March update for Wales

Get your March updates from our Regional Officer for Wales.

By Elizabeth Williams, Senior Professional Officer (Wales)

Easter is late this year, so we have another few weeks of term to get through, and they are very busy weeks in schools with impending exams and SATs.  I wish you well with all your current activities, including our early years members who are always so busy!

NEW THIS MONTH

CROESO ein haelodau newydd ni!

WELCOME to all of our new members who joined us a few weeks ago at the Bangor jobs fair!

Wales Executive COmmittee Member Melynda Standring manning the Voice stand in Bangor.

Teachers' Pay 2019/20: Next Steps

The members of the independent Welsh Pay Review Body (IWPRB) have now been appointed. Vist here for more information. We are currently in the process of completing our written evidence to submit to the IWPRB regarding teachers' pay next school year, and Deborah Simpson (Director Pay, Pensions and Workforce) and I will be appearing to give oral evidence to the Body in May.

Teaching: A Valued Profession: Welsh Government Response and additional INSET days

The Welsh Government has now responded to the Teaching: A Valued Profession report published in September. Some of the report’s recommendations (such as setting up the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body) have already been acted upon; others will take far more consideration.

However, Kirsty Williams, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, does have plans for INSET days, further to a recommendation in the report for increased INSET days.  She has announced that she proposes to put in place an additional INSET day each year for the next three years, specifically to support the introduction of the new curriculum, and this is currently the subject of a consultation, that is due to close on 1 May. 

Please do let me know what you think about the proposed additional INSET day and how you see INSET working most effectively in the future. Please visit the below links for more information.

ALN Code Consultation Voice Response

See the information and Voice Cymru’s official response at the links below:

The requirement for an ALN Code is stated in the Additional Learning Needs Act 2018. The Code is a very important document that will set out the duties required of schools, FEIs, local authorities and health bodies contained within the legislation regarding the ALN of children and young people (CYP) from 0 to 25. It will also provide information on the compulsory content of an Individual Development Plan and on detained or looked after CYP, and it will detail the role of the ALNco. 

The Welsh Government recently launched a consultation on the ALN Code, and we have just responded. 

Please visit here for the Welsh Government's consultation and here for our Official Response.

Shredded wheat and chocolate nests

This is the first time I’m including a recipe in the newsletter. Let me know if this is something that you like! This is an Easter recipe but also enhances learning and is relatively healthy (well, perhaps healthier than other Easter treats) and is cross-curricular, being relevant for Technology, Engineering (if children also make a container), Maths, and possibly History and RE too. It is also a good mechanism for encouraging speaking and listening to instructions, and for group work.

You will need:

1 sensible child and a grown up for each child.

1 shredded wheat

4 squares of chocolate

4 mini eggs

2 paper cases

Method

  • First break up the chocolate into a bowl and, with your adult, put your bowl on top of another bowl filled with hot water.
  • Next put your shredded wheat in a bag and break it up.
  • Take your melted chocolate off the heat. DO NOT TOUCH THE BOWL - it will be hot.
  • Pour your shredded wheat crumbs into the melted chocolate and stir well.
  • Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and firmly press 2 eggs into each nest.
  • Put your nests in the fridge to set. (Set means let the chocolate go hard again.)

Wales Executive Committee (WEC)

WEC meeting venues move around Wales to enable local members to attend. Would you be interested in attending a WEC meeting in Cardiff? We would be delighted to welcome you and would be very interested to hear your views. Expenses and refreshments will be provided. Please let me know if this is something that would interest you. My contact details are below.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 13 May at 4.00pm in Cardiff at Community Cardiff, 20 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 1LJ.


Elizabeth Williams 

Senior Professional Officer (Wales)

01332 378 029 / 07972 482931 

elizabethwilliams@voicetheunion.org.uk  

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