Does every child still matter in Wales?

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Does every child still matter in

Wales?

Yes and no

– depends who you are!

The Importance of the Child in

Wales

Children and Young People are at the heart of policies in Wales, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Specific Programme of Government relating to

Children and Young People

Support for children by supporting families including

Flying Start, Intensive Family Support and Families

First

Children’s Commissioner who protects and promotes rights and welfare of Children and Young people

Advocacy

– including Children and Young People’s assembly a forum for their opinions to be voiced.

Education in Wales

The Learning Country (2001) resulted in the parting of the ways with England after devolution

Outcomes of this vision

 Abolition of SATS

The Foundation Phase for 3 to 7 year olds.

(2007)

 The Skills based curriculum for KS 2 and 3

(2008)

Skills Framework (2008)

Pupils’ rights and needs at the core of education.

Education Section of the

Programme of Government

Overarching Aim

Help everyone reach their potential and improve economic and social well being

 The programme developed from a speech made by former Education

Minister Leighton

Andrews in 2011

Current Educational Priorities

To improve literacy and numeracy standards

To reduce the impact of poverty on educational attainment

How?

Funding

available to schools to implement measures that impact on either or both of the priorities (SEG, WEG and PDG)

Support for teachers

on a range of issues

Hwb

– the all Wales Learning Platform

Learning Wales website

Literacy and Numeracy Framework

– Planning across the curriculum and Annual National Testing of all pupils from Y2 to

Y9.

The threat and challenge of the

Literacy and Numeracy Framework

(LNF)

A useful tool or a stick to beat schools with?

Does the child still matter?

This is where we hit a brick wall….

 The LNF defines the expected level of attainment for a year group

It allows for pupils to be working at a variety of levels both below and above their year group

BUT

Expectations for Year 2 are equivalent to level 3 and for year 6 are level 5

– that this will be the new norm is the challenge for many pupils.

Progress and reporting

 When schools report to parents about their child’s progress that they will give a narrative report on the strands of

Literacy and Numeracy.

Testing

 And then there are the

TESTS

!

 This is where the child does not seem to matter.

 The Foundation Phase and The Skills based curriculum (2008) emphasise the need for collaboration, co-operation and communication through all phases of education. Skills of team work are paramount throughout.

Now you are on your own ……

Sit on your own

Don’t look at anyone else’s work

Don’t talk

Don’t get up out of your seat to check the display or find your spelling book

Don’t ask your teacher or your friend

 Complete and check the test but we won’t be going over it afterwards!

Additional or Special needs

 Extra time? maybe

 Extra help? Scribe, computer

, BUT

adjustment for language deficit no

 Dyslexia

– too much on a page, constant turning back and forwards in the test booklet to read and answer questions

 Disapplication? Does everyone have to do the tests?

Limited value of assessment

Can’t test some pupils because it doesn’t measure progress for pupils working below age expectations

 Not diagnostic

Doesn’t tell teachers anything new!

Summary

One of the major structures that has been put in place to measure school and pupil progress says that some children don’t matter in the testing process!

The process seems to be about measuring not evaluating progress

THE ONLY THING THAT SEEMS TO MATTER IS

DATA! If it can be measured numerically, it must matter if it can’t - it doesn’t

The LNF could be a really useful tool to aid progress -

BUT it should be STAGE NOT AGE - the fundamental of the Foundation Phase.

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