Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education
The Welsh Government will take responsibility for teachers’ pay and conditions at the end of this September, ahead of Welsh Ministers determining teachers’ pay and conditions for Wales for the first time in September 2019.
In my Written Statement of 9th March 2018, I notified Members of a public consultation to help inform the development of an appropriate system to determine teachers’ pay and conditions of service in Wales. The consultation on the proposed mechanism for determining teachers’ pay opened for comment between 9 March and 4 May 2018.
The ‘Teacher Engagement Model’ as proposed in the recent consultation was devised following extensive discussions with all key stakeholders and met a number of the issues raised by teacher unions. The proposed mechanism took forward our commitments to partnership, collaboration and evidence based policy development.
The model maintains certain elements of the current system for determining teachers’ pay and conditions, such as retaining its statutory nature. Additionally, the proposed mechanism includes a tripartite social partnership forum, representing Welsh Government, teacher unions and employers, to consider all issues prior to seeking advice from an independent expert body.
I convened a meeting of all teacher and head teacher unions in February to outline this approach and listened to their views on the proposed ‘Teacher Engagement Model’ prior to launching the formal consultation exercise. It was clear that there was no single approach preferred by all the unions.
Overall the consultation responses supported the implementation of the ‘Teacher Engagement Model’ as the determination model for Wales.
I am convinced that this model, as one of social partnership, provides for increased and improved engagement across employers and unions.
From the responses received, there was a clear consensus against the need for a public consultation stage as part of the annual decision making process. On reflection, I accept the points that have been made and will adapt this consultation element of the proposed determination process to be a written consultation with key stakeholders only.
I therefore propose to adopt the mechanism, subject to the change outlined above. We will now, alongside key stakeholders, take forward the work ahead of implementation next year.
It is my intention to issue a formal Welsh Government response to the consultation by 27 July 2018.