ATL Cymru: The next Welsh Government must ‘Put Education First’
Today ATL Cymru, the leading education union in Wales, launches its ‘Put Education First’ campaign for next year's National Assembly elections. Although there are still several months to go before polling day ATL wants to share certain key messages with the politicians and public in Wales. The main message is that