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Welsh Education Leaders Look to the Future


Significant investments in people and time are seen as the key elements to ensure a successful future for Welsh education, according to a commission report launched on the 7th March. The commission, authored by 12 associates of the National Academy for Educational Leadership (NAEL), identifies four main recommendations that promote consistency of professional learning and a greater level of collaborative responsibility.

The 12 associates are headteachers themselves and between them have decades of first-hand experience of delivering the curriculum across Wales. Today’s commission announcement is set to complement the proposed new curriculum for Wales and ensure that the education profession is equipped fully to deliver the new curriculum when it is rolled out in 2022.

The report also draws on some of the associates’ experiences during recent international visits.

According to Clive Williams, head teacher of Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, and one of the associates, the commission sets out the next steps in tackling some of the more immediate leadership challenges facing us as an education system.

“When NAEL was established nine months ago and we, as associates, came together for the first time, one of our first key tasks was to write a commission which considered how the development of high-quality professional learning opportunities can improve well-being and achieve better outcomes for all within the education system.

“The result is ‘Inspiring Leaders – Enriching Lives: Our Call to Action’, which outlines a series of recommendations that dovetails with the national cycle of policy and decision-making in order to improve the quality of professional learning.”

Having been launched in May 2018, the National Academy for Educational Leadership works with partners across the system to provide strategic support for those in current leadership roles, as well as providing encouragement and inspiration for those who wish to pursue a leadership career in education.

Building on the good practice already delivered by inspirational, experienced and effective leaders working within the Welsh system, across the UK and internationally, the organisation is led by an independent team and accountable to a Board consisting of people with a range of skills that will support the Academy as it develops.

Huw Foster Evans is the Academy’s Chief Executive and welcomed today’s publication,

“It is crucial that we develop leaders who can inspire, not only our young people, but also their colleagues so we can work collaboratively to raise standards. This report brings together a breadth of knowledge represented by our 12 associates in their current roles while also taking on board their experiences in countries with high-performing education systems that we can learn from going forward.”

To further support the organisation and provide practical input for school leaders already in place, a second cohort of 12 new associates, will also be announced shortly, as the Academy seeks to build on its recent work.

Huw Foster Evans added,

“This is an exciting time for education in Wales, with a new curriculum on the horizon and a greater focus on professional learning for all within the profession. We’re delighted these proven and inspirational leaders have agreed to come on board and help us continue in our aim to reflect the voice of practice within the Welsh education system.”