Joint union call for a ‘blank sheet of paper’ approach to inspection

National Association of Head Teachers Cymru and NEU Cymru have written to the Cabinet Secretary Kirsty Williams to suggest a moratorium on Estyn inspections during the period that schools are implementing the new curriculum in Wales. 

The letter reflects on the need to make sure that the way in which schools in Wales are inspected properly reflects the new curriculum that they are currently implementing. The concern for school leaders and staff is that at present, the two things could become out of step.

Rob Williams, Director of Policy at NAHT Cymru, the association for school leaders in Wales, said: “NAHT Cymru believes that some space needs to be created for reforms to bed in. Schools may struggle to implement the changes fully if they are awaiting a visit from Estyn. Along with our colleagues in NEU, we suggest a moratorium on inspection for a set period. 

“Estyn has a critical role to play in making sure that Wales’ education system improves year on year. They need time to adjust too, just as schools are doing now. Reforms are much more likely to be successful if we pause inspection for a short period. During this time, schools can embed the new curriculum and assessment arrangements and the inspectorate can adapt its approach so that each part of the school system is fit for the future.” 

David Evans, Wales Secretary of the National Education Union Cymru, said: “There are some big changes coming both to the way the curriculum is focused and to how it is delivered.  I think there are legitimate concerns that caught schools between the old curriculum and implementing the new approach will find the inspection process not only disruptive but very possibly a significant hindrance to this change. Inspections during this period will also be evaluating different styles of teaching at different times given the phased timeline we have for the new curriculum introduction.  A moratorium on inspections will therefore be a benefit for everyone. 

Read more Joint union call for a ‘blank sheet of paper’ approach to inspection

Are you a teacher caught between the new and the old curriculum? Are you worried about the first school inspections? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Estyn, Primary, Secondary and Wales.

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