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JM Jeremy Miles Education Minister - School Portrait, March 2021

New actions to ‘create space’ for schools announced

Cyhoeddi camau gweithredu newydd i ‘greu lle’ i ysgolion

Jeremy Miles today set out a series of measures we will take to create more capacity and ease potential pressures within the Welsh education system, providing further clarity on what the next year academic year will look like.

Since taking up post as Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles has been speaking to people within the school system across the country to hear directly from them about the challenges they face in supporting learners during the pandemic, and what help they need.

The measures announced today will help reduce administrative burdens on schools and enable a more individualised approach to supporting young people in Wales.

They include:

  • the suspension of Estyn’s core inspection programme for schools and pupil referral units (PRUs) to be extended to include the autumn term 2021 and to pilot a new approach to inspections with schools’ agreement in the spring term.
  • the suspension of school performance measures will be extended to 2021/22.
  • school categorisation will not take place in the next academic year.
  • new regulations that relax a range of school reporting requirements for 2020/21, supporting the assurances previously provided around the use of school data affected by the coronavirus pandemic

The Minister said, “My priorities for the coming year are to renew and reform, putting learners’ progression and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. As we recover from the pandemic, working towards delivery of the new curriculum, I want to build on the innovation, flexibility and focus on wellbeing that have helped us through this period of disruption.

“The clear message I’ve received from the education workforce is that they are determined to do all they can to help learners progress, but there are pressures that are affecting their ability to do this. I have listened and am taking action to support them.

“The action announced today build on the range of measures we’ve already taken this year to ease pressure and provide flexibility. This is being backed by over £150m of funding to support wellbeing, learning and teaching this year.

“I will continue to work with schools, leaders and learners on what other steps we can take to create space in the system in order to support our collective efforts to renew and reform.”