Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Education

Small and rural schools receive £2.5m funding

Published

on

Small and rural schools face unique challenges: Ellen ap Gwynn

PUPILS across Wales are set to benefit from a new £2.5 million Welsh Government small and rural schools grant, Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams has announced.

Local authorities have been applying for the funding after the Education Secretary Kirsty Williams revealed the support package in November last year to encourage innovation and support greater school to school working.

This includes using digital technology to combat the issue of professional isolation, providing administrative support in schools where the head teacher has significant teaching commitment, supporting collaboration and federation of schools, and where opportunities exist and there is local demand, using school facilities for community purposes.

Amongst the local authorities to receive funding are Anglesey, which will receive £138,000 to federate some of its schools, and Pembrokeshire, which has been awarded £158,000 to fund a Small School Innovation Project for a network of 15 small and rural schools.

Kirsty Williams said: “Small and rural schools play an important role in our national mission to raise standards and extend opportunities for all our young people.

“We are taking action and providing new funding to help small and rural schools deal with the unique challenges they face, such as small pupil numbers and issues in recruiting head teachers and staff.

“This financial support will benefit pupils, teachers, and the wider community. I want to see rural schools working more formally together and across the country, forming federations and looking into the possibility of sharing buildings with other services to ensure school buildings remain viable.”

WLGA Spokesperson for Education, Councillor Debbie Wilcox (Newport) said: “This funding is great news for small and rural schools. As a former teacher of many years myself, I know how having the best possible learning environment can enhance education and overall experiences. Local education authorities have been working hard to ensure schools are responding to modern challenges and are fully-equipped to provide the best education environment for teachers, pupils and staff, and this investment will help to continue that important work.”

WLGA Deputy Spokesperson for Education, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn (Ceredigion) said: “Small and rural schools face unique challenges, especially in terms of recruitment and smaller pupil numbers. But they’re more than just schools in the communities that they serve. They are important assets to the community as school buildings and resources are widely used for an array of community purposes. This funding will contribute to ensure that learners and communities alike can continue to reap the benefits of these schools, and also to strengthen the support for Welsh language education provision in our rural communities.”

The Education Secretary also announced plans to consult on strengthening the School Organisation Code in respect of a presumption against the closure of rural schools. For the first time ever there will be a designation of rural schools for that purpose. A 14 week consultation ended on September 30 and responses are currently being analysed.

Education

Apprentices deserve better financial support

Published

on

More and better funding: Committee calls for better deal for apprentices

APPRENTICES in Wales should have similar access to financial support as University students.

That’s the main finding from the Assembly’s Economy Infrastructure and Skills Committee, which published its latest report on Apprenticeships in Wales on Thursday​ (Feb 14)​.

Committee Chair, Russell George AM, said: “Parity of esteem between vocational and academic routes needs to be underpinned by parity of support for learners.

“There is a strong moral case for the Welsh Government to apply similar levels of support to apprentices as would be available to their peers in full-time education.”

The Welsh Government has this week launched an advertising campaign to promote a new package of measures for university students which it describes as ​’​the most generous student support package in the UK​’​.

While apprentices receive a wage while they train, they are not eligible for the support available to students, which can make being an apprentice seem less attractive.

The Committee heard that some young people are deterred from entering apprenticeships by the initial costs involved. These can be relatively minor sums of money to travel to interviews, or the first few weeks of work before they get paid.

The Committee’s work found that while there is much that is positive about Apprenticeships in Wales there were a few surprises.

Mr George added: “We were surprised that the number of disabled apprentices in Wales was far below the rate achieved in England.

“We were also concerned that a lack of providers may be preventing young people undertaking apprenticeships through the medium of Welsh.

“There is still a stubborn gender segregation when we talk about apprenticeships. Both the Welsh Government and stakeholders are committed to address this, and are taking steps to do so, but progress has been slow. This issue is not unique to Wales.

“We are recommending annual publication of figures to maintain pressure and ensure that apprenticeships in Wales are available to all.”

The Committee also looked at the role of careers guidance for young people – particularly in schools – to ensure they are being made aware of vocational as well as academic options.

Mr George added: “During the course of our investigation we heard concerns about the way careers advice is delivered in schools. Our additional scrutiny in this area has given us assurance that Careers Wales has a credible plan, and is working closely with the Welsh Government and schools to address these issues. We will keep an eye on whether this proves successful.​”​

Continue Reading

Education

Minister visits adult learning initiative

Published

on

Eluned Morgan: Inspired by visit to Monkton School

WELSH Language and Lifelong Learning Minister, Eluned Morgan visited Monkton Primary School in Pembrokeshire on Friday, February 9, to hear more about a successful community adult learning initiative run from the school.

