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The early years, is defined in Wales as the period of life from pre-birth to the end of Foundation Phase or 0 to 7 years of age.
The Welsh Government is committed to a system of community comprehensive schooling delivered through English, Welsh, bilingually or in a faith setting.
The distinct approach being taken in Wales to transform the way in which young people are educated.



Publications form an important part of the work of the Department for Education and Skills.

They are a direct means of providing guidance and support on a variety of strategy and policy.

Apprenticeship Learning Agreement

Apprenticeship Learning Agreement

07/04/14
The Apprenticeship Learning Agreement sets out the terms and conditions that relate to an Apprenticeship programme through Work-Based Learning.
 
School Effectiveness Grant 2013 to 2015

School Effectiveness Grant and Pupil Deprivation Grant

11/03/14
The School Effectiveness Grant (SEG) and the Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDG) provide financial support for our national priorities for schools between 2013 and 2015.
 
Disposal of assets by foundation and voluntary schools

Disposal of assets by foundation and voluntary schools

05/03/14
How foundation and governing bodies of foundation and voluntary schools can dispose of land or premises that have been provided or enhanced at public expense.
 
Asbestos management in schools

Asbestos management in schools

28/02/14
It is essential that school management teams are aware of their duty in respect to asbestos management.
 
National model for regional working

National model for regional working

17/02/14
A framework for school improvement which recognises the important role that schools, local authorities, regional consortia and the Welsh Government play in supporting education.
 

Becoming a Qualified Teacher: Handbook of Guidance - Circular No: 017/2009

09/01/14
This revised version of the 'Becoming a Qualified Teacher – Handbook of Guidance' replaces circular No: 41/2006.
 

School Admissions and School Admissions Appeals Code

20/12/13
These Codes impose requirements and offer guidance relating to school admissions and appeals in all primary, secondary and middle schools.
 
Capability of school teaching staff - Guidance for schools

Capability of school teaching staff - Guidance for schools

21/11/13
This guidance will assist schools, governing bodies, local authorities, diocesan authorities, head teachers, teachers and trade unions in the use of capability procedures with teaching staff.
 

Guidance for Governing Bodies on Charging for School Activities (revised November 2013)

18/11/13
The purpose of this non-statutory guidance is to help head teachers and governing bodies to set out their policies on charging and remission for school activities and school visits.
 
School organisation: consultation with children and young people

School organisation: consultation with children and young people

13/11/13
Guidance on consulting with learners whose school is affected by a school organisation proposal.
 

Annual Report to Schools: Academic Year 2012 to 2013

07/10/13
The annual report to schools includes web links to all documents produced for schools and their governing bodies over the past academic year (2012 to 2013).
 

School Organisation Proposals – information for children and young people

04/10/13
This booklet provides information for children about the steps LAs have to take before making changes to their schools.
 

School Organisation Code

27/09/13
The School Organisation Code imposes requirements and provides guidelines in respect of school organisation proposals.
 

Accounts direction to further education institutions 2012/13

24/09/13
This Account Direction advises institutions of the Welsh Government's requirements of their audited financial statements.
 
How is my child doing in the Foundation Phase? A guide for parents and carers.

How is my child doing in the Foundation Phase?

16/09/13
This guide provides parents/carers with information that will enable and encourage them to take an active part in their child's education.
 

Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis: letter to schools

16/09/13
Huw Lewis, the Education Minister has written to schools across Wales outlining priorities for the new Autumn term ahead.
 
Building a Brighter Future: Early Years and Childcare Plan

Building a Brighter Future: The Early Years and Childcare Plan

02/08/13
The early years is defined in Wales as the period of life from pre-birth to the end of Foundation Phase or 0 to 7 years of age.
 

A guide to funding for adult learners

19/07/13
This guide to funding aims to help you find the student funding that you need to make the most of the education and learning opportunities available to you.
 
Welsh-medium Education Strategy: Annual Report

Welsh-medium Education Strategy: Annual Report

18/07/13
The annual report details the progress the Strategy has made in meeting its targets.
 

Teacher training incentives in Wales for PGCE (FE) students – academic year 2013/14

03/07/13
The guidance is issued by the Welsh Ministers and provides information on PGCE (FE).
 
Initial teacher training incentives for Open University PGCE courses 2013/14

Teacher training incentives in Wales for Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) students (Open University)

03/07/13
This guidance is issued by the Welsh Government and provides information on the teacher training incentives.
 
