Teaching standards in Wales ‘need to rise’, Estyn says

The BBC is reporting that Estyn inspectors have said that the quality of teaching in Wales needs to improve if overall standards in schools are to have any chance of increasing…

Estyn’s annual report raises concerns about the “variable” quality of teaching and standards generally, especially in secondary schools.

It said standards in primary schools were similar to last year.

The Welsh government said it was continuing to work on key areas such as teaching, literacy and numeracy.

“Fewer than half of secondary schools are good or better [compared to the previous year] and the proportion that is unsatisfactory has increased from one in seven to one in four,” the report said.

“One in seven is excellent. Over two-thirds of secondary schools will be monitored in ‘follow-up’ visits.”

Ann Keane, the chief inspector of schools, told BBC Wales that other countries were improving at a faster pace and standards in Wales were not yet showing “an upward trend”.

“There is a correlation between high standards and two factors; strong leadership and high standards in the core subject departments,” she said.

“We need to pay more attention on how to help teachers move forwards.

“There is a curriculum review going on now and we’re going to have new GCSEs in numeracy and language.

“Teachers need to be involved in preparation for these changes.”

The report said standards in primary schools were similar to last year.

“Seven in 10 primary schools inspected in 2012-2013 are good and around one in four is adequate. Although only one is unsatisfactory, very few are excellent,” it said.

“Around a half of the primary schools inspected will be monitored in ‘follow-up’ visits.”…

More at: School teaching standards ‘need to rise’, Estyn says

So is Estyn suggesting there is something less good about teaching in Wales than elsewhere or just that the best way of improving standards is to work further on teacher development? Please share your insights into teaching in Wales in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Teaching and Wales.


  1. 4C3d

    As always in education people want to be able to point to one thing and say “If we improve that standards will improve.” It is not as simple as that, no two schools are the same in terms of facilities, catchment, social profile, teaching, leadership or any number of other factors. I agree that there are some key factors that need to begin to be in place and begin to align in order to influence others though. As always leadership (with support for the long term not the quick fix) is the starting point which works to build belief and at the same time works to strengthen teaching (not the type that is measured by results or grades – that is distorted teaching) and the relationship with the learners. Ensuring all understand learning needs is the first step in improving teaching ( http://www.ace-d.co.uk/id10.html) followed by learners understanding how to take responsibility for their own learning and manage their learning environment to meet their learning needs ( http://wp.me/p2LphS-3p ). The philosophy of the school needs to address the question of the balance between knowing and learning ( http://wp.me/p2LphS-ba ).

    This is just part of the package, I have not mentioned self evaluation or the appropriate use of homework to strengthen learning, coaching and mentoring of staff or improving the physical learning environment. 

    So there you have it – a start on the best way to improving “standards” and not just those reflected in grades and scores but those that will promote learning over time and create a sustainable system able to cope with any challenges it is likely to face.

    Anyone interested in hearing more then please get in touch.

    Kevin Hewitson
    Director at Advocating Creativity
    Enhancing teaching and learning.

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