Education standards in Wales are to be improved thanks to the adoption of a new national model.
From the start of this month, four regional consortia have started operating to a consistent national model as they are tasked with driving up school standards across the country.
Not only will it allow the groups to share good practice, knowledge and skills, but this joined-up approach will also make it easier for local strengths to be magnified and learning capacity to be enhanced.
"I'm delighted that we've got our new model for school improvement up and running in Wales," said education minister Huw Lewis.
Under the previous system, there were 22 local authorities all trying to deliver improvements independently and there was no collaboration involved in the process.
However, now the consortia will be expected to deliver the National Model for School Improvement, which Mr Lewis pointed out has "a relentless focus on driving up levels of literacy, numeracy and reducing the impact of poverty on education attainment" at its heart.
All four consortia have supplied a business plan as part of the process that clearly outlines their hoped-for outcomes.
Mr Lewis is looking forward to seeing the "tangible difference" the new consortia can make to education in Wales.
A support package has already been announced for Wales to help those in teacher jobs improve the numerical reasoning skills of pupils. From May 2014, this attribute will become part of the Welsh government's reading and numeracy tests.
Some £833,000 in funding has been made available to aid the roll out of the initiative, as well as supporting the implementation of new assessments. It is hoped the move will help young people acquire problem-solving skills in mathematics.
Last month, it was announced Professor Graham Donaldson would be carrying out a comprehensive review of the National Curriculum in Wales and the results will link directly to the country's new qualifications system.
Posted by Alan Douglas