What do you think of Welsh literacy and numeracy plans?

17 May

A consultation seeking views on introducing more detailed requirements for literacy and numeracy in initial teacher training (ITT) courses in Wales has been launched by the Welsh Government.

The consultation includes proposals that:

"Currently, requirement R1.2 says that all ITT providers must ensure that all entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examination in English and in mathematics. We propose to introduce an amended requirement that all ITT providers must ensure that all entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade B in the GCSE examination in English and in mathematics.

"Similarly, the present requirement R1.3 (as amended) says that all ITT providers must ensure that all entrants who enter primary or Key Stage 2/3 training have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examination in a science subject. We propose to introduce an amended requirement that all ITT providers must ensure that all entrants who enter primary or Key Stages 2/3 training have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade B in the GCSE examination in a science subject."

The National Literacy Programme (NLP) will set national standards for teachers and pupils to work towards, to ensure a consistent approach to reading and writing across Wales. The National Reading Tests for five to 14-year-olds, due to be introduced in May 2013, will be part of that.

The document claims many teachers do not see themselves as teachers of literacy, and as a result, will “need upskilling” and promises more training for current and newly qualified staff and the sharing of best practice.

Voice has previously commented on the idea of a National Reading Test:

"A national reading test could be a very expensive exercise to produce yet more league tables. Wales has a good track record in reducing its pupil testing regime so this could be a backward step and very costly at a time when public expenditure is being cut. It would need to be coupled with improved training for teachers in Key Stages 2 and 3 and with the resources to provide extra support when needed.

"A significant investment will be required in order to construct and pilot such a national test and to determine its validity and reliability. The best judges of how well children are reading are their teachers as they hear them read on a regular basis. I am not sure that a national reading test will have any real benefits or be of any diagnostic value. The results will be uninformative as they will only produce information that teachers already know from their own assessments. They will not give information on individuals' levels of engagement or how they make sense of what they are reading.”

Do let us know your views below. They will help to inform Voice policy and any response we make to the consultation.

Alternatively, you can email cymru@voicetheunion.org.uk in confidence.

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2 Responses to “What do you think of Welsh literacy and numeracy plans?”

  1. John Till 17. May, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I know of experienced and successful teachers of humanities subjects who wouldn’t be allowed to teach now because they don’t have GCE maths! Unintended consequences?

  2. Andy Preston 17. May, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Yet another backwards step by Wales into the past. While the rest of the UK moves forwards away from standardised tests to ongoing APP assessment, Wales buys into something everyone else has left behind. Its being pedaled very hard by the people who will make money selling it. Very sad to see.

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