Welsh Government DYSG eNewsletter: 16 December 2016 (Issue 479)

16 December 2016 • Issue 479


Welsh Education news


Ambitious new ALN Bill introduced

On Monday 12 December the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language issued a Written Ministerial Statement announcing the introduction of an ambitious law to create a bold new approach to supporting learners with additional learning needs (ALN). If passed, the Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal (Wales) Bill will completely overhaul the system for supporting pupils with ALN, affecting nearly every classroom in Wales.


Dates for your diary: Additional Learning Needs regional events

More details in the New Year.

  • Carmarthen - 28 February 2017
  • Newport - 2 March 2017
  • Llandudno - 7 March 2017
  • Cardiff - 9 March 2017


Qualifications are changing

GCSEs, AS and A levels in Wales, England and Northern Ireland are changing. The regulators of these qualifications in each jurisdiction are overseeing the changes and have issued a joint statement and infographic for you to print and keep.

In future there will be differences in most subjects between jurisdictions. Some of these will be immediately noticeable, such as the grading scales used for GCSEs or the relationship between AS and A levels. 

Changes to GCSE Welsh Second Language

From September 2017, GCSE Welsh Second Language is changing.  Qualifications Wales, Welsh Government, WJEC, Estyn and the Regional Education Consortia have produced a joint information page to inform pupils, teachers, school leaders, parents and others to better understand the implications for them and to prepare for this change.  Please follow the above link to understand more about the specific changes that are taking place, the key features of the new GCSE, the support available for teachers preparing to teach the new qualification and the potential impact on schools.

GCSE Welsh Second Language – regional meetings

Qualifications Wales is hosting a series of free regional meetings to support the implementation of the reformed Welsh Second Language GCSE in September 2017. These meetings offer subject teachers and school leaders a chance to discuss the changes to the subject with representatives from Welsh Government, WJEC, the Regional Consortia and Qualifications Wales. 

Qualifications Wales updates schools on GCSE and A level reforms

Qualifications Wales has written to all schools and colleges in Wales to update them on the last set of changes to GCSEs and A levels.

The letter gives a progress update on the new GCSEs and A levels being reformed for September 2017. It also gives an overview of all GCSE and A level subjects that will be available to schools in Wales from 2017 onwards.


Global Futures’ Annual Report and MoU with Spain

Global futures – a year into our plan was published this week and shows the progress made to date under Global Futures to promote languages, raise attainment and increase uptake of languages in Wales. One of the key achievements is the signing of an education memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Wales and Spain, which aims to promote and improve the teaching and learning of Spanish in Wales.

The Financial Inclusion Delivery Plan

Published by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children on 14 December, the Financial Inclusion Delivery Plan sets out how the Welsh Government will work with partner organisations – both in Wales and at a UK level – to move to a more financially included society in Wales.  Read more. The Financial Inclusion Strategy. 

Harmonising school term dates for 2018 to 2019 - We want your views on proposed term dates for 2018/19 and a draft ministerial direction.

Priorities for the further education sector and school sixth forms 2017/18

The priorities are set out in the context of the Skills Agenda of i.e.  jobs and growth, financial sustainability, equality and equity and International skills benchmarking. Consolidating the identified themes will provide a framework to develop future strategies and operational plans.

Footage from #NEC2016 is now available to view!

Presentations are also available to download via Learning Wales.

Pupil participation: a best practice guide (Estyn)

Adult community learning in Wales (Estyn)


Now available: Information governance guidance for schools

Key features covered include security controls available within HwbCloud (HwbMail, HwbSites and HwbDrive).

Porthmadog HwbMeet – 19 January 2017

Book your place now! 

other news

Raspberry Pi competition 2016-2017 - apply now!

Deadline for submissions is 15 March 2017

The new PA Raspberry Pi competition challenges teams of children and young people to invent under the theme of ‘Innovation for All’.  The first 100 teams to enter will receive a free Raspberry Pi computer starter pack to help with their innovation projects. Applications in either English or Welsh are welcomed and resources are available in both languages.  

Would you like to help shape qualifications and the qualifications system in Wales?

We are now recruiting two members to the Qualifications Wales Board. . Closing date for applications is 20 January 2017.

Complimentary KS4 FFT Roadshow helps secondary teachers understand available range of progress and attainment measures

Education data expert FFT Education are running a series of complimentary two-hour sessions across Wales to bring school leadership teams and governing bodies up to speed with the latest Fischer Family Trust Key Stage 4 data found in FFT Aspire.

Book your free STEM visit at CAT

The Centre for Alternative Technology has grants available to schools & colleges in North Wales covering free tuition and entry costs for STEM visits. The offer is open  to pupils  age 11-18.

Please contact Gabrielle Ashton on 01654 705984 to book your FREE STEM visit at CAT.



Dysg is the official education e-newsletter from Welsh Government. Dysg aims to provide updates and developments on post-11 education and training sectors in Wales.

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