Achieving the New Curriculum for Wales

image of Achieving the New Curriculum for Wales

Wales (United Kingdom) is on the path to transform the way children learn, with a new curriculum aimed to prepare its children and young people to thrive at school and beyond. The new curriculum for Wales intends to create a better learning experience for students, to engage teachers’ professionalism, and to contribute to the overall improvement of Welsh education. An education policy is only as good as its implementation, however, and Wales turned to the OECD for advice on the next steps to implement the curriculum. This report analyses the progress made with the new curriculum since 2016, and offers suggestions on the actions Wales should take to ready the system for further development and implementation. The analysis looks at the four pillars of implementation — curriculum policy design, stakeholders' engagement, policy context and implementation strategy — and builds upon the literature and experiences of OECD countries to provide tailored advice to Wales. In return, the report holds value not only for Wales, but also for other education systems across the OECD looking to implement a curriculum or to enhance their implementation processes altogether.


Ensuring a conducive policy context

This chapter looks at some of the key institutional, policy and societal conditions that have and will likely continue to shape the curriculum reform efforts in Wales. Following an overview of why these are important, the chapter reviews the main contextual issues that underpin the curriculum reform, including policy coherence with particular focus on the alignment between the curriculum and the expectations of professional learning, the alignment of assessment and evaluation arrangements and the development of schools as learning organisations. The chapter then follows with an analysis of how the governance structures can continue to provide the improvement infrastructure required to support schools. It concludes with an overview of key issues for implementation.


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