ColegauCymru welcomes the holistic approach to learning outlined in Curriculum for Wales 2022 reform

Today (30th April 2019) the rollout of Wales’ new curriculum reaches a major milestone with the publication of the draft Curriculum for Wales 2022. Having secured the input of specialist Further Education practitioners into the development of the six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs), ColegauCymru says that when successfully implemented, the new approach to curriculum development should result in learners who are better equipped for the transition to post compulsory education.

The proposals replace the current national curriculum with a national framework that schools, and nurseries should use to develop their own school level curriculum. Throughout the consultation process, ColegauCymru has reminded Welsh Government that it is vital to note that from an FE perspective it’s a priority to secure effective transition to continued learning pathways on completion of general education.

In recognising the context in which the proposed changes are taking place, Iestyn Davies, Chief Executive of ColegauCymru said “we believe there needs to be clear understanding that despite the changes, our collective best efforts, intentions and aspirations, not all learners will leave school at 16 having successfully reached all of their desired outcomes. Irrespective of the summative achievement at sixteen years of age, for all learners, concrete steps must be put in place to secure an effective transition and an embedding of a culture of lifelong learning. It is also imperative that the distinct needs and opportunities offered by a transition towards vocational education and training are clear within the curriculum.”

In recognition of our national aim to achieve a million Welsh speakers by 2050, the new curriculum has to support schools in delivering meaningful teaching, learning and assessment in the Welsh language. This must include ensuring that the language is seen as relevant to vocational study and applied technical qualifications equally as it is to further academic progression.

ColegauCymru, the post-compulsory education and training charity, also believes that training and CPD for Further Education staff will be essential, in order to support learners on their journey from school, to college and on into their working lives. As in schools, there will also need to be a significant element of culture change in the approach to delivery models that are required of FE. The changes need to include a seamless planning period to ensure institutions are ready to receive the learners as they complete their school journey. One key component of this approach is to ensure parity of esteem and funding for the development of an FE workforce of dual professionals, skilled equally in their area of teaching and in their domain vocational or professional practice.

Bearing in mind the timelines, we note that the first entrants into FE from the new curriculum will be in 2026. For some time, colleges will continue to work with the learners and apprentices who will not have benefitted from the curriculum changes. As providers of lifelong learning, individuals who have completed their school age education some time ago will also continue to be an integral and valued part of the FE learning community on both full time and part time courses. As such the diverse nature of learners of the future will be prominently in the minds of FE lecturers and assessors as these changes bed in.

The changes in the general education are taking place alongside the significant implications in implementing the recommendations from Professor Hazelkorn’s ‘Towards 2030’ report. Any vision for post-compulsory education and training needs to take account of the new types of learners that can be expected from the compulsory system in the years ahead, as well as those returning to the field of education and training. Furthermore, as changes to GCSE or equivalent examinations and assessments will inevitably follow the renewed curriculum, the Further Education sector is keen to continue to support the development, implementation, and importantly integration, of the new curriculum into the wider education system in Wales. We will continue to challenge and to support to ensure we collectively achieve a ‘made in Wales and made for Wales education system’ that is fit for purpose for our learners, staff, the economy and society as a whole.

(ENDS)

Notes:
The draft Curriculum for Wales 2022 is a set of statutory guidance documents that include:
a guide to Curriculum for Wales 2022
guidance for each of the Areas of Learning and Experience
proposals to inform the development of Assessment statutory guidance

Visit Hwb to see the draft Curriculum for Wales 2022 and provide feedback – https://hwb.gov.wales

For more information:
To view the press release visit – https://gov.wales/announcements/search

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