within our communities and the influence that they have. So, then our vision, in truth, is that Wales does offer to teachers the support throughout their careers and that this is an attractive place in which to teach. We have work to do, of course, but that is the vision that the four of us have for the workforce.

[230]   Mr Hughes: Jest un peth: mae hyn hefyd yn clymu mewn eto efo’r gwaith ‘schools as learning organisations’ neu sefydliadau dysgu effeithiol. Os ydy’r ysgol yn sefydliad dysgu effeithiol, bydd pob dim rŷm ni’n ei drafod yn fan hyn yn digwydd yn effeithiol yn yr ysgol yna. Wedyn rŷm ni’n gweithio efo pobl y tu allan i Gymru ac yn dysgu o ymchwil genedlaethol i wneud yn siŵr ein bod ni ar flaen y gad a bod gennym ni’r data i’n cynorthwyo ni i symud ymlaen.


Mr Hughes: Just one thing on that: this ties in again with the work of ‘schools as learning organisations’ or effective learning institutions. If the school is an effective learning institution, then everything that we discuss here will be effective within those schools. We then will be working with people outwith Wales and learning from national research to ensure that we are in the vanguard and that we have the data to support us as we move forward.

[231]   Lynne Neagle: Kevin.


[232]   Dr Palmer: If I could just make the link back to the curriculum, what teachers do is teach children and they teach them in the context of a curriculum. That curriculum can be enabling and positive and encouraging and satisfying or it cannot be. Clearly, Donaldson told us that the curriculum we currently have, and have had, has not done that job. So, it starts with the curriculum in terms of there’s a sequence: it moves through schools as learning organisations, the professional learning offer, but it’s the curriculum that is going to be amongst the keys of defining what a teacher does all day.


[233]   Llyr Gruffydd: Mae’n rhaid i ni beidio â gweld y cynnig dysgu proffesiynol ar wahân i’r newidiadau eraill wrth gwrs, ond pa effaith yr ŷch chi’n meddwl bydd hwnnw’n benodol yn ei chael ar recriwtio a chadw athrawon, oherwydd mae yna risg y bydd yn cael ei weld fel tasg arall yn hytrach na’r newid diwylliannol ehangach yma, yn amlwg, rŷm ni i gyd eisiau ei weld?


Llyr Gruffydd: We have to not see the professional learning offer as a separate thing to the other elements, but what impact do you think that will have specifically on recruitment and retention of teachers, because there is a risk that it will be seen as another task rather than the broader cultural change that we all want to see?

[234]   Dr Palmer: I’ll start with that, if I may. We know there’s a wide range of factors that affect whether a person wants to become a teacher or not and that goes from conditions, remuneration, through to the kind of place that you’re going to be working in and the image of the profession—all of those things. Specifically, professional learning, when properly structured and conveyed to the profession, will have the effect of giving a more engaging account of what our professional expectations of teachers are, so it’s much clearer that this is a learning profession, that this is a dynamic profession, and the application of the new standards will, I’m certain, make teaching a more interesting job. It’ll make it more demanding in some respects, but it will make it a more interesting job.


[235]   I’m certain there is and will be a clearer account of all teachers’ entitlement to professional learning. So, we often use the medical analogy, don’t we, of what doctors are entitled to and know they’re entitled to—or nurses—and that seems to me to be an important feature of making a professional decision, a professional commitment. I think the professional learning offer—. I know it’ll be built on a clear career pathway so that, when newly qualified teachers come in, they’ll see the stages ahead of them so that they can progress and they can improve their lot as professionals.


[236]   Finally, I think, working with the standards, we’ll be able to share with teachers our expectations and success and express a higher ambition for what it is to be a teacher in Wales compared with other countries and compared with the past.


[237]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you.


[238]   Mr Hughes: A gaf fi ddod i mewn?


Mr Hughes: Can I come in?


[239]   Lynne Neagle: Briefly.


[240]   Mr Hughes: Mae hynny’n bwysig iawn fel yr ydym ni’n symud ymlaen, ein bod ni’n creu proffesiwn sy’n ddeniadol i bobl, bod cyfleoedd i wella fel ymarferydd ar gael, bod cyfleoedd i bobl ddatblygu’n broffesiynol ar gael, mae yna lwybr datblygu gyrfa amlwg iddyn nhw, a bod dysgu’n broffesiynol yn beth sy’n digwydd yn naturiol—nid ydy o’n rhywbeth ychwanegol, mae o’n rhywbeth sy’n digwydd yn naturiol, efo budd i’r unigolyn ac i’r ysgol, ac i’r disgyblion.


