In February 2016 the PPIW brought together education experts and policy-makers to identify and explore the evidence needs of the education system in Wales over the coming five years. The resulting report provides a summary of the key points that emerged from the workshop.
Experts highlighted a need to improve the use and generation of evidence throughout the education system in Wales – from policy development and implementation, through to practice in schools and classrooms. They believed that we need to increase capacity in Wales for debate and critical reflection about what works. This has implications for Initial Teacher Education and Training, Continuing Professional Development, Higher Education Institutions, the promotion of new skills and workforce development, and applies to both English and Welsh medium education.
Participants emphasised the importance of effective implementation and suggested it would be a key ‘evidence need’ in the coming five years. There is no single template for successful implementation of the programme of reform that has been set in motion in Wales. Innovation of this kind requires an approach which consciously seeks to draw on existing and emerging evidence on an ongoing basis. We also need to know more about how to support the scaling up of effective programmes across all schools.
Encouraging practitioner demand, use and generation of evidence was another recurring theme. Experts highlighted the need for greater understanding of what works to engage practitioners with research and evidence throughout their careers, and the role of teacher research.
They also highlighted important questions about data and measurement. For example, there is a need to measure progress in implementing the new curriculum and to balance monitoring of educational attainment and the broader well-being of pupils.
To read the background paper that informed the report click here.