As change in the world is occurring more and more quickly, education has to prepare young people for jobs that have not yet been created and challenges we are yet to encounter. Improving the skills and knowledge of our young people will be the only way to keep up with such fast-paced change. A transformational curriculum is required to raise standards and provide equal opportunities to all students across Wales in order to thrive in the ever more competitive employment landscape.
As Professor Graham Donaldson stated in his 2015 report, Successful Futures, education establishments in Wales should not just create bodies of knowledge, but students who are;
- ambitious, capable, lifelong learners
- enterprising, creative contributors
- ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world, and
- healthy confident individuals who will lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
In order to develop well rounded and successful young people, the Welsh Government has developed Our National Mission 2017-2021. Building on the action plan in Qualified for life: An education improvement plan for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales the National Mission reinforces our ambition that learners in Wales will experience inspiring and enjoyable teaching and learning to support them to achieve. The National Mission document sets out four key enabling objectives;
- Developing a high-quality education profession.
- Inspirational leaders working collaboratively to raise standards.
- Strong and inclusive schools committed to excellence, equity and well-being.
- Robust assessment, evaluation and accountability arrangements supporting a self-improving system.
Within each of these objectives there are a range of actions. These actions are focused on creating a joined up approach to education, putting practitioners and learners at the heart of change and to support and evidence strong education practice. The National Mission is ambitious in its plan and Welsh Government have sought support and expertise from practitioners, academia, students and wider stakeholders in order to plan, evidence and implement the changes effectively. At Miller Research we are working to support the reforms under a number of the above objectives. This work includes;
- Facilitation and analysis of the post-16 education and training in Wales reform consultation.
- The Review of the School Business Manager Pilot Programme.
- Research into barriers and drivers of participation in the Higher Level Teaching Assistant Scheme.
- Brand development for the National Academy for Educational Leadership.
Over the course of this blog series we will examine each of these objectives and the work that is being undertaken to support the journey to a better education system in Wales.
By Jess Phillips and Katie Bedney