Leighton Andrews, Minister for Education and Skills
Schools are required to provide teachers with 5 statutory In-service Training (INSET) days during each school year. On these days schools are closed to pupils so that teachers may participate in training activities as part of their ongoing professional development.
In recent years schools have been allowed to take additional INSET days. These additional days are made available at Ministerial discretion to enable schools to focus on particular priorities. For the 2011/12 school year this provision was conditional on schools scheduling the additional days during the summer term. The use of these days is also reduced pro-rata if any school teaching time has been lost due to bad weather during the previous two terms.
I do not intend to allocate additional INSET days for the 2012/13 school year.
The 5 INSET days provided for within School Teachers Pay and Conditions should be sufficient for schools to undertake the training, planning and professional development necessary to support school improvement and raising standards.
My priorities are literacy, numeracy and reducing the impact of poverty on educational attainment. I believe these are school priorities too. I expect all schools to focus at least one of the 5 statutory INSET days on literacy and numeracy. In the remaining INSET days, regard should be given to how professional development activities reflect the need to embed literacy and numeracy skills in all aspects of education provision.
I am aware that this already reflects the approach taken by many schools and I am keen for schools to share effective approaches to professional development activities that focus on literacy and numeracy. I will be considering how best practice in this respect can be gathered so that it can be shared more widely between schools throughout Wales.