Education Workforce Council

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Ian Thompson - The new deal in ERW

Ian Thompson blogConsortium ERW is committed to working in close partnership with its six Local Authorities and every school in South West and Mid Wales to support the work of colleagues in maintaining high levels of performance and securing sustained school improvement. We are fully aware of the diverse demographic nature of our region and recognise the need to understand the very wide ranging contexts of our schools.

Every school has the potential to be an excellent school. Our aim is to identify the extensive pockets of very best practice and to ensure that these are effectively shared in support of continued school improvement across our region.

We fully support the challenging Welsh Government agenda to introduce innovative curriculum change, to offer high quality and respected qualifications, to become a self improving educational system and to develop an internationally acclaimed professional workforce.

Along with the other consortia, we have made a significant contribution to the Welsh Government plans for implementing the ‘Successful Futures’ recommendations and delivering the New Deal through our strong commitment to the Pioneer School strategy.

We have had a clear regional focus on professional learning and on how we can contribute to the delivery of the Minister’s New Deal for the profession. Our aim is to commit to proactively help to achieve one of the main objectives in the Welsh Government ‘Qualified for Life’ (2014) document to ‘provide an excellent workforce with strong pedagogy based on an understanding of what works’.

In this aspect of the work in ERW, we have worked closely in a positive and constructive partnership with the University of Wales, Trinity St David to develop, to plan and implement innovative programmes for Initial Teacher Education, Outstanding and Improving Teachers and Leadership at all levels.

We have also worked with Headteachers and the very best practitioners from schools across the region in the developmental stages for all our programmes. This has proved to be an essential ingredient in ensuring that we offer credible professional learning strands that provide invaluable support for the career aspirations of all teachers and associate staff.

Our aim is to offer bespoke programmes to complement those that are offered at a local and national level. This will ensure that all members of the education workforce in ERW can access the very best opportunities to make sustained progress towards their chosen career pathway.

To enable ERW to deliver all aspects of the New Deal, we are engaging current school practitioners at all levels to build the regional capacity in terms of the planning and implementation the various aspects of professional learning. We believe that the programmes will be most effective and offer inspiration to delegates when highly regarded colleagues are the main facilitators.

An integral part of our work at a regional level is to continue to engage and work closely with the New Deal Pioneer Schools. For this key piece of work, some of our most successful schools have been identified through local intelligence and an application process. These will be recognised by the Welsh Government as leading schools to pioneer and deliver aspects of the New Deal in collaboration with the consortia. We are very fortunate in ERW to be spoilt for choice in terms of the number of excellent schools within the region who fit these criteria.

As the New Deal gathers momentum, ERW will remain at the forefront of the process. We will offer exciting and innovative programmes of professional learning for teachers and associate staff at every stage of their development to enable them to fully support their career goals and aspirations.

Ian Thompson: Head of Leadership and Development at ERW

After graduating from Southampton University, Ian started his teaching career in Wootton Bassett School in Wiltshire where he taught economics and maths. Following three years in professional sport, he returned to teach in a secondary modern school in Parkstone, Dorset before moving to Wales in 1988.

Having gained experience as Head of Maths in St. John Lloyd RC School in Llanelli, Ian’s first senior post was in Dyffryn School, Port Talbot where he developed his senior leadership and management skills as Head of Upper School.

Ian moved on to become Deputy Head of Morriston Comprehensive School in Swansea where he remained for ten years until 2005. Having gained the NPQH qualification, Ian continued to work in Swansea after being appointed as the Headteacher of Bishopston Comprehensive School in January 2006.

Prior to taking up the position of Head of Leadership and Development for ERW in March 2015, Ian worked for the City and County of Swansea for six months as a Challenge Adviser while retaining the Headship of Bishopston on a part time basis.

In his new role, Ian works closely with ERW colleagues in developing and implementing programmes of professional learning and school improvement to inspire the new generation of teachers and middle/senior leaders in both the primary and secondary sectors across the region.