Skip to main content

Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education

First published:
14 May 2018
Last updated:

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

A sufficient supply of high quality, well-qualified teachers is required to underpin our national reform journey.  In our plan of action, ‘Education in Wales: Our National Mission 2017-2021’ a clear commitment is made to attract and retain more high-quality graduates into teaching.  

It is our aim to develop a coherent suite of quality routes into teaching, supporting beginner teachers through initial teacher education (ITE) to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). We want all routes to have the same vision and understanding of the future teaching workforce for Wales and meet the needs of talented potential teachers, whatever their background and circumstances.

We have been working with key stakeholders (such as the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Advisory Board and the Regional Education Consortia) and expert consultants (specifically in ITE and distance and blended learning) to develop and refine our proposals.

In addition, the implementation of the generous new student finance package including finance for part-time study presents a new opportunity for development of a part-time Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) to support ITE.

We propose a world-leading development in the field of ITE – a new school-based, university-partnered part-time PGCE, to include a number of employment based places. It is intended that the part-time PGCE would enable trainees to maintain their current commitments including employment and income whilst studying part-time to be a teacher. This new provision will also allow for a number of places to be delivered through a highly prestigious employment based route (EBR) allowing trainees to be employed in schools whilst undertaking their part-time PGCE.

We aim to remove barriers of geographical accessibility to postgraduate study. The flexibility of this new part-time route into teaching will potentially provide opportunities to widen participation for those groups currently underrepresented in Wales’ teaching workforce, and enrich the profession by increasing diversity and allowing those with work-related experience from other fields and greater life-experience in general, to enter teaching.

Our overall aim of ITE is to encourage an enthusiastic, committed and dedicated teaching profession, representative of the communities which they serve. We want to remove any unnecessary geographical barriers whilst maintaining high quality entry requirements to ensure that those with the expertise and knowledge that we know will enrich our education system are able to enter teaching. This new route must be both flexible and agile, involving effective professional support and development, and meet the same high quality requirements of new accreditation criteria.

It should be noted that the successful development of this proposal could lead to resources and online infrastructure that could be utilised beyond ITE, and could ensure that ITE resources and approaches can be used to support career-long professional learning for teachers.

Draft timeline:

  • May – September 2018: Pre-Market Engagement and working with stakeholders to develop proposals and options for school experience  
  • 5th June: Bidder engagement event at the Wales Millennium Centre, hosted by the Cabinet Secretary for Education with Professor John Furlong 
  • October 2018: Procurement specification published
  • February 2019: Proposed contract start date
  • Academic Year 2019/20: Part-time PGCE and EBR available