Mr Hughes: That’s extremely important, as we move forward, that we create a profession that is attractive to people, that there are opportunities to improve as a practitioner, and that those are available, and that there are opportunities available for people to develop professionally, and that there’s an evident and obvious career route, and that CPD is something that happens organically—it’s not additional, but happens naturally, for the benefit of the school and the pupils.


[241]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Michelle. Can I appeal, though, for brief questions and brief answers, please?


[242]   Michelle Brown: I’ll keep it as short as I can. Do you have a view on whether the new professional standards, and whether your new professional development offer, will have a positive or a negative effect on recruitment and retention of teachers in Wales?


[243]   Dr Palmer: Oh, to make that really quick, positive.


[244]   Michelle Brown: Why?


[245]   Dr Palmer: Because, when I look at the old standards, and I look at the history of professional learning in this country—I’ve been here a long time—what I see in the description of the job of teacher, in the old standards, it’s just less interesting, it’s less dynamic, and less exciting, and it’s less global. There are all sorts of things that we want our teachers to be now. And it’s the same with the four purposes of the curriculum; if we really mobilise the four purposes of the curriculum in our schools, they’ll just be more interesting places to work and to thrive. That’s a personal response, but it’s a very optimistic response.


[246]   Mr Edwards: And I think because, the professional learning offer, what it shows people outside of the profession is, actually, we’re invested in developing people within teaching and within education—so the fact that they know they’re going into a career where they are going to have professional development opportunities, where they know there are opportunities to progress quickly if they access those professional learning opportunities, but also that, if they don’t want to progress, there is a way of developing their practice so that they can continue to share that practice with others and progress in other ways, so they’re developing professionally throughout their career.


[247]   Ms Brychan: I think we’re trying to describe as well a scenario where—. Teachers, when you speak to them now, often feel that their room for manoeuvre is limited—they have to do this, then followed by this and this. The new curriculum, the professional learning offer, and the standards, together, give much more agency to an individual professional: ‘This is how I see—this is how I want to work with the pupils, this is how I want to work with my colleagues’. That gives much more responsibility, much more agency, to those people. And I think, for most people, that’s a more attractive professional proposition as a career.


[248]   Mr Hughes: And the four regions were part of designing the new standards, with Professor Mick Waters, and one of the main mindsets, drivers, behind the new standards is to ensure professional learning and professional learning opportunities for people.


[249]   Michelle Brown: And how much is this being publicised, actually, in the teacher training colleges, to try and encourage teachers to come to Wales, to fill the recruitment gaps that we have?


[250]   Dr Palmer: We probably can’t speak on behalf of the initial teacher education providers other than to say that we all work closely in partnership with those who are going through the accreditation process for the new initial teacher education programmes now. So, I can say that the folk I work with in UWTSD, in Swansea University, in Cardiff Met, and in USW, are all very active in the way they publicise what’s going to come in terms of change. But more detail you’d need, I guess, to ask them about.


[251]   Michelle Brown: Okay.


[252]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you.


[253]   Mr Hughes: And, similarly, quite possibly, if these new IT programmes are going to be successful, they will need to reflect what you say there. And, if they don’t, then—.


[254]   Lynne Neagle: Thank you. Right, John. And I’m going to appeal again for brief questions and brief answers.


[255]   John Griffiths: Yes, sure, okay. In terms of evaluating continuous professional development quality and standards, who do you believe should undertake that evaluation work?


[256]   Mr Edwards: I think it’s a range, isn’t it? Because we offer, across the four regions, a range of professional learning opportunities, and we have to evaluate those, along the process, to know (1) that they’re working for the profession, and that they’re fit for purpose, but also that they’re having that impact on improving pedagogy and improving outcomes. So, some of that will need to be done by regions; other elements of that, we need to work with outside agents, so we’re not just evaluating our own work, but other people are supporting us in that evaluation. And we have engaged with HEIs, and other agencies, to look at that research. But I think also what we’re doing is we’re using research as four consortia, to say, ‘What is it that we know that works?’ So, when we’re looking at professional learning, we’ve looked at research that tells us, as Rhys said earlier—we know one-day courses don’t work anymore. We know they’re not going to have the highest impact. What works is bespoke support for teachers, with ongoing professional development opportunities. So, we base what we’re developing on research, as well as looking at how well that’s working. But I think there will be elements that need to be done by us as consortia, and there will be elements that we need to look outside for to help us support that.


