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One hundred secondary schools in Wales to roll out the new curriculum a year before deadline

14 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Jeremy Miles, Wales’ Education Minister. Picture by the Welsh Government

One hundred secondary schools in Wales are to roll out the new national curriculum a year before the final deadline, the Education Minister has said.

Secondary schools were given the option of delaying the rollout to years 7 and 8 until September of 2023 due to the Covid pandemic, with around 80 choosing to do so. The rest have decided to stick to the original timetable.

All primary schools and around 500 childcare settings will also start using the new curriculum from September.

The Welsh Government say that the new curriculum will give schools more flexibility to teach across six broad subject areas, although a national framework will ensure there is consistency and core learning.

Learning about Welsh history and the history and diversity of communities, in particular the stories of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people, will be mandatory parts of the new curriculum. Relationships and Sexuality Education will also be mandatory.

“I am delighted that nearly half of secondary schools have chosen to roll out this year,” the Education Minister, Jeremy Miles, said.

“The secondary schools who have chosen to roll out from 2022 come from across Wales, rural and urban, large and small, and with a range of different profiles and experiences.

“I am also pleased to hear of the positive and constructive work that schools who are rolling out from September 2023 are doing in their clusters to develop, trial and evaluate their new curriculum.

“This is a once-in-a-generation reform and I am delighted with practitioners’ continued enthusiasm, motivation and support for the new curriculum and the real and impressive innovation happening across Wales.”


Teaching union UCAC had previously welcomed the fact that the implementation of the new curriculum would be deleted for one year due to Covid

“Our one disappointment is that implementing simultaneously for Years 7 and 8 in 2023 means that an opportunity has been missed to provide an additional year for adapting qualifications to fit the new curriculum,” they said when the change was announced.

“There is very significant work to be done to ensure – in line with the Minister’s vision – that our qualifications match the exciting ambition behind our curriculum.”

Schools watchdog Estyn also warned that some schools would need help to catch up with the changes.

“We’ve seen some schools that have absolutely run with the curriculum and are doing some quite exceptional stuff, but we’re seeing other schools that are further behind in their planning,” Estyn head Owen Evans told the BBC.

“I think that to a degree is to be expected, but the key now is to make sure that all schools are supported to catch up.”

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