The biggest change is a new curriculum for schools and funded non-maintained settings (such as sessional day care settings like play groups and cylchoedd meithrin or private day nurseries registered to deliver education) in Wales from September 2022. It will affect all schools other than independent schools. The curriculum has been made in Wales but shaped by the best ideas from around the world.
There will also be changes to improve how we assess children and young people in education, support children with additional learning needs and teacher and practitioner training and accountability. These improvements will complement the new curriculum.
Evidence from international surveys, and evaluations from Estyn (the education and training inspectorate for Wales), suggest levels of achievement are not as high as they could be.
The national curriculum was first introduced in 1988 before on-line shopping, Google and the Cloud. Now, work is different, technology is different, society is changing. The curriculum must prepare young people to thrive in a future where digital skills, adaptability and creativity - alongside knowledge - are crucial, especially as:
Since it was created, the curriculum has become narrow, inflexible and crowded, limiting creative approaches in schools. We want children to enjoy learning, and develop skills, knowledge and emotional resilience. By the age of 16, they should be confident, ethical individuals who play an active part in their community and society. They should be prepared to thrive in the new world of work.
The new curriculum will be taught in all schools and funded non-maintained settings up to Year 7 from September 2022. It will then roll out year by year until it includes Year 11 by 2026.