By Elizabeth Williams, Senior Professional Officer (Wales)
On 28 November 2019, Education Minister Kirsty Williams launched Wales’ National Workforce Development Plan, which "focuses on school staffing and recognising and rewarding teachers’ work".
The plan also outlines plans to "develop an early career support package which would see new teachers getting tailored support throughout the first four years of their career as opposed to the current system where supports ends after just one successful year of teaching. The package would see the introduction of a national dedicated coaching and mentoring programme and the development of a new Master's-level qualification to support newly qualified teachers as well as more experienced practioners".
The plan has been created to "help introduce effective workforce planning systems to ensure there is a sufficient number of highly skilled teachers in Wales, including those working through the medium of Welsh, and those needed to fill the wide range of Additional Learning Needs (ALN) roles".
The document also includes plans to "develop ways of ensuring there are quality supply teachers available to cover Welsh schools".
The document sets out the Welsh Government’s plans and measures of success across key areas of workforce development, including:
- teachers' pay and conditions;
- improving workload;
- increasing the amount of Welsh-medium teachers;
- shaping schools’ workforce to support the introduction of the new Curriculum; and
- recruitment and retention.
The plan is available here.
We welcome the publication of the plan, which we will study in detail, but the current crisis in recruitment and retention is a serious problem that will only be addressed by systematically increasing funding to schools and restoring teachers’ pay to proper levels following less-than-annual-inflation increases over the past ten years.