Education Minister scraps school inspections to ease pandemic pressures
The Education Minister has scrapped school inspections to ease pandemic pressures.
Jeremy Miles has announced a series of measures, which include the suspension of Estyn’s core inspection programme for schools and for pupil referral units (PRUs) to be extended to include the autumn term 2021.
A new approach to inspections with the agreement of schools will be piloted in the spring term.
They also include suspension of school performance measures will also be extended to 2021/22, and school categorisation will not take place in the next academic year.
New regulations will relax a range of school reporting requirements for 2020/21, supporting the assurances previously provided around the use of school data affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Since taking up post as Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles has been speaking to people within the school system across the country to hear directly from them about the challenges they face in supporting learners during the pandemic, and what help they need.
The minister says the measures announced today will help reduce administrative burdens on schools.
He added that they will create more capacity and ease potential pressures within the Welsh education system, and will provide clarity on what the next year academic year will look like.
The Minister said: “My priorities for the coming year are to renew and reform, putting learners’ progression and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.
“As we recover from the pandemic, working towards delivery of the new curriculum, I want to build on the innovation, flexibility and focus on wellbeing that have helped us through this period of disruption.
“The clear message I’ve received from the education workforce is that they are determined to do all they can to help learners progress, but there are pressures that are affecting their ability to do this. I have listened and am taking action to support them.
“The action announced today build on the range of measures we’ve already taken this year to ease pressure and provide flexibility. This is being backed by over £150m of funding to support wellbeing, learning and teaching this year.
“I will continue to work with schools, leaders and learners on what other steps we can take to create space in the system in order to support our collective efforts to renew and reform.”