Welsh members of the school leaders’ union NAHT will be dominating the agenda from today (Sat 4 May) at the association’s annual conference in Telford.
Ruth Davies, Head Teacher of Waunarlwydd Primary School in Swansea takes over as NAHT Vice-President; the first time a Welsh woman has held this position since Margaret Morgan in 1997. It’s a poignant anniversary as Margaret passed away this year.
Mrs Davies will propose one of four Welsh motions at NAHT’s conference. Speaking on Sunday, she will call upon delegates to back her proposal to demand greater financial transparency from each of the four regional consortia in Wales.
She is expected to say: “In an age of austerity, per-pupil income in Wales is way below what it should be. Every penny counts. So, we really need to be sure that the regional consortia are value for money. Unless they can show evidence that they are value for money, it would be better to give their funds directly to schools.”
Rob Williams, NAHT Cymru’s Director, said: “Rightly, schools are held to account for their value for money and impact on children. It is reasonable to expect the same degree of transparency about the sizable funding that the regional consortia get, and how effectively they allocate it to schools.
“The problem at the moment is the there’s no consistency between how each of the regional consortia are set up, operationally and financially. It’s something of a magic mess. Some are more transparent – others appear reluctant to be open. This needs to change.”
Also up for debate in the conference hall will be a motion from Dean Taylor, NAHT Cymru President, and a school leader from Newport, who will ask delegates to support an acceleration of the school funding campaign in Wales. Mr Taylor, is also involved in a motion to lobby the Welsh Assembly to do more to rebuild the status of school leadership, including protecting their mental health and improving resilience.
The mental health of pupils in Wales is also a concern for NAHT Cymru members Mari Gaskill and Damon McGarvie who will be calling for the Welsh government to follow the raft of evidence and step up its support for schools on this issue.
It is expected that all four motions will be approved, providing a solid platform for NAHT Cymru campaigning in the coming year.
NAHT’s 2020 Annual Conference will be held in Cardiff where Mrs Davies will become President next year, following Margaret Morgan, and other recent Welsh presidents, Gareth Matthewson in 2003and Chris Howard in 2009.
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