Headlines: March 20th, 2003

Schools and local education authorities in Wales are to get more than 57 million pounds to support improvement in a number of areas – including the professional development of teachers. The focus of the funding, announced by Jane Davidson, the Education and Lifelong Learning Minister in the Welsh Assembly, will be on reducing social disadvantage.More than 10 million pounds is being made available this year for work in that field and schools which are furthest from achieving the national targets for Wales will continue to be targeted for further help. Ms Davidson said the Assembly would continue to work closely with local authorities to take forward its plans for improving standards.

The programme for 2003-4 will continue to focus support on improved continuity and progression across the key stages. More than 5 million pounds will go to assist schools and authorities with the implementation of their education strategic plans, to support pupils moving from primary to secondary school, and to reduce the bureaucratic burden on teachers.  There will also be 7 million for induction and early professional development for newly qualified teachers, and to enhance the opportunities for heads, teachers and governors to develop their professional skills.

Funding for Special Educational Needs will be almost 4 million. Meanwhile 8 million pounds of support for raising standards has been re-focused to give additional attention to specific curriculum subjects including maths, modern languages and science, and 8 million will be made available for schools to enhance their Information Communications Technology facilities and to help train teachers to make full use of the equipment in their daily teaching.