9 July 2019

‘Overwhelming evidence’ of school funding problems across Wales

UCAC education union has welcomed the publication today (10/07/19) of the 'School Funding in Wales' report by the National Assembly for Wales’s Children, Young People and Education Committee.

Dilwyn Roberts-Young, UCAC’s General Secretary said “The Committee has conducted its research, has received a deluge of evidence, and has come to the conclusion that ‘there is not enough money going into the education system in Wales and not enough finding its way to schools’. UCAC agrees whole-heartedly with that conclusion.

“Schools are unable to afford the numbers of staff that they require to provide a high-quality education. In turn, that means increasing class sizes, fewer teaching support staff and less support for vulnerable learners.

23 May 2019

Launch of Centre for Education Policy Review and Analysis (CEPRA)

The launch of the Education Policy Review and Analysis Center (PASS) was held at the Tramshed in Cardiff on Monday 13th May.

CDAPA is a body that will conduct projects and research into education and the purpose of the opening evening was to ‘move the debate on education in Wales’.

The head teacher of a local primary school who had pioneered new areas of the curriculum gave an interesting presentation. At the school, themed work was important and the pupil's experience was at the heart of the learning process at all times.

It was good to welcome representatives from a Welsh-medium secondary school who have pioneered the new curriculum over recent years. The school had some specific examples, e.g. there has been collaboration across secondary subjects to create a project around climbing Pen y Fan. In the primary sector there was a successful project on healthy food packs for learners.

These projects, and many others, provide worthwhile opportunities for pupils. The next steps will be to develop wider learning opportunities and provide time for teachers to plan and work together.

To conclude the event, Education Minister Kirsty Williams said that regular dialogue with parents and pupils was crucial as the curriculum developed.

The biggest challenge, according to the Minister, is to ensure the nation's confidence - we can succeed together.

30 April 2019

Annual Conference 2019 (Cynhadledd Flynyddol 2019)

The Union held a successful Annual Conference again this year at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells on the 5th and 6th of April. During the Conference, 33 leading motions were passed which will set out Union’s campaigns and principles for the coming year.

The motions included some about the transparency of funding education, having a stable school calendar, training for the new curriculum and developing Welsh language skills for the education workforce.

Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, welcomed a special speech outlining her vision for the education system in Wales over the next few years. A question and answer session followed the speech on issues such as the new curriculum, children with additional learning needs, Welsh medium teaching and the recruitment and retention crisis in the profession.

As well as discussing motions, Guto Aaron, Education Technology Coach, gave an interesting and useful presentation and a session on mental health and emotional wellbeing from the Language Alchemist from Chrysalis Company, Tracey Jones. After the evening supper, we were entertained by the band BWCA, a new band from the Aberystwyth area.

The 2020 Annual Conference will take place between 27-28 March at Cwrt Bleddyn, Usk - put the date in your diaries!

29 April 2019

A confident curriculum, says teaching union

In response to the publication on 30 April of the new draft curriculum for Wales, Dilwyn Roberts-Young, General Secretary of UCAC teaching union said “Without doubt, today is an exciting day. For the first time, the work of hundreds of teachers and experts in developing the new curriculum will see the light of day. Thousands of teachers, other education professionals, parents and employers will now have the opportunity to express their opinion and influence the framework that will form the basis of our children’s education from 2022 onwards.

“UCAC is proud of the fact that we will have a curriculum that is specific to Wales; a curriculum that puts knowledge, skills and experiences firmly in a Welsh and international context. This is a development that signals confidence, and that shows the world our vision and our interpretation, here in Wales, of ‘education’ in the twenty-first century.

04 April 2019

UCAC Conference tackles Welsh education’s burning issues

UCAC, one of Wales’s main teachers’ unions, is to hold its annual conference in Llandrindod this weekend (5-6 April).

Teachers from all over Wales will debate over 30 motions on the most burning issues in Welsh education including:

  • school funding
  • transparency of the regional consortia
  • a fixed school calendar
  • recruitment and retention of headteachers
  • immersion techniques and funding of Welsh Languages Centres
  • health and wellbeing of pupils and school staff

In amongst the debates, there will be several guest speakers, including:

  • Kirsty Williams AM, theEducation Minister, Welsh Government
  • Guto Aaron, Educational Technology consultant and trainer, Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer, Director @Twt360
  • Tracey Jones, Chrysalis, who helps teachers and educators to deal with daily pressures by building personal resilience and providing them with coping strategies