How was school today? Parents’ and carers’ guide to secondary school

How was school today? Parents’ and carers’ guide to secondary school

26/06/13
The guide provides parents/carers with information that will enable and encourage them to take an active part in their child’s education.
 
How was school today? Parents’ and carers’ guide to primary school

How was school today? Parents’ and carers’ guide to primary school

26/06/13
The guide provides parents/carers with information that will enable and encourage them to take an active part in their child’s education.
 

Performance management for headteachers, teachers and unattached teachers

17/06/13
The School Teacher Appraisal (Wales) Regulations 2011 came into force on 1 January 2012.
 
Teacher training incentives in Wales - academic year 2013/14

Teacher training incentives in Wales - academic year 2013/14

11/06/13
This guidance outlines what funding is available, grant eligibility and how payments will be made.
 
Statutory guidance to the governing bodies of maintained schools in Wales regarding the duty to hold meetings with parents

Parents’ meetings: statutory guidance to the governing bodies of maintained schools in Wales regarding the duty to hold meetings with parents

03/05/13
The School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 provides for new arrangements whereby parents may petition up to 3 meetings a year with a school governing body.
 
School Term and Holiday Dates 2013-14

School Term and Holiday Dates 2013 to 2014

04/03/13
This document contains the 2013 to 2014 school term and holiday dates for each authority area in Wales.
 
Teacher training incentives in Wales - academic year 2012/13

Teacher training incentives in Wales – academic year 2012/13

28/02/13
This document outlines what funding is available, grant eligibility and how payments will be made.
 

School Governance Task and Finish Group

01/02/13
On 8 November 2012 the Minister for Education and Skills issued a Written Statement to the National Assembly for Wales regarding a new Task and Finish Group that he set up to look at school governance issues.
 

Guidance for schools and local authorities on implementing effective staff disciplinary and dismissal procedures - circular 002/2013

31/01/13
This guidance will help and support school governing bodies and local authorities to implement effective staff disciplinary and dismissal procedures.
 

Review of Future Delivery of Education Services in Wales

23/01/13
In November the Minister for Education & Skills announced that he would be commissioning a review into the Future Delivery of Education Services in Wales.
 
Thinking of going to university? A quick guide.

Thinking of going to university in 2012/13? A quick guide

14/12/12
From September 2012, universities and others providing higher education will be able to charge up to £9,000 a year for their full-time courses.
 

Structure of School Governance Task and Finish Group

26/11/12
On 8 November 2012 the Minister for Education and Skills issued a Written Statement to the National Assembly for Wales regarding a new Task and Finish Group that he is setting up to look at school governance issues.
 
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Guidance for schools and colleges in Wales

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Guidance for schools and colleges in Wales

08/10/12
This document provides guidance on the provision of STEM for 3 to 19-year-olds in schools and colleges in Wales.
 
Accounts direction to further education institutions 2011/12

Accounts direction to further education institutions 2011/12

03/10/12
This Accounts Direction advises institutions of the Welsh Government's requirements of their audited financial statements.
 

Exclusion from Schools and Pupil Referral Units

28/09/12
This guidance provides guidance on exclusions and appeal procedures from both mainstream schools and Pupil Referral Units and steps to take to maintain the education of excluded pupils.
 

Annual Report to Schools: Academic Year 2011 to 2012

25/09/12
The annual report to schools includes web links to all documents produced for schools and their governing bodies over the past academic year (2011 to 2012).
 

An update: Letter on behalf of Chris Tweedale, Director of Schools and Young People Group (SYPG)

03/09/12
This letter refers to key issues from last year and provides you with an outline of actions that we will need to address in the coming academic year.
 

Welsh second language Action Plan

17/07/12
The Welsh second language Action Plan includes short and longer term actions aimed at starting to improve standards and attainment in Welsh second language.
 
A guide to using PISA as a learning context

A guide to using PISA as a learning context

29/06/12
This document provides a guide to using PISA and PISA-style questions as activities to help support and improve learning and teaching.
 

Department for Education and Skills Business Plan 2012 - 2016

18/06/12
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is led by the Minister for Education and Skills and the Deputy Minister for Skills.
 

School In-service Training (INSET) days

07/06/12
The Minister for Education and Skills has sent out a written statement informing all stakeholders of the arrangements for the two additional INSET days in Wales.
 

Welsh Financial Education Unit (WFEU)

30/05/12
The Welsh Financial Education Unit (WFEU) provides support to practitioners who are delivering financial education to 7 to 19 year olds.
 
