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NAHT Cymru responds to Welsh Government consultation on proposals for new National Professional Learning INSET days

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NAHT Cymru’s director of policy, Rob Williams said: “We welcome the proposal for an additional INSET day. We have been asking the Welsh Government to consider additional inset days for some time.

“NAHT Cymru welcomes any additional assistance provided to schools to enable greater collaboration during the new curriculum roll out particularly as funding for professional learning is so under pressure and the scale of reform so challenging. 

“As far as the recommendations in Professor Mick Waters’ report are concerned, we have urged the Welsh Government to be pragmatic. If, after fully considering the consequences of any potential change, it is clear that it may not be best for pupils in Wales, we must be courageous enough to set it aside and suggest better, more effective ways of making the improvements we all wish to see.

“It is right that leadership becomes a greater focus for Welsh Government, as much of the international evidence illustrates the critical role it plays in school improvement. National policy is important but school leaders must always be able to maintain a strong degree of autonomy so that they can do what is right for the children and young people in their school. The alternative is that we risk losing talented school leaders who feel that they are not given the freedom they deserve, to lead their schools as they see fit.” 

Comprehensive Funding Review

Mr Williams continued: “There are significant resource implications for a number of the most critical recommendations. That is why a comprehensive funding review is required to make sure we have sufficient funds in the system. With sufficiency, greater equity and transparency in school funding, there will be a greater chance of achieving the ambition we share for Wales. Without it, schools will have no chance of delivering any of the recommendations properly. Ambition without adequate resource is doomed to fail. 

“If we are able to strip away the unnecessary workload of the past, provide the requisite funding for the future and empower leadership and teachers to focus on continually improving teaching and learning, then everyone wins.  The children and young people of Wales need us to get this right. In their interests, NAHT Cymru and school leaders will always seek to work with Welsh Government in taking the reform agenda forward.”

First published 07 March 2019