It’s important that all Governors respond to the Qualified for the future consultation

Having read ‘Qualified for the Future’ over the Christmas break (not Christmas Day, I hasten to add!) it’s  important that all governors make sure we contribute to this important consultation and to future ones, that will emerge in 2020.

 By Jane Morris, Governors Cymru 

With the New Curriculum very much on its way, schools in Wales are facing exciting and interesting times ahead. With implementation deadlines fast approaching, we need to take stock of what shape future qualifications will look like for our young people.  

As a former teacher and experienced governor, I’ve seen plenty of change in education. But I can’t remember such a ground-breaking and momentous time as now. 

I have no easy answer. But in my view, it’s about embracing inclusivity, reflecting the wider skills, creating an array but not too many qualifications, that aim to develop and support innovation and creativity, all joined up to the four key purposes of the new curriculum.   

Cherry-picking what works from the current system and discarding the bits that are no longer relevant will be crucial. Reflecting the Welsh dimension and our rich, vibrant, diverse culture are paramount.  It’s also about developing learners’ skill set, to be ready for the world of work, ensuring whatever qualifications we have are recognised throughout the UK and nurturing our learners to have the inspiration and aspiration to believe in themselves.  

Sometimes, we miss the opportunity to submit our thoughts. Other things come along that distract us. Ensuring your voice is heard and your experience and knowledge of schools are reflected is vital. 

Make sure one of your new year resolutions is to help steer and create a vibrant and dynamic qualification system that is contemporary, fit for purpose, and which will serve our youngsters well for the foreseeable future, to help them succeed. Help to make a difference - it matters!  

Why not take a step back and remember the days when you were in school at 16? How times have changedwell in my case, yes, they certainly have and for the better!  I think Qualifications Wales is pretty much on the right track with its vision and principles. The timing is right for change, but it needs to be balanced and robust. I welcome this chance to help shape the future.  

As governors working with the headteacher, you have the responsibility for ensuring the curriculum is implemented effectively. Those strategic discussions you’ve had past and present at governing body meetings: what do learners need to equip them for the 21st Century? What new approaches do we need to consider? What works well for 16-year-old learners and post 16?  How do this year’s results compare with those from previous years? How do they compare with national standards? The discussion on the continuum from primary to secondary. 

These are some examples, all of which will help form some useful comments for your response.