School Effectiveness Grant 2012-13

School Effectiveness Grant 2012-13

08/05/12
This is a guidance document for schools and local authorities in Wales on the School Effectiveness Grant.
 
Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship

Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship - A common understanding for the adult and community learning sector

08/05/12
This document gives information and guidance to providers, tutors, trainers and adult learners to integrate and consolidate ESDGC within their practice and learning.
 
Guidance on the Federation process of maintained schools

Guidance on the Federation process of maintained schools

01/05/12
This document contains guidance on the process schools (and local authorities) need to follow to federate school governing bodies under a single governing body.
 
Welsh-medium Education Strategy

Welsh-medium Education Strategy

23/04/12
This Strategy is a historic milestone in Welsh-medium education and sets the Welsh Government's national strategic direction.
 
Promoting linguistic progression between Key Stages 2 and 3

Promoting linguistic progression between Key Stages 2 and 3

23/04/12
This document offers guidance to local authorities and Welsh-medium and bilingual schools about improving rates of linguistic progression between Key Stage 2 and 3.
 

The role of classroom observation in raising standards

10/04/12
Chris Tweedale, Director of Schools and Young People Group has written to Directors of Education to clarify arrangements concerning classroom observation.
 

Collecting and recording data on pupils' first language (January 2012)

06/02/12
For the first time this January the Welsh Government will start to collect information on the first language of all compulsory school aged pupils in all maintained schools through the Pupil Level Annual Schools' Census (PLASC).
 
School toilets: Good practice guidance for schools in Wales

School toilets: Good practice guidance for schools in Wales

24/01/12
Welsh Government guidance for schools and local authorities on how to provide and maintain good quality, hygienic toilet facilities for learners.
 
Support for individuals and employers facing redundancy situations

Support for individuals and employers facing redundancy situations

24/01/12
A guide for practitioners from Careers Wales, Welsh Assembly Government, Jobcentre Plus, Wales TUC, HMRC and ACAS.
 
Teacher Training Incentives in Wales PGCE (FE) 2011/12: Post Graduate Certificate of Education

Teacher Training Incentives in Wales PGCE (FE) 2011/12: Post Graduate Certificate of Education

17/01/12
This guidance covers teacher training incentive grants.
 
Teacher training incentives in Wales for PGCE students: Courses that lead to Qualified Teacher Status 2011–12

Teacher training incentives in Wales for PGCE students: Courses that lead to Qualified Teacher Status 2011–12

17/01/12
This document provides information on the teacher training incentives.
 

School Effectiveness Grant 2011-12

14/12/11
This is a guidance document for schools and local authorities in Wales on the School Effectiveness Grant.
 

Promoting Disability Equality in Schools

22/11/11
Guidance for headteachers and teachers in Wales
 
Financial education for 7 to 19-year-olds in Wales

Financial education for 7 to 19-year olds in Wales

28/10/11
This document provides guidance on the provision of financial education for 7 to 19-year olds in Wales in schools and colleges.
 
International Education Programme (IEP): Specification

International Education Programme (IEP): Specification

25/10/11
This is a guidance document that sets out details for the Welsh Government’s Department for Education and Skills’ (DfES) International Education Programme (IEP).
 
Supporting triple literacy: Language learning in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3

Supporting triple literacy: Language learning in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3

17/10/11
This guidance is designed to support the development of literacy and language skills by making links across English, Welsh, Welsh second language and modern foreign languages.
 

Financial Contingency Fund 2011/12 Further Education Institutions and Welsh for Adults Centres guidance

23/09/11
This 'Financial Contingency Fund 2011/12' sets out the terms and conditions for the payment by Welsh Ministers to institutions. The grant is specifically earmarked for the purposes of providing assistance for students in particular need.
 
Qualifications can cross boundaries - a rough guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland, July 2011

Qualifications can cross boundaries - a rough guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland, July 2011

20/09/11
Qualifications are different in different countries. However there are some clear stages people move through in education, training and work that are common to most countries. This makes it possible to draw broad comparisons, rather than direct equivalences, between qualifications and their levels ...
 

Annual Report to Schools – Academic Year 2010-2011

19/09/11
The annual report to schools includes web links to all documents produced for schools and their governing bodies over the past academic year (2010-11). The report will act as a quick reference point for all guidance documents.
 

Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship - A Strategy for Action

24/08/11
An Action Plan to ensure that the principles of education for sustainable development and global citizenship are built in to every aspect of our day to day life.
 