Started in September 2012 with support from the Welsh Government, the Launch Project aims to raise adults’ skills standards and education attainment within the community by making learning accessible to everyone.

Both accredited and non-accredited courses and workshops are delivered at the school and other community venues and have been specifically designed to remove barriers so that people in the community can gain the confidence and skills needed to seek employment.

The provision has also been designed to cater for a wide range of learner needs, from basic skills and IT courses to various accredited courses including a foundation degree in Education and Social Inclusion.

During the visit the Minister met with some of the adult learners who have benefitted from the project and heard their personal accounts about how it has helped them to turn their lives around, gain new skills and seize new employment opportunities.

Speaking after the visit, Minister said: “This project is a great example of a community-driven learning initiative that has been designed by the community for the community and I applaud Monkton Primary School for its pivotal role in that.

“The school is clearly committed to lifelong learning and building an ethos of working and learning together, built on mutual respect between adults and children.

“It was also inspiring hearing from those who have benefitted from the project and seeing first hand the positive impact it has had on their lives and their confidence.”

Continue Reading

Education

Extra investment in 21st Century Schools

Published

on

Announced £100m extra: Kirsty Williams

£100​M ​is to be invested over the next three years to accelerate the delivery of the flagship 21st Century Schools and Education programme, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams and Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan ​has said.

An extra £75m, has been allocated to the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme a major, long-term and strategic capital investment programme to modernise education infrastructure.

In addition, £30m will be released from the programme in future years for immediate investment in capital projects that will contribute to the goal of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050. This is a shared priority with Plaid Cymru.

The money will bring the total invested over the life of the programme to almost £3.8bn. The first phase of the programme will finish in 2019 having invested £1.4bn to support the rebuild and refurbishment of more than 150 schools and colleges across Wales. The second phase will see a spend of £2.3bn.

Kirsty Williams said: “Our national mission is to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap and deliver an education system that is a source of national pride and confidence. Our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme plays a key part in this and is the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.

“Having a comfortable, modern, fit-for-purpose environment in which to learn is vital to ensuring young people have the best possible education. This extra funding will mean that even more of our students will be able to benefit from having the best possible facilities in their schools and colleges.​”​

Eluned Morgan said: “Reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050 is a significant challenge and education is key to the success of this ambition. This means we need to invest in new Welsh medium schools and improve and increase the teaching of Welsh in English medium schools. Bringing forward this funding for immediate investment allows us to ensure there is no delay in the work to achieve this target.”

Continue Reading
News13 hours ago

Drop-in session plan for Fishguard and Goodwick surgeries

A PUBLIC drop-in session is being held in Fishguard next week to gather the views of local residents around plans...

News14 hours ago

Haverfordwest: Police want to catch Labour Club gate tamperers

DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating criminal damage at Haverfordwest Labour Social Club. Police told The Herald that sometime between 11am and...

News17 hours ago

Pembroke: Appeal after glass attack at the Old Cross Saws Inn

THE POLICE are appealing for witnesses following an assault at The Old Cross Saws public house, Pembroke, on Saturday, 10...

News1 day ago

Pembroke: Attacker who laughed while raping his victim jailed

A LAUGHING rapist from Pembroke who urinated on his victim has been jailed for 12 years. Michael McNamara, aged 32,...

News2 days ago

Welsh Secretary emphasises importance of City Deal to Pembrokeshire’s future

WELSH SECRETARY Alun Cairns has visited some of Pembrokeshire’s leading marine renewable tech firms to underline his support for the...

News3 days ago

Haverfordwest: Over £3000 raised for family of assault victim

AN APPEAL has been set up to cover travel and accommodation costs of a family whose son is in hospital...

News3 days ago

Man denies sexually assaulting 17-year-old three times

A HAVERFORDWEST man is to stand trial accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl three times on the same day. Riaz...

News3 days ago

Pembroke Dock: Man caught by ‘paedophile hunters’ jailed for 28 months

A PEMBROKE DOCK man trapped by paedophile hunters has been jailed for 28 months. Simon Fleet, aged 43, had turned...

News4 days ago

Welsh restaurant in NYC, owned by Milford Haven brothers, to close

A RESTAURANT in America, which is owned by two brothers from Milford Haven, and proudly serves Welsh food, is to...

News4 days ago

Council looking to save £1m with closure of facilities

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL may close and demolish some facilities in an attempt to save upwards of £1m it has been...

Popular This Week