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New Rights For Wales School Support Staff

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Right To Continuous Professional Development For School Support Staff Will Deliver Higher Standards For Children In Wales Says GMB

School staff will work with Welsh Government to provide a well trained professional workforce that can help to rewrite the future and deliver for children in Wales in the future says GMB

GMB, the union for school support staff, welcomed the recent report from the Welsh Government “Rewriting the Future: raising ambition and attainment in Welsh schools”. See notes to editors for copy of press release from Welsh Government.

This states that the development of school support staff in new and enhanced roles has been instrumental in securing significant cultural change in the way that the workforce is deployed and has been a key factor in the drive to raise standards through the provision of high-quality teaching. The Support Staff Action Plan sets out a range of actions to strengthen provision for support staff and to support the effective development and deployment of this sector of the school workforce.

Mike Payne, GMB Political Officer, said “Schools Challenge Cymru will provide additional resources to approximately 40 schools in Wales and will see schools in deprived areas receive the support needed to give children a better start in life.

The announcement that additional places are to be allocated to areas of deprivation in Wales through the Flying Start scheme will help with the overall Educational attainment of children in Wales.

Combine this with the commitment by Welsh Government to provide for the first time, a contractual right to Continuous Professional Development for School Support Staff, as part of a School Development Plan, which will see the educational standards of children rise over the next few years.

GMB welcomes this joined up approach to tackling poverty and poor educational attainment. GMB will commit to working with the Ministers and Welsh Government to provide a well trained professional workforce that can help to rewrite the future and deliver for children in Wales in the future.”

End

Contact Mike Payne 07980 753124 or 029 2049 1260 or Avril Chambers 07974 251766 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Press Release from Welsh Government - 16 June 2014

Rewriting the Future: raising ambition and attainment in Welsh schools

A new programme designed to tackle the impact of poverty on educational attainment - Rewriting the Future: raising ambition and attainment in Welsh schools – has been launched by Education and Skills Minister Huw Lewis.

Rewriting the Future is a call to action setting out what the Welsh Government is doing and will do in the future to address the impact of poverty on young people in Wales.

The document sets out commitments for the Welsh Government and the actions local authorities, the educational consortia and schools should take to ensure that all children in Wales can achieve their full potential regardless of family background and parental income.

The Minister announced the programme at the Welsh Government’s first Schools Challenge Cymru Event titled - All children can achieve.

Huw Lewis said: “It’s fitting we’re announcing our new Deprivation programme at a Schools Challenge Cymru event. Reducing the impact of deprivation on educational attainment is critical for all schools but particularly so for our Pathway to Success schools.

“A key theme running throughout the Deprivation Programme, and one that underpins Schools Challenge Cymru, is that it is not good enough to use poverty as an excuse for underachievement. High expectations should be set for all pupils, irrespective of background.

“Pathways to Success schools serve learners who live in some of the most deprived areas of Wales. Collectively they are educating more than 8,000 pupils who are eligible for free school meals. That’s 8,000 pupils who, because of their background are likely to be doing less well than their counterparts. That’s unacceptable.

“There is an inescapable need to address the impact of poverty on educational attainment levels and this document does just that.”

Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty Vaughan Gething said:

“Giving children the best start in life can provide the opportunity for them to reach their potential. Our flagship scheme, Flying Start, supports families in deprived areas to ensure young children are confident about starting school.

“That is why we committed to double the number of children and their families benefitting from Flying Start to 36,000. Significant progress has already been made on our commitment with over 27,000 children benefitting from the Flying Start programmes, across Wales at the end of 2013.”

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