[257]   Ms Brychan: I think we’ve all done the research. ‘Yes’, is the simple answer; we have to evaluate it. There’s a lot of public money that goes into supporting this and it has to make a difference to the practitioners. So, we all develop our own capacity to evaluate internally, but also, each of us has commissioned either universities, or bodies like Ipsos MORI or the National Foundation for Educational Research to look at specific aspects and give us feedback to feed into how we progress from there. We need to test it against our own expectations, but we also we need that pressure, and we all do that routinely now, which is a relatively new thing, I think, in Wales.


[258]   John Griffiths: Okay. And in terms of the internal and external evaluation that’s taken place to date, are you able to share any initial findings with us?


[259]   Dr Palmer: Yes. We commissioned Cardiff Metropolitan University to do a review of our whole professional learning offer since the inception three years ago, and they spent quite a lot of time interviewing participants and our own staff and so on. The key finding that came from that was that there’s a two-stage shift. There’s the shift from the course—we’ve talked about that already—and the shift from the course to the professional learning model, which we’re now subscribed to as four regions, has a critical impact on how people learn professionally, and as adults, and how they implement the changes that they need to impact as a consequence of that learning. That’s the first shift. The other shift is a shift from the centre to shared practice amongst practitioners—what we call the self-improving system often. So, the notion that, in the old days, you’d come to Newport and you’d do a course, and an expert would give you a course and you’d go away again and you’d go home. In the new model, you undertake a professional learning experience and it’s much more protracted than a course. It may not involve at all coming to work with an expert. It’s more likely for us now to involve going to work with another school, or having another school or practitioner coming to work with you. Those are the two key changes for us.


[260]   Mr Hughes: I think we’ve all got different examples, but we’ve looked also at what exactly effective evaluation means. Up north, we’ve worked with Bangor University regarding international research on evaluation, and Bangor University are evaluating, for example, our middle leadership development, the way we work with secondary schools, and are producing very detailed, very useful reports, with key summaries and key milestones for us to move forward with the leadership. There’s more focus on—[Inaudible.]—transformational leadership as an outcome of the evaluations, and the detailed reports are there, so we’re in a much more mature situation now than maybe last year, compared to what exactly we understand is effective evaluation and how that impacts our service, and how that helps us improve the service we offer to practitioners.


[261]   Ms Brychan: If we’re offering examples, I think, from our point of view, the most exciting way we’ve set about evaluating our work is that we’ve worked with Cardiff University, in our case, and what we’ve done is, rather than commission them to come and have a look at evaluating aspects of our provision, we’ve worked with them and brought teachers out of schools, so we can develop our own skills in evaluating the work we do, using research into how best to do this, and what should influence our professional learning offer, and then, increasingly, the teachers we second to work with Cardiff University on that can look at individual strands of our work. And we’ve gone through that process this year for aspects of our work, and that’s fed into the offer we make next year, because we can all point to increases in pupil outcomes, and judgments in leadership are improving, but the cause and effect from that to what we’re actually doing is much trickier, and actually, what we want is to get a detailed understanding of the impact we’re having on the practitioners’ practice in the classroom. And that’s more what we’re moving to now, and it’s much more interesting and exciting.


[262]   Mr Edwards: And I think, just to add to what Rhys has just told us, focusing on improving teaching and learning is what’s going to have the largest impact. So, by working with teachers to develop teaching and learning, we know that, over time, that will have a larger impact. And I think, another example is: I mentioned earlier with the workload element looking at how feedback impacts. We’ve worked with University of Wales Trinity Saint David to look at what feedback does have the most positive effect, and that’s supported. When we were developing the reducing workload, research informed that, so that we know we’re giving teachers the right advice to say, ‘We know this would, one, reduce your workload, but also support and increase impact.’




[263]   Lynne Neagle: Darren on this.


[264]   Darren Millar: I just wanted to ask a question. You suggested earlier on, Rhys, that the one-day courses don’t work. When I go on to the GwE website to have a look at the professional development opportunities there are, they’re all one-day courses—there’s nothing else on there. It just advertises one-day courses. And I suspect it would be the same if I went on other websites, or it may be the same. Now, I took an interest in the GwE website because, obviously, I’m from north Wales; I just wanted to see what was on offer. If they don’t work, why are you offering them?


