Opinion Former Article

NUT comment on School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill

Wales’ largest union for qualified teachers, NUT Cymru, has commented on the introduction of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill by the Welsh Government.

NUT Wales Policy Officer, Owen Hathway, said:

“There is much to welcome in this Bill which will hopefully lead to significant improvements across a number of areas within the school system. Certainly, proposals around free school meal charging, provisions for pupils with special educational needs, school based counselling and the reduction of bureaucracy, are all positive steps forward.

“Where we exercise caution is in relation to proposals around interventions in schools by local authorities. What we would like to see is a system of cooperation and collaboration between parents, schools and the local authority to ensure that any school which requires assistance is given the necessary support. There must also be agreement on what assistance is required and the challenges which currently exist.

“What would be a cause for concern is if this Bill was used by local authorities as a green light to intervene when they may not understand the challenges faced by a particular school, or may not have the capacity to offer the support needed.

“We are encouraged that the Education Minister has stated publicly that he does not want to see banding as the sole driver in determining interventions. It will be important to keep a close eye on the practical application of the proposals to ensure that local authorities take a number of factors into consideration, and do not simply revert to interventions based on a fundamentally-flawed banding system, which many in the education sector continue to oppose.”

Contact: Owen Hathway, NUT Cymru, Ty Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ. Tel: 029 20491818. Mob: 07921 146 442 e-mail: cymru.wales@nut.org.uk

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