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'Leave me alone and let me teach.' Teachers' views of Welsh Government education policies and education in Wales

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The purpose of this article is twofold: firstly, to discuss what teachers in Wales think about the Welsh Government's recent education (mainly school) policies, and secondly, to suggest how the educational system in Wales might be improved. It is based on the findings from a general survey conducted by the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) Education. The views of 220 primary and secondary teachers and head teachers were gathered in 2014. The article's central theme is that teachers in Wales generally welcome policies with a strong element of social justice but believe that there have been too many educational initiatives over recent years. They think the educational system in Wales can be improved through various means, including: reducing bureaucracy, increasing their professional autonomy, supporting quality professional development and clear leadership. The findings are limited by the nature of a small-scale survey but reinforce conclusions reached in other research studies in the United Kingdom, regarding teachers' criticisms of the pace of curriculum change and initiative overload (Berliner, 2011; NUT, 2014) as well as general pointers towards more effective educational systems (OECD, 2014). For its part, the challenge for the Welsh Government is building consensus at a time when the performance of youngsters in Wales, relative to other countries, is poor.
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Keywords: EDUCATION; POLICY; TEACHERS' VIEWS; WISERD SURVEY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2016

More about this publication?
  • Previously published under the title University of Wales Journal of Education, this internationally-distributed annual journal offers an arena for disseminating education research from national and international perspectives. The journal explores a range of controversial arguments relating to education, including areas such as bilingualism, religion in education, well-being and the standards of literacy and numeracy. The contemporary drive for improved education standards, within Wales and internationally, provides a wealth of interdisciplinary research opportunities, and the journal aims to publish research reports relating to these current issues. The journal also includes a comprehensive reviews section.

    Mae'r cylchgrawn blynyddol hwn, a adwaenid gynt fel Cylchgrawn Addysg Prifysgol Cymru, yn trafod agweddau datganoledig ar addysg, ynghyd ag ymdrin ag addysg o safbwynt cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol. Wrth ymhel â materion cyfoes yn ymwneud ag addysg, mae'r drafodaeth yn amlinellu safbwyntiau dadleuol ynghylch dwyieithrwydd a chrefydd yn ogystal â safonau llythrennedd a rhifedd. Mae'r ymdrechion i wella safonau addysg yng Nghymru a thu hwnt yn esgor ar feysydd ymchwil newydd, a bwriad y cyfnodolyn yw cyhoeddi erthyglau cryno yn ymdrin â materion cyfredol o'r fath. Mae'r cyfnodolyn hefyd yn cynnwys adran adolygiadau.

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