[265]   Mr Hughes: I didn’t say they didn’t work; I said we’re moving to a more mature way of working where it’s not a course where you sit and listen to somebody. Those one-day programmes aren’t courses where they sit and listen; they’re one-day programmes where you have people engaging in different professional development opportunities with other stakeholders. However, there’s more than just one-day courses. For example, we’ve got a seven-day programme for middle leaders, we’ve got a five-day consecutive programme for headteachers in post, the national professional qualification for headship programme this year—


[266]   Darren Millar: I’m just looking at the offer for teachers rather than headteachers at the moment. There are only five on there—two for secondary teachers, the mathematics comes out for both primary and secondary, but they are these one-dayers.


[267]   Mr Hughes: Those are one-day; they’re not where practitioners—. What I was referring to is where practitioners just sit and listen to other people. There are specific programmes of work that are ongoing with schools following the day programme or two-day programme, and then there’ll be another review. But the work happens in the school; it’s onsite. The first day is to take them out to set the scene and so on, but I was referring to the old-fashioned where you went on a course, you sat, you listened to somebody else and then you went back to school.


[268]   Darren Millar: So, how do—? I mean, the INSET days that were referred to by Mark Reckless earlier on—has the way that they operate changed significantly then in that case? It’s not just, you know, a headteacher talking to a group and drilling in, ‘Right, these are the new things that we need to be aware of for the new term’ sort of thing.


[269]   Mr Hughes: You’ve got the whole workforce that delivers different opportunities within school, maybe across school, maybe—. For example, you mentioned maths. Maybe the heads of maths when they cluster come together so it’s not necessarily, as you mentioned, the headteacher delivering; it’s the whole profession helping each other moving the system forward, and that means schools, consortia, the local authority and Welsh Government all working together.


[270]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you. Just before we finish, if I can just ask about leadership and what you’re doing to ensure that there is stronger leadership across the education workforce in Wales.


[271]   Mr Hughes: Quickly then, all consortia are focused on improving leadership at all levels throughout the system. Hopefully, that’s come across this morning. There’s the effective use of the career development pathway. We’re working with the leadership academy, obviously, on their key priorities moving forward. A very good example of effective collaboration between the consortia is the leadership sub-group that’s working with the academy. We’ve got specific focus on developing consortia staff also, looking at a consortium as a learning organisation with the OECD. So, if we’re going to ask schools to move forward, we need to look at ourselves as well. The Welsh future education leaders programme from Welsh Government is an example where different people at different layers of the service have opportunities. We’re developing the mindset throughout the profession that everybody’s a leader, from IT to newly qualified teachers—all the way at different levels. There are the professional learning passports. The individual leadership review is encouraged through all our programmes. Work with higher education institutions and the new leadership standards, obviously, we promote. We’re working also looking at the OECD report, ‘The Welsh Education Reform Journey: A Rapid Policy Assessment’. They mention there that one of the key things that we need to look at is making leadership development a prime driver of Welsh education strategy, so that’s something that we’re trying to do, and ensuring that we do, in all the work that we do.


[272]   Lynne Neagle: Okay, thank you.


[273]   Ms Brychan: I think the joint-consortium working together on leadership has been a particular focus and success over the last year. What we’ve recently done, for example, is map against middle leadership onwards everything we offer practitioners at those stages in their career across Wales. And what we’ve found is that all of us have got an offer against all of those, but what’s been most helpful, I think, is that we’ve all recognised particular expertise in each of the regions. For example, the aspiring headteacher programme they have in EAS is now influencing the one we’re developing in Central South, and a lot more of that kind of joint working is going on. So, that means that, for practitioners, when we describe for them the offer around leadership, which is second only to teaching and the impact it has on our schools, there has to be a focus for us all. They can then recognise, ‘Right, it doesn’t matter where in Wales I work. Under each of these, if that’s my career trajectory, I’ve got this in each of these areas that can take me along that journey’. I think that’s been a big win over the last year.


[274]   Mr Edwards: I would add that we’ve also got people currently in leadership roles where challenge advisers, support staff from within each of the consortia, will support those leaders as well to continue to develop on a day-by-day basis as well as accessing professional learning.


[275]   Lynne Neagle: John, you had a supplementary on this.


