It was a great honour to be appointed Education Secretary in May and since the moment I first sat behind my new desk I have been clear on my priorities. I want to get the basics right; letting heads, teachers and learning support workers carry out their role, with the voice of parents and pupils at the heart of all that we do.
I have been working closely with the profession to help you be the best you can be, while raising the standard of teaching and importantly raising the standing of the profession as a whole. Without an enthused, valued and skilled workforce, we can’t achieve any of this.
How you as a profession feel about yourself is important. As I visit schools across Wales, I have been struck with how staff in some areas do not feel valued. I understand that it is you who make the difference to school standards in Wales, not me in an office in Cardiff Bay – so we need to support you to do the job that we expect.
That is why, working with the EWC, we are launching a new national survey aimed at getting the views of teachers and support staff in both school and further education settings, as well as supply workers.
We have developed the survey to cover a range of themes, including professional development, performance management, workload, curriculum and assessment and the Welsh language.
The results you provide will help inform Welsh Government as we develop policy, and importantly provide a baseline for future surveys.
The reality is there is currently little independent evidence as to the views of the education workforce in Wales on these key issues. Surveys are regularly carried out by other organisations but the data often covers Wales and England, with the full underlying information not published. I want to avoid the situation of ‘for Wales, see England’.
This pilot survey will provide an important opportunity for us to listen to your views and gauge your opinion on a number of key areas. It will provide a useful source of information for our national mission of education reform. The survey demonstrates the value we place on our education workforce and our commitment to ensuring that the profession is at the heart of developments on matters which affect them.
As the EWC Chair Angela Jardine says, this is a golden opportunity. The survey goes live on 31 October and I call on all in the profession to get involved.
You can access the survey here.
Cabinet Secretary for Education