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10 January 2013
Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, has launched the first year in the new Masters in Educational Practice (MEP), which will place Wales at the international forefront of teacher professional development.
The MEP aims to drive up standards in schools and among other things focuses on the Education Minister’s three national priorities; literacy, numeracy and reducing the impact of poverty on attainment.
The Cardiff School of Social Sciences led the successful bid in partnership with Bangor and Aberystwyth Universities and the Institute of Education, University of London to form an alliance that will accredit, deliver and award the programme, leading to a Cardiff University Masters award.
The MEP has attracted 430 newly qualified teachers in its inaugural year, which is almost half of all Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in Wales.
Speaking ahead of the launch at Cardiff’s City Hall, the Minister said:
"High quality teaching is the key to improving learners’ outcomes. This is why the Welsh Government is leading the way and funding the MEP. We want to ensure newly qualified teachers have the support and knowledge to equip them for the best start in their careers.
"The MEP will be challenging. It has been designed to enable NQTs to focus on their practice like no previous NQTs in Wales have experienced before."
The programme has been designed to be highly practical, drawing on teachers’ own experience in the classroom and their on-going professional development.
During the first year there will be a focus on:
Subsequent years will focus on literacy, numeracy, additional learning needs the impact of poverty on attainment and leadership, with an extended piece of action research required in the third and final year.
The NQTs will be supported by mentors, who are experienced practitioners and individuals with recent and relevant experience in educational practice. The Mentors will have a key role in supporting NQTs throughout their Induction year and the Masters programme; they will provide high-quality support, advice and coaching in order to enable NQTs to develop their practice.
Speaking on behalf of the HEI alliance, Professor Patricia Price, Cardiff University’s Pro Vice Chancellor, Student Experience and Academic Standards, said:
"I am delighted that Cardiff University has joined with Aberystwyth University, Bangor University and the Institute of Education to ensure Wales has the highly skilled teachers it needs to deliver effective and inspirational teaching and learning in the classroom.
"This initiative builds on the Welsh Government's educational priorities of literacy and numeracy, and provides part of a clear strategy to reduce the impact of poverty on attainment and build confidence in the future of the education workforce in Wales."
The Education Minister added:
"This is an exciting programme and I am pleased with the response so far. The fact that almost half of all NQTs in Wales have applied is a huge success for such a new programme.
"I want countries from across the world to look at what we are doing here in Wales and be inspired. Through joint-working, constantly developing, challenging ourselves and above all focusing on our learners there is no reason why we cannot achieve this."
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