Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language
I am pleased today to launch this second consultation on the proposals to require additional education practitioners to register with the Education Workforce Council. This consultation seeks views on the draft Order which proposes amendments to the relevant legislation.
We want to ensure that children and young people in Wales are provided the safeguards that come with having a workforce that is professionally and independently regulated. This includes staff working in independent schools, all headteachers, and paid, qualified youth workers and youth support workers. We are confident that this legislation will mean our education, learning and teaching professionals will have parity of professionalism, regardless of where they work.
Right now, it is our priority to ensure that staff in independent schools are required to register with the EWC. This is the first phase of a programme of work to increase the professionalisation of our workforce in education. Under existing legislation there is no requirement for independent school teaching staff to be registered with the EWC, which is a significant inconsistency compared to maintained schools and which presents as a risk in terms of safeguarding and child protection within the sector. It is therefore critical that the changes are made as soon as possible to increase protections for children and young people, as well as the workforce, in independent schools. We are also making changes to require additional youth and youth support workers to register.
The second phase will be to look at taking forward proposals to increase the registration categories for others in youth work, and staff in the post-16 sector.
By adding new categories of registration and extending existing registration requirements, the draft Order aims to drive up professional standards across the education workforce. This will ultimately provide better services for children and young people, as well as providing assurances to families and the wider community.