This week, NAHT Cymru’s annual conference in Cardiff brings together school leaders from across Wales to hear the very latest updates on education policy and take some time to reflect on a year of immense change.
Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE, composer Charles Hazlewood and Harri Jenkins, a European para athletics gold medallist are among this year’s inspirational speakers.
On Friday 19 October, delegates will also hear from Kirsty Williams AM, the cabinet secretary for education.
Her appearance comes towards the end of a year in which NAHT has been instrumental in major aspects of policy change, achieved through regular engagement with the Welsh government.
In July this year, Kirsty announced the removal of reporting of teacher assessment below the national level, which had previously encouraged ‘gaming’ of the system and had lost the focus on the individual learner.
The association has also made great strides towards fairer pay for teachers and leaders in Wales. Rob Williams, NAHT Cymru director of policy, said: “There has been a joint effort across the whole association in securing funding to Wales for this year’s pay award. This work was critical as originally there was no additional funding as the DfE was using its own budget to cover costs in England only.”
Our campaigning for Wales meant the following:
- The secretary of state for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, confirmed the UK government will provide Welsh ministers with an additional £23.5m to fund the previously announced teachers’ pay award for 2018/19
- The Welsh government will receive £8.7m in 2018/19 and £14.8m in 2019/20 for the teacher pay award in Wales, but the mechanism has not been announced yet.
Speaking at the conference, NAHT national president Andy Mellor said: “NAHT Cymru has also secured positive changes to accountability and performance measures in Wales – the broader, more context relevant measures that we have secured, and that schools in England might look at with envy, should now feed more usefully into the school improvement cycle.
“Professor Graham Donaldson’s review into the inspectorate, Estyn, recommended a fundamental change in their role to facilitate more effective self-evaluation and play a more cohesive role in school improvement. This included NAHT Cymru’s specific suggestion of a break in the inspection cycle to allow schools to develop their approach to the new curriculum and allow Estyn to understand this process and reconfigure its relationship with the profession. This is a huge win for our members in Wales and credit should go to Rob and the team in Wales for securing this win. Again, this is an increasingly mature approach to inspection and one which Ofsted should be looking at.”
The conference meets over two days, with the AGM and debates happening on the Thursday morning and a closing address from NAHT Cymru president Dean Taylor closing proceedings on the Friday afternoon. For more information about NAHT Cymru’s work on behalf of leaders and learners in Wales, click here.
First published 18 October 2018