Welsh Government White Paper on Curriculum and Assessment

Published 6th February 2019

The Welsh Government has announced its consultation on the legislative framework to facilitate the new Curriculum & Assessment. The White Paper – ‘Our national mission: a transformational curriculum – proposals for a new legislative framework’ is now published for an eight week public consultation, closing on 25 March.

This consultation focuses on the legislative framework for the curriculum. The detailed content of the new curriculum will not be published until April 2019, when schools and individuals will be encouraged to provide feedback. Provision of professional learning and support required for all practitioners will also be explored.

At a time when the English National Curriculum is seldom mentioned, its implementation no longer a requirement of schools with Academy status, Wales on the other hand is coming to the end of the process of redefining its own. The reform process began with the publication of the Donaldson Report, Successful Futures (2015), which revisited and reasserted the fundamental purposes of education.  It also proposed that a new curriculum 3-16 be developed, organised into Areas of learning and Experience (AoLE):

  • Expressive arts
  • Health and well-being
  • Humanities (including RE which should remain compulsory to age 16)
  • Languages, literacy and communication (including Welsh, which should remain compulsory to age 16, and modern foreign languages)
  • Mathematics and numeracy
  • Science and technology.

At this stage, details on the curriculum or content are not included, though a draft of this was first published in December 2017. Of particular interest to design and technology (D&T) teachers will be the Science and Technology AoLE, which attempts to capture the key fundamentals of the sciences, computing, and design and technology disciplines.

The first version of the new curriculum, supported by guidance, will be published in April 2019 for feedback and refinement. The new curriculum will start to roll out nationally from September 2022 starting with primary schools and year 7.  

The D&T Association was invited to and was represented at several of the early meetings leading up to the draft Science and Technology AoLE. It strongly believes in the value of continually revising the curriculum, in order to meet the changing needs and interests of young people, the country and all its citizens. It also believes in the value of a clearly articulated statement setting out its aims and purpose.  These must be unambiguous, universally adopted and implemented, but in ways that are left to the discretion and professionalism of individual schools and teachers.

The D&T Association looks forward to the publication of the new curriculum and exploring ways in which it might provide support its implementation in forthcoming years.


Thank you to Jon Martlew for his contribution

Author  - Andy Mitchell

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