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New changes to Welsh teacher training announced

22/03/2017 Kelly

The Welsh government has announced a number of planned changes to its system of initial teacher education (ITE) to help attract the best available talent to the profession.

New accreditation criteria have been announced that will hand increased involvement to schools and push forward a clearer role for universities, in addition to introducing structured opportunities to link school and university learning.

With a greater emphasis on research, the new system is designed to raise the standards and standing of the profession, while it has also been announced that the country's Education Workforce Council will accredit individual ITE programmes through the establishment of the Initial School Teacher Training Committee.

This will facilitate more specific consideration of how ITE programmes will work to raise the quality of training and fulfil the goal of attracting the right people with the right qualifications and an aptitude for teaching to enter the profession.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has agreed to hold an international workshop in Cardiff to help further develop ITE in Wales, as the government is keen to draw upon international evidence and best practice to help guide its programme of educational reforms.

Education secretary Kirsty Williams said: "The teaching profession can only make its proper contribution to raising standards of education in our schools if our initial teacher training offers our future teachers the skills, knowledge and appetite to lead the change required.

"This is about our schools and universities working together, using the best research available, so our teachers have the right skills to deliver our new curriculum for the benefit of all our pupils."

Wales' recent reforms of its schools system recently earned praise from the OECD for the shift away from a piecemeal and short-term policy orientation to one with a long-term vision, involving key stakeholders.

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