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Helping teachers develop into the next generation of leaders to raise standards across our schools will be the focus of a new leadership academy, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said today.

First published:
16 May 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Updating Assembly Members on plans for a new National Academy for Educational Leadership, Kirsty Williams set out how the new organisation will be arms length from the Welsh Government with the ambition of preparing all leaders in the Welsh education system with the right skills and knowledge to benefit pupils.

The former chief inspector for Estyn Ann Keane has been working with a range of experts to look at how the academy can be established. Her ‘shadow board’ has made a range of recommendations, including:

  • Allowing fair access for teachers to develop their leadership skills.
  • Using the latest evidence and research on how leadership in schools makes a difference.
  • Developing current leaders in schools while identifying future leaders.

Kirsty Williams said:

“The quality of our education system cannot exceed the quality of our teachers and leadership is central to this.

“Our challenge, as noted by the OECD, is to ensure a national approach to leadership, and make it a prime driver of our education reforms.

“The evidence shows leaders in our school can make a huge difference. I want us to have the right leaders with the right skills to raise standards and set the highest expectations for all our young people.

“I have instructed officials to start scoping the timescale and resources needed to establish the Academy by spring 2018 at the latest. I expect this to be an agile organisation with a small strategic board and led by a chief executive.

“I want to thank Ann Keane for her work as we set up the academy. In a short space of time Ann and shadow board have made good progress on this issue.”

Ann Keane said:

“I am very pleased that the Cabinet Secretary has accepted the recommendations of the shadow board.  They are the result not only of our deliberations but of engagement with head teachers and other leaders in the education sector across Wales and an understanding of what happens in other countries.

“We will be sharing more detailed proposals for the Academy in meetings around Wales over the next few weeks to make sure that what is planned for the Academy enables equity of access to high-quality leadership development for leaders and aspiring leaders who work in education sectors in Wales, for the ultimate benefit of learners.

“The Education Secretary wants the academy up and running by 2018.
The body is part of a range of Welsh Government reforms including changes to initial teacher training, proposals to revamp teaching standards and new accreditation criteria for initial teacher training providers.”