Accounts direction to further education institutions 2010/11

17/08/11
This Accounts Direction advises institutions of the Welsh Governments requirements of their audited financial statements in accordance with paragraph 54 of the Financial Memorandum.
 

Professional Standards for Teachers, Tutors and Trainers in the Lifelong Learning Sector in Wales and related application guides

09/08/11
These Standards were published by LLUK (former sector skills council) in 2007 on behalf of the Welsh Government. They were specified by the Welsh Ministers as the standards for the purpose of the Further Education Teachers’ Qualifications (Wales) Regulations 2002 in June 2008.
 

Welsh in Education Strategic Plans

05/08/11
The purpose of these guidelines is to explain how local authorities will prepare and submit Welsh in Education Strategic Plans (WESPs).
 
Guidance for Governing Bodies on School Uniform and Appearance Policies

Guidance for Governing Bodies on School Uniform and Appearance Policies (revised July 2011)

03/08/11
This document provides guidance for governing bodies and headteachers on issues relating to implementing or changing a school uniform and appearance policy.
 

The year ahead: Letter on behalf of Chris Tweedale, Director of Schools and Young People Group (SYPG)

18/07/11
This letter recognises the work that you undertake in your school and provides you with an outline of some of the key issues that we will need to address in the coming academic year.
 

School-based Counselling Facts and Figures June 2011

12/07/11
Our goal is to have counselling provision available to all school pupils. We aim to give them confidence that their needs will be heard and addressed.
 

School Workforce Policy Development: Letter on behalf of Chris Tweedale, Director of Schools and Young People Group (SYPG)

27/06/11
This letter provides you with information on the newly developed system of Practice Review and Development for the whole school workforce.
 
Responsibility and Responsiveness – Stakeholder Review of FE Governance Arrangements

Responsibility and Responsiveness – Stakeholder Review of FE Governance Arrangements

26/05/11
This paper sets out the findings that have been identified in the stakeholder review that has been undertaken into the governance of further education (FE) in Wales.
 
Teacher training incentives in Wales for PGCE students (The Open University)

Teacher training incentives in Wales for PGCE students (The Open University)

26/05/11
This document provides information on the teacher training incentives. It outlines what funding is available, grant eligibility and how payments will be made.
 

Creating safe learning communities: guidance for further education institutions in Wales

06/05/11
This is a guidance and good practice document to aid the development of community cohesion. It seeks to prevent violent extremism in further education institutions and vocational training providers in Wales.
 

Higher Education – Tuition Fee Plans

18/04/11
In March 2011, we issued guidance to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) on the approval and enforcement of higher education institutions' tuition fee plans. The guidance clarifies our expectations of HEFCW in fulfilling this role.
 

Learning for children and young people in a youth custody setting in Wales - Statutory guidance

31/03/11
This document is the Welsh Assembly Government’s guidance on the application of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, Section 48–52. This relates to the education and training of children and young people from Wales in youth custody.
 

Letter to Chairs of all school governing bodies on the effective use of performance data in schools

30/03/11
The Minister for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning has sent a letter about the essential role of governing bodies in raising performance in schools.
 

All Wales Attendance Framework

08/03/11
The All Wales Attendance Framework is a practical resource toolkit for use by the Education Welfare Service and provides standards and guidance for practitioners to ensure greater consistency of practice throughout Wales.
 

Effective managed moves: A fresh start at school for children and young people

01/03/11
The Welsh Government recommends the consideration of managed moves to provide pupils with the opportunity to make a fresh start in a new school.
 

Learning and Skills (Wales) Measure 2009: Learner Support Services and Learning Pathway Document Guidance

22/02/11
'Learner Support Services and Learning Pathway Document Guidance' provides guidance for secondary schools and further education institutions on providing, securing or participating in the provision of learner support services. It also provides guidance on providing pupils and students with ...
 

Respect and resilience: Developing community cohesion – a common understanding for schools and their communities

04/02/11
'Respect and resilience: Developing community cohesion – a common understanding for schools and their communities' sets out the role that schools have in developing and supporting strategic approaches to promoting and maintaining community cohesion and preventing violent extremism. The guid ...
 

Teacher training incentives in Wales Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) Further Education (FE) 2010/11

03/02/11
This guidance for PGCE (FE) initial teacher training providers offering full-time pre-service courses of PGCE (FE) initial teacher training leading to a qualification to teach further education in the academic year 2010/11. These include administering, assessing eligibility and the methodology for ...
 

Teaching of politics in schools

14/01/11
The Education Act 1996 requires headteachers, governing bodies and local authorities to ensure pupils receive balanced views if being taught about democracy and politics.
 

Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan 2011-15

12/01/11
The Welsh Assembly Government published its Action Plan for ‘Reducing the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training in Wales’ in April 2009.
 

School closures – opening schools in extreme bad weather

12/12/10
The following guidance document gives schools in Wales advice on whether to remain open or close in extreme bad weather. The guidance is an electronic joint publication from the Welsh Assembly Government and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA). This guidance includes a generic risk assess ...
 
Teacher Training Incentives in Wales for PGCE Students 2010-11

Teacher Training Incentives in Wales for PGCE Students 2010-11

10/12/10
This document provides information on the teacher training incentives. It outlines what funding is available, grant eligibility and how payments will be made.
 

Financial Contingency Fund 2010/11: Further education institutions and Welsh for Adults Centres guidance

17/11/10
This 'Financial Contingency Fund 2010/11' sets out the terms and conditions for the payment by Welsh Ministers to institutions. The grant is specifically earmarked for the purposes of providing assistance for students in particular need.
 

Guidance on Welsh for Adults Data 2010/11

11/11/10
This document sets out guidance for Welsh for Adults learning providers and regional centres on data submission. Its aim is to ensure a consistent 2010/11 dataset allowing for measures of learner outcomes to be derived and further developed, to enable analysis including benchmarking.
 

Foundation Degree Awarding Powers for Further Education Institutions in Wales

10/11/10
The Joint Wales and England Criteria and Guidance and Companion Guide are for use by further education institutions wishing to apply for foundation degree awarding powers.
 

Multiple-choice testing as an assessment tool

06/10/10
This page provides guidance to Awarding Organisations, involved in the design, development and assessment of multiple-choice testing, in order to improve reliability and validity of this process as an assessment tool.
 

Multiple-choice testing as an assessment tool

06/10/10
This page provides guidance to Awarding Organisations, involved in the design, development and assessment of multiple-choice testing, in order to improve reliability and validity of this process as an assessment tool.
 

Annual Report to Schools – Academic Year 2009-2010

16/09/10
The aim of the report is to list all documents sent by the Welsh Minister to headteachers in Wales for the previous academic year (2009-10). The aim is to draw all guidance into one report that will act as a quick reference point for you, your colleagues and governing bodies.
 
Guidance on establishing school/further education institution (FEI) consortia arrangements

Guidance on establishing school/further education institution (FEI) consortia arrangements: Circular No: 022/2010

07/09/10
This document is intended to support the development of effective School/Further Education Institution (FEI) Consortia Arrangements.
 
Thinking Positively: Emotional Health and Well-being in Schools and Early Years Settings

Thinking Positively: Emotional Health and Well-being in Schools and Early Years settings

07/09/10
This good practice document aims to support all schools and Early Years settings in promoting emotional health and well-being.
 

GCSE mathematics linked pair pilot

03/09/10
New GCSEs in Mathematics have been accredited for first teaching from September 2010. These are available in both linear and unitised form and further information about these can be found on individual awarding body websites.
 

Gower College Swansea

01/09/10
Gower College Swansea became operational 20th August 2010. A Dissolution Order has dissolved Gorseinion College Further Education Corporation and Swansea College Further Education Corporation and transferred their property, rights, liabilities and staff to Gower College Swansea Further Education Co ...
 
Making languages count

Making languages count

16/07/10
This document sets out action to be taken to improve the learning and teaching of modern foreign languages in secondary schools and Learning Pathways 14-19 in Wales.
 

The exams officer's guide: Managing results and post-results services for the June 2010 exam series

14/07/10
This is a practical guide for school and college exams officers on how to prepare for exams results days and how to inform staff and students about post-results services.
 
Access to Education and Support for Children and Young People with Medical Needs

Access to Education and Support for Children and Young People with Medical Needs

03/06/10
This guidance aims to provide advice to schools and Local Authorities on meeting the educational needs of children and young people with medical needs.
 

Open letter regarding the term changes to ‘Local Education Authority’ and ‘Children’s Services Authority’

27/05/10
Orders to remove the terms ‘Local Education Authority’ and ‘Children’s Services Authority’ from primary and secondary legislation and replace them with ‘Local Authority’.
 

Information for exams office staff about changes to GCSE and managing controlled assessments

12/05/10
Controlled assessment is part of new qualifications introduced from September 2009. It requires centre and consortium staff to work together in new ways. A set of resources to assist exams office staff in preparing for this exciting but challenging change has been created.