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Talks start on teachers’ pay

The Welsh Government has confirmed it is in talks about the possibility of devolving teachers’ pay and conditions.

The Silk Commission recommended earlier this year that responsibility for setting teachers’ pay should in future be the responsibility of the Welsh Government, rather than remain in the hands of Westminster politicians.

Mid and West AM Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas set out the principles that would apply to make the devolving of pay and conditions work for Wales if he was Education Minister during Plaid Cymru’s recent annual conference in Llangollen.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Education, Skills and the Welsh Language Simon Thomas said: “Getting the power over teachers’ pay would allow the Welsh Government to address any anomalies and set a national level of pay and conditions for Wales. This would also prevent the fragmentation of teachers’ pay within Wales. We need to see how we can reward teachers for good and consistent teaching rather than for taking on more administrative tasks.

“The Party of Wales believes through excellent teaching and strong leadership from head teachers we can raise standards in the classroom. The high level of bureaucracy and micro-management faced by teachers’ means there is little time to innovate in the classroom and head teachers can not take the lead in raising standards in our schools. As Welsh Education Minister I would cut red tape in the education system.

“A Plaid Cymru Welsh Government would set the learning outcomes to be achieved by schools but would allow schools to determine how to achieve those outcomes. There would be on-the-spot Estyn inspections for schools that have not yet achieved the learning outcomes set by the Government. This would achieve a more even playing field.

“We would investigate the possibility of bringing professional managers in to school settings for the purpose of carrying out administrative and financial functions to allow head teachers to lead on educational standards in schools and on teaching standards in the classroom.

“This would be part of a wider package which would include a new national Welsh pay and conditions model for teachers in Wales, once we get the powers recommended in the Silk Commission report on future devolution.”