Teachers in Wales celebrate across-the-board hike in standards


Teachers in Wales are beginning to reap the rewards of their hard work as new figures show a rise in standards in all assessments.

Statistics published by the Welsh government show pupils across the first three stages of education performed better in all core subjects this year than in 2013.

The percentage of pupils achieving expected levels in English, Welsh, maths and science was 2.2 per cent higher in the early years curriculum – the Foundation Phase – 1.8 per cent better at key stage 2 and up four per cent at key stage 3.

Compared with those recorded in 1999, results now are higher by almost 12 per cent at key stage 2 and 10 per cent at key stage 3. 

The figures come after a successful summer with improvements in both GCSE and A level results.

Teacher assessments across the foundation phase, key stage 2 and key stage 3 are taken every year and pooled together to monitor performance ahead of GCSEs. 

Robin Hughes, secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Cymru, said the results were a sign that things were getting better in Welsh schools. He said: “One of the exciting developments that will raise the standard of teacher-based assessment is the closer working of secondary and primary teachers, meaning that there’s a better understanding of the child as they make their way through school.

“That’s the point of these assessments – making it easier to know what each child may need to make the progress we want for every child.

“Good assessment is a tool, not an end in itself. And it starts with having a common language that teachers share and a standard that is common to all.”

A spokesman for the Welsh government said: “It’s always encouraging to read about improving performance in education across Wales. These positive figures come on the back of another strong set of GCSE, A level and Welsh Baccalaureate results.

“While it’s good news that overall attainment is continuing to improve across all age groups, it’s particularly pleasing that at foundation phase more than four in five pupils achieved the expected outcome in all statutory areas of learning.”

The figures come at the beginning of a significant academic year for Welsh education. Teachers will find out how lessons in Wales will differ to those across the UK at the end of this term when Professor Graham Donaldson will publish his review into the national curriculum and assessments.

Looking ahead, Dr. Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru, said: “The outcome and options presented by Prof Donaldson’s review could have reverberations for decades. No teacher or member of support staff will be untouched by the changes it could unleash. It will also mean that Wales will, in all probability, have a much different curriculum to that following from the narrow agenda being pursued in England.”


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