“Our national mission in Wales is to raise standards, raise the attainment of all children and ensure we have an education system that is a source of national pride and public confidence.”
Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education
What is Changing?
The biggest change is a new curriculum for schools in Wales from September 2022. It will affect all schools other than Independent schools. The curriculum has been made in Wales but shaped by the best ideas from around the world.
There will also be changes to improve how we assess pupils, teacher training and school accountability. These improvements will complement the new curriculum.
Why must we make these changes?
Evidence from international surveys, and evaluations from Estyn (the education and training inspectorate for Wales), suggest levels of achievement are not as high as they could be.
The national curriculum was first introduced in 1988 before on-line shopping, Google and the Cloud. Now, work is different, technology is different, society is changing. The curriculum must prepare young people to thrive in a future where digital skills, adaptability and creativity - alongside knowledge - are crucial, especially as:
“65% of pupils entering primary school today will end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist”
‘Automation and AI in Wales: The Future of Skills’ (Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee, National Assembly for Wales)
Since it was created, the curriculum has become narrow, inflexible and crowded, limiting creative approaches in schools.
We want children to enjoy learning, and develop skills, knowledge and emotional resilience. By the age of 16, they should be confident, ethical individuals who play an active part in their community and society. They should be prepared to thrive in the new world of work.
When will it happen?
The new curriculum will be taught in all schools up to Year 7 from September 2022. It will then roll out year by year until it includes Year 11 by 2026.
Schools will first see the final version of the curriculum in 2020, giving them time to prepare. School leaders and teachers will receive support and training to prepare them between now and 2022.
New pupil assessment arrangements will be introduced alongside the new curriculum. These will help learners and parents understand how they are performing and what they need to do next.
We’ve already made improvements to the way we support children with additional learning needs. Next we’ll place more focus on physical and mental well-being so all children are ready to learn at school and cope with the demands of life.
How can I play my part?
Welsh Government is consulting on the law needed to introduce the changes. Read our consultation and give us your response