Successful Futures evidence                                                                                 09.11.2016


By 2021, all schools in Wales will be planning and delivering a curriculum defined as including all of the learning experiences and assessment activities focused on creating


·         ambitious, capable learners who are ready to learn throughout their lives

·         enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work

·         ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world

·         healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

In order to achieve this goal, we will have a teaching profession working to a set of professional standards which develop outstanding pedagogy through professional learning, innovation, leadership and collaboration.  Schools will be vibrant learning organisations working together within a self-improving system to the benefit of all. Learners will benefit from an all age learning continuum. We will need to focus on how we teach and not just the what.  Finally, all schools will be moving towards being engaged in a Successful Futures network


As part of Successful Futures the network of schools are responsible for developing and creating a new curriculum for Wales in response the Donaldson report.  The project is a national project where schools from across Wales are working collaboratively to research and implement the required changes.


The project is led by Welsh Government.  The four regional consortia are increasingly working with with Welsh Government to support the implementation.  To ensure this remains a national project, the four regions have maintained their position as an enabler for schools.


Pioneer schools.


Selected schools from across Wales have been working with WG:


      to develop an approach for the  curriculum for Wales;

      to lead on the strategic design of a new curriculum for Wales;

      to identify and implement the changes required to improve the curriculum for the future;

      to develop an approach to support workforce development across Wales;

      to develop the support and training for the implementation of a new curriculum;

      to work with their cluster schools and other schools to begin the process of workforce development and to develop professional learning organisations; 

      to provide information to all schools on progress of the Digital Framework;

      to consider training implications and support requirements for schools in implementing the Digital Compentence Framework.

Expectations for schools and regions were not always clear at the outset.  This initially led to confusion.  Nevertheless, a number of schools have engaged well with the process and are keen to develop a new curriculum for Wales.


Many Pioneer schools and other schools outside the scheme have developed exciting and innovative practices. They are working well to interpret the vision of Successful Futures.


Regional Consortia


The four regions have:


      enabled Pioneer schools to investigate, develop and implement change;

      worked with their Pioneer schools to ensure there are sufficient opportunities for all schools to keep up-to-date with developments;

      provided subject specific support where necessary to allow Curriculum Pioneers to develop and test new ideas;

      supported Welsh Government to monitor progress against the strategic timeline;

      allocated resources internally to develop this work and support schools across the regions;

      attended regular planning sessions with WG and Estyn to feedback on progress;

      facilitated communications between WG and schools.





Update on progress from September 2015 – September 2016.

·         Progress has been made in identfiying and selecting schools.  Some Pioneer Schools were initially frustrated with the lack of direction and had difficulty understanding their roles.

·         All four consortia worked on a joint presentation to define roles to develop clarity nationally 

·         Roles for Pioneers are now clearer and a small amount of progress has been made.

·         A strategic implementation group of schools has been created and they meet regularly with the consortia and WG to provide updates on progress.  However, the work of the four groups is not always shared well across the network.  It has been identified that there was an overlap in elements of work across the work strands.

·         The national meetings of Pioneer Schools have been of mixed quality.  Feedback from schools has been varied

·         There have been a few occasions where there has been risk of schools disengaging in the programme.

·         A few schools have indicated that funding provided may not cover the release required in order to fullfill current expectations

From September 2016

·         Responding to feedback, WG have now brought together all 3 workstreams to create one overall network.  This has been positively received by schools.

·         All Pioneer Schools have identified a preferred area of focus and WG are currently mapping this to requirements.  WG and consortia have identified additional schools to support development of AoLEs and ensure representation across all phases in all regions.  

·         WG meeting with four consortia to identify potential additional schools to support development. 

·         It was timely for WG to review current progress and plan a way to accelerate developments.

Strengths and areas for development to date.


      All schools have been able to pilot and trial new strategies to improve standards and engagement.

      All regional consortia and schools have a positive mindset and are committed to implementing Successful Futures effectively.  However, lack of clarity over the past twelve months may have prevented quicker progress. But working relationships between WG and consortia are developing well to provide solutions. 

      Regional Consortia are keen to offer guidance to Welsh Government to support the implementation of Successful Futures.  However, this has not always been responded to effectively over the past twelve months.  This has improved recently.

      All schools recognise the importance of the development of  a new curriculum.  However, non-pioneer schools do not feel fully updated.  Moving towards a whole Wales Successful Futures network would support this.  It is important that we faciliate engagement for all schools in this process.


Recent developments since October 2016

·         The four consortia have jointly developed a proposal to support WG in moving forward with the SF work.  This plan outlines key strategic priorties and provides an accountability structure along with levels of planning to ensure goals are met.

·         WG are beginning to work well with consortia and this plan should support this work further.

·         There is a significant risk that Pioneer schools are used to support programmes outside the development of the curriculum. Considering the workload and current pressures on schools, it is key that schools are resourced well and allowed to focus on this important work.

·         The four consortia joint proposal to Welsh Government offers a strong, focused and detailed structure for realising the recommendations of the Donaldson Review.  It will set out the outcomes we seek and provide milestones and a clear timeline for achieving them.  It will address issues around assessment, qualifications and accountability with the four purposes acting centrally to all activity.  All regions are committed to the delivery of this plan.