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Trainee teacher from Hirwaun hears first hand from Education Minister why there’s never been a better time to teach

The Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, has visited the School of Education at Aberystwyth University to talk to students about why now is the perfect time to start their teaching career in Wales. Whilst there, she spoke with Hywel Breese Evans from Hirwaun (pictured second from left), who is currently training to become a teacher at Aberystwyth.

The Welsh Government has committed to investing in developing an excellent teaching workforce to support the delivery of the new school curriculum, due to be introduced in schools from September 2022. This includes recruitment of new teachers and improving professional development, while working with unions and other partners to address teachers’ workload issues.

Hywel said: “Since starting my course I’ve learnt so much already and I’m already finding out how rewarding working with young people is through my school placements. The way we teach is going to be different because of the new curriculum coming in, but I see that as an opportunity to be a part of something new and that’s really exciting.”

The Minister said: “It was a pleasure to visit Aberystwyth University and meet students who could become teachers in Wales in the very near future, and reaching out to those who couldn’t attend in person through the livestream that took place on the day.

“Children across Wales benefit day-in and day-out from the commitment of our dedicated teachers and we are looking for people from all backgrounds with the talent and aspiration, ready to join our high-performing workforce.

“It’s an exciting time to be a teacher in Wales as we prepare to introduce a new Curriculum that has been designed by teachers, allowing them to be creative in the way they deliver their lessons. 

“I would encourage anyone considering a career in teaching to have a look at the opportunities available and to see if they have got what it takes to succeed in this hugely rewarding career.”

The Minister’s visit to Aberystwyth University’s School of Education is part of her tour of Wales’s Initial Teacher Education Partnerships (ITEs) that she is undertaking, as well as to the newly accredited ITE Partnership at the University of South Wales.

At Aberystwyth she heard from trainee teachers about what attracted them to a career at the front of the classroom, and talked to current undergraduate students about the benefits of teaching as a career option. 

Alwyn Ward, Director of the School of Education at Aberystwyth University, added: “With the new curriculum being introduced, the world of education in Wales is changing and therefore teaching has never offered more opportunity for teachers to influence that change and play a real role in developing what, and how, our children learn.

“Our aim at Aberystwyth is to ensure that teachers across the region are fully prepared to deliver on the ambitious targets that Wales has set for the quality of its education. We need teachers who are innovative, creative, passionate and ambitious – this is your opportunity to be part of what will be a significant period in educational history.

“At Aberystwyth we have developed a pioneering, integrated course which responds to the needs of teachers in the 21st century. We enable our students to teach across both primary and secondary sectors, allowing them to decide for themselves through direct experience which they prefer while enhancing their employability options upon completion of the course.

“We would love to speak to you about teaching as a career, so please get in touch if you’d like to discuss any aspect of training to teach or for more information on how to apply to us.”

To qualify as a teacher, current students must obtain a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). PGCE courses are usually one year long, and involve theoretical as well as practical elements, including time spent on placements within schools. A brand new part-time route being delivered through the Open University is also currently under development, for anyone not in a position to undertake the full-time PGCE.

If you have a passion for your subject or area of expertise and want to inspire young people, it’s never been a more exciting time to become a teacher in Wales. There are several ways to start your career in teaching - whether it’s your first step into the world of work, returning to teaching or a whole new career.

For more information and to find out about the financial incentives available to help people train, please visit www.discoverteaching.wales.