P-05-860 Make Curriculum for Life Lessons Compulsory, Correspondence – Petitioner to Committee, 19.06.19


Thank you for considering the Gwent Regional Youth Forum’s Petition ‘Make Curriculum for Life Lessons Compulsory’. Gwent Regional Youth forum is made up of a minimum of 25 young people elected from the five local authorities within Gwent. In order to respond to the letter received from Kirsty Williams AM on 4th March 2018, a group of eight Youth Forum members have met to formulate a response.

Firstly the correspondence states the petition had a total of 286 signatures, however the petition was originally written in response to the issue being raised as part of the national Make Your Mark ballot results on 2017 where 1317 (Make Your Mark Results Report 2017, UK Youth Parliament) young people aged 11-18 across Gwent identified this issue as a priority. Gwent Regional youth forum wrote this petition to highlight this large response to Welsh Government.

We do not feel that the response is very understandable to young people, due to this being a petition submitted by young people this should have been responded to in a young person friendly language. We also feel that not all areas of our ideas have been address directly.

In the response, it is suggested that the curriculum for life is going to be flexible. How do we know this is going to be delivered and interpreted in the way we intended, as suggested in the film and petition provided. We believe there should be a curriculum framework that should be created with young people and professionals and followed throughout.

We have concerns as young people that delivery of political education without a curriculum framework could lead to biased views being imposed on students from the teacher’s delivery. Also, this would be able to protect teachers so they are able to keep within guidelines of the framework. Are resources and examples going to be provided in order to teach empathy, resilience, values and beliefs. If all schools are able to interpret the curriculum delivery how are they going to be able to ensure that students are equipped for exams. How is quality of learning going to be assessed if it is not the same across the board? How is this additional information going to be added into the current education system without effecting current topics? It should be looked into on how curriculum for life activities can be interpreted into current compulsory lessons. The concern around the biased of teaching is not only related to political issues but to all areas outlined for the need of a curriculum for life.

We suggest that the content of the curriculum is reviewed, to ensure the material is up to date and relevant. This should be reviewed annually by a board of elected young people. The elected young people would be on a local authority level, being consulted on the curriculum and what they feel they should be taught in relation to local issues.

Lastly mentioned in the response, is the ‘recently published resources on HWB’ regarding developing learner’s interests in political issues. When discussed within the Regional Youth Forum meeting, 8 young people, each from different schools from year 9 to a university level, shared that they have not seen the video link provided, and have also not been provided with ‘support to develop learners interest in political issues’. One student reported she discussed votes at 16 with her teacher as she wanted to know her teacher’s views on her the topic however this was not prompted by the resources provided on the hwb. We feel that this shows when schools are left to interpret the curriculum delivery, students are not getting the education they are entitled to under the UNCRC.

In the research provided, within the PSE framework (2008) it states ‘prepare learners for the challenges, choices and responsibilities of work and adult life.’ This is not being done now, so how can we ensure that this will not be the same situation for the Life Skills within the curriculum

We are aware the Curriculum for life has been voted for as one of the Welsh Youth Parliament priorities. We request that this petition is taken to the Welsh Youth Parliament committee for further discussion.

Thank you for taking the time to read our comments on the response letter and for taking these points into consideration.


Kind regards


Emily Jones

(On behalf of Gwent Regional Youth Forum)