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Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
On Saturday 25 May, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth will be host to US radio star, Peter Greenberg.
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
- Historic garden is a breakfast TV star
- National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Future management of private water supply pipes
- Amendments to the Motor Vehicle (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 and the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- Draft action plan for pollinators
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
23 days left
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Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Outcome of the Daugherty Report and ACCAC’s Advice on National Curriculum Assessment Arrangements
Members will be aware that last year I invited Professor Richard Daugherty to undertake a thorough review of the national curriculum assessment arrangements for 11 and 14-year-olds. This remit complemented a wide-ranging review of the school curriculum that was already being undertaken by the Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales. In May, I received Richard’s final report and ACCAC’s consolidated advice. In the intervening time, I have given careful thought to both sets of advice and am pleased by the amount of common ground there is between the two. They are in absolute agreement on what we should aim for in terms of appropriate assessment arrangements. Both acknowledged that the current assessment arrangements have provided a means of measuring pupil attainment along a clear pathway and have improved teacher expertise in making judgments about those attainments. However, crucially, both Professor Daugherty and ACCAC acknowledge that the current statutory tests that form part of those arrangements put teachers under pressure to teach to the tests, do not help the transfer from primary to secondary school, narrow the scope of the curriculum, particularly during the final year of the primary phase—as Estyn has also regularly reported—and, subsequently, have a negative effect on teaching and learning. There is clear evidence, therefore, that change is needed if we are to get the best from our pupils, the curriculum and our teachers. I propose, therefore, to move away, during the next four years, from the current testing regime to a system which is more geared to the pupil, focuses more on skills, and puts teacher assessment at its heart.
The new arrangements that I propose that we adopt, which bring together the advice from ACCAC and Daugherty, are as follows. Statutory teacher assessments at the end of key stages 2 and 3 should remain, but should be strengthened by moderation and accreditation arrangements. ACCAC will be remitted to design systems and checks to ensure that teacher assessments are robust and consistent. At the end of key stage 3, this will include secondary schools being awarded accredited centre status. Over the next three years, the current tests will be gradually removed. However, ACCAC will continue to provide optional test and assessment material to support teacher assessments until the new arrangements are in place. In key stage 2, a new style of diagnostic test, which focuses on skills, will be developed and introduced in year 5. The information derived from these tests will help teachers to identify individual strengths and weaknesses, which can be developed or addressed in the final year of primary school and which will provide valuable information for secondary schools to work with when pupils change phases.
The reports that parents receive on their children at the end of key stage 2 will include information on the levels achieved in the separate attainment targets for each of the core subjects. To help teachers get to grips with the new arrangements, an additional in-service training day will be made available in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
The move to this new system must be gradual and well managed. ACCAC will lead on the design and delivery of the new tests and moderation arrangements, but some changes will need to take place as early as 2005. Current key stage 2 tests will now no longer be statutory in Wales. The key stage 2 tests already developed for use next year will be provided to schools on a non-statutory basis. We will, however, make arrangements to mark the tests externally where schools wish us to do so. Arrangements will also be made to provide tests in 2006, but we shall not be offering external marking. I shall also ask ACCAC to provide some optional assessment material to support teacher assessments in 2007. This presents a smooth transfer from the current to the new arrangements, which will be fully in place by the 2007-08 school year. Also, it does not abandon the development and production work that has already gone into preparing these materials. For key stage 3, following ACCAC’s advice, the tests will remain statutory in 2005. This, I believe, provides a necessary measure of quality assurance before we start to build up the new teacher assessment moderation arrangements and the removal of the tests. In 2006, I propose making the tests non-statutory, with external marking available, and, in 2007, the tests will be available, but without external marking.
These are significant changes, based on well-informed recommendations put forward by two able and reputable bodies—ACCAC and the Daugherty assessment review group. The evidence behind these recommendations is considerable and has been drawn from practitioners, pupils, parents and nationally and internationally renowned experts. I am sure that the package that I am proposing will deliver an effective, secure and consistent assessment system that will focus on skills development and an assessment for learning programme. It will benefit pupils, teachers and our education system, relieve burdens on teachers and use teaching time more profitably and effectively. It will further develop teachers’ skills in terms of assessment and teaching, and will contribute to further improvements in the levels of performance. These proposals are also designed to fit in with our key stage 2 to key stage 3 transition agenda, both in terms of the benefits that the new system offers for better transition, and in terms of timing, in that the new assessment arrangements dovetail with the proposed transition requirements on which I shall also be consulting in the autumn.
There is much detail still to be worked through. We shall do that with ACCAC during the summer and publish a full consultation paper, in due course, on the new arrangements, which I hope to be fully operational from 2007-08. In the meantime, I propose issuing a shorter consultation paper in September on the immediate changes that we need to make for 2005. I am determined not to let up on the drive to raise standards, and I believe that the new assessment and transition package will provide fresh impetus to this work. I would like to record, once again, my thanks to Professor Daugherty and his group for their part in developing Wales as a learning country.