[276]   John Griffiths: Yes, just very quickly, Chair. One of our challenges is to raise standards in the schools serving the most disadvantaged areas in Wales. We’d heard previously that there might be a sort of bespoke aspect of leadership training that looked to try and encourage the particular abilities that would enable leadership to address those particular challenges in those schools, and that there are examples of schools that are doing that now, and they do have particular attributes within the leadership in the school. Is that sort of thinking something you’re familiar with and acting on?


[277]   Dr Palmer: I’ll start with that one, if I may, because that’s in my portfolio in the EAS. There is a set of things you think about, if your school is challenged by poverty, that you don’t think about if it’s not. So, there are ways of leading a school; there are questions that you ask a governing body; there are ways that you challenge a leadership team to interact, for example, with parents and the wider community, because that’s more challenging in communities that are challenged by poverty. So, there are questions that you ask—. If you’re a challenge adviser, there are questions you ask of a headteacher about how he or she interacts with their community, about how he or she spends the pupil deprivation grant and deals with questions of cognitive development in the earlier years—you know, those detailed questions become part of the conversation between the challenge adviser and the headteacher, and they also become part of our professional learning offer. So, we have specific professional learning programmes that include workshops and one-day events, but are not solely those, that are around leading schools in challenging circumstances. As we develop the offer now, you’ll see in the current professional learning offer that we’re increasingly talking more about those areas such as well-being, adverse childhood experiences that are wider in scope than just poverty but characterise communities that are faced by poverty as well.


[278]   Lynne Neagle: Okay. Nothing to add on that? No. Is everybody in agreement?


[279]   Ms Brychan: Obviously, schools in those circumstances are a big priority for us all, and I think a particular focus for us has been, because what you really want in schools, to have that level of challenge, is to make the leadership of them as attractive as possible and to get the best leaders into those roles—. Now, it’s not always all that easy to attract people because when you look at not just the challenges but the kind of reactions you sometimes get when you start in a job like that, when maybe standards aren’t as high as they might be, it’s a big job to take on. So, we’ve concentrated some of our effort on training and development programmes for people, getting the best leaders to relish that opportunity and support them so that we get the right people into the right places.


[280]   Mr Edwards: And we learn from what works, and where there are examples of that practice working, those headteachers and leaders within those organisations share it then with other schools to say, ‘Well, this is what was effective for us. Can it work?’


[281]   Mr Hughes: You’ve also got the school-to-school approach—


[282]   Mr Edwards: Yes.


[283]   Mr Hughes: —where the profession helps the profession, and effective leaders help each other and so on. So, that’s to add to everything that’s been said, I think.


[284]   Lynne Neagle: Okay. Well, we’ve run out of time. Can I thank you all for attending and for answering all our questions? We very much appreciate your time this morning. As you know, you will receive a transcript to check for accuracy in due course. Thank you very much, all of you, for attending.




Y Bil Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol a’r Tribiwnlys Addysgiadol (Cymru): Trefn Gwelliannau
Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill:
Order of Amendments


[285]   Lynne Neagle: Item 4, then, is a paper to consider the order of amendments for the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill. The paper proposes a different order for consideration for Stage 2. The only change is the overview section, section 1, to be taken after the substantive provisions to which it relates. This is to enable amendments to substantive provisions to be disposed of before any consequential amendments to the overview section. Are Members content? Yes. Okay, thank you.




Papurau i’w Nodi
ers to Note

[286]   Lynne Neagle: Item 5 is papers to note. As Members will see, there is a very large number of papers to note, because of recess. I don’t propose to go through them all. I would ask that we simply note them, but if Members could flag now any that they would like to return to in private session—when we go into private. I’ve got a few issues. Darren.


[287]   Darren Millar: I’d like to refer to the one on advocacy provision, if that’s okay.


[288]   Lynne Neagle: Okay. And I would like to return to the one on school nursing, the letter from the Cabinet Secretary following our scrutiny session, and also the one on the Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008, if that’s okay with Members. Other than that, are Members happy to simply note the papers for now? Okay.


Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i Benderfynu Gwahardd y Cyhoedd o Weddill y Cyfarfod
Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to Resolve to Exclude the Public from the Remainder of the Meeting






bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(ix).


that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(ix).


Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
Motion moved.



[289]   Lynne Neagle: Item 6, then, is a motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public for the remainder of the meeting. Are Members content? Thank you.


Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Motion agreed.



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