July update for Wales

Get your July updates from our Regional Officer for Wales.

By Elizabeth Williams, Senior Professional Officer (Wales)

As we race toward the end of term, I bet members working in schools cannot wait for the magic date that signified the end of term! In Cardiff, it is 19 July. After thanking children and young people for their heartfelt gifts and handmade cards, it is time for you to relax.

Education in Wales is moving at such a pace that there will be many more developments to come at all key stages as further preparations are made for the implementation of the new curriculum and the ALN regime. It is vital to take a break over the Summer whichever key stage you are working in, from nursery all the way through to higher education.

So enjoy your summer – you deserve it! Try not to let paperwork and preparation take over your holidays and have a well-earned break. This newsletter is also having a break over August and the next issue will be in September.

NEW THIS MONTH

Melynda Standring becomes Voice President!

Melynda Standring recently became Voice's National President. Melynda is a stalwart of Voice and has been the Chair, Vice Chair or a member of the Wales Executive Committee for many years. You can read more about Melynda and what she brings to Voice in August's Your Voice.

In the meantime, rest assured that Melynda will work tirelessly for each and member in Voice and looks forward to meeting as many members as possible while President. She is keen to modernise our governance structure while holding onto our core values.

Melynda says, 'our core values will always be at the heart of what we do: to put children and young people first and not to take any action (such as industrial action) which is injurious to them. This is, and remains, our unique selling point and it makes us proudly who we are.'

The New Draft Curriculum Is Here - Tell us what you think!

The draft curriculum for Wales has now been published by the Welsh Government. See here for the written statement and here for the draft curriculum.

Phase 3 of the implementation lasts until 19 July 2019 and consists of opportunities to provide feedback on the draft curriculum. 

Please do tell me what you think, and I can relay your comments, questions and concerns directly to the Minister for Education and the Welsh Government.

We have designed a survey to make it easy for you to provide your comments – the deadline for responses is 15 July.  The more responses we get from you, the richer the information that we will have in order to be able to contribute to national curriculum content and planning.  Your voice matters!

Complete Survey

Staff Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools Conference, 27 September, Cardiff

Voice is pleased to be a partner in a conference organised by the Education Support Partnership on staff wellbeing and mental health in schools on Friday 27 September at the Novotel, Cardiff

Although wellbeing in schools is now recognised as being fundamental to the learning of children and young people, insufficient attention is still given to the wellbeing of staff, particularly as so many pressures are currently placed on the education workforce. Therefore, this promises to be an extremely and useful important event.

A range of wellbeing and mental health experts will be speaking, best practice case studies will be highlighted and there will be a Q&A interactive panel session.

The conference is aimed at senior leadership and wellbeing leads in schools.  Voice members will receive a 50% discount on the standard ticket price (£49). Please use the following code to receive your discount: VOICEPROMO. Click here for more information. I will be attending the conference, so I hope to meet some of you on the day!

BBC Teach – Teacher Support

The BBC has added new pages to the BBC Teach section of its website, in partnership with the Education Support Partnership, specifically to support the wellbeing of the education workforce.

The BBC is interested in featuring case studies of members who may have suffered from mental health difficulties in which work was a feature in the past and who have now recovered.  If you are interested in speaking to BBC researchers, please let me know.

Not enough money in the system

The National Assembly for Wales' Children, Young People and Education Committee is calling on the Welsh Government to carry out an urgent review of school funding. Click here for more information.

Wales Executive Committee (WEC) REMINDER

The Wales Executive Committee will be holding its AGM at Voice HQ in Derby on Thursday 5 September at 2.30pm.

You are more than welcome to attend. Please let me know if you would like to come along.

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