Party of Wales calls to "let good teachers teach"
The Party of Wales Shadow Education Minister Simon Thomas has outlined his intention to free up high-performing teachers and heads to get on with the job of teaching. Speaking at his party’s conference in Cardiff, the Shadow Education Minister announced that a Plaid Cymru government would set up a taskforce to cut red tape and bureaucracy and let successful schools concentrate on teaching.
Mr Thomas said that a Plaid Cymru government would set up a taskforce to work with teaching unions to cut red tape and bureaucracy, with the intention of freeing up schools which have proven records from unnecessary burdens. Under the plans, the government would set learning outcomes but allow successful schools more flexibility and less constant monitoring as they reached those outcomes.
The Party of Wales Shadow Education Minister Simon Thomas said:
"What I’m announcing today is Plaid Cymru’s intention to cut red tape and bureaucracy in the education system. If a school has a proven record of achievement, then Plaid Cymru says that we should let that school simply get on with the job with minimal interference.
"Having excellent teachers and heads sitting before a computer filling in forms or ticking boxes, or sweating over reports at home, is a waste of their talent and commitment. I want to see them freed up to teach at the whiteboard face as much as possible.
"That’s why I’m proposing to set up a taskforce to work with teaching unions to cut unnecessary bureaucracy. We want to work with schools and give them the freedom to achieve.
"I want to see a system where the Welsh Government sets learning outcomes for schools, but to allows them flexibility to decide how they want to get there. We need to nurture best practice, and teachers need freedom to do that.
"However, when a school underperforms we need to be firm in driving up standards and cracking down on poor performance.
"Unions tell us that often, teachers get tangled in red tape and are stopped from getting on with the job in hand. Plaid Cymru wants to stop this. We want to let excellent teachers teach."
Mr Thomas said the proposal of the Silk Commission to devolve teachers' pay and conditions to the Welsh Government would be considered within this context of reforming the burden on them. He also said that the Party of Wales would consider how professional managers in the school system could also free up teachers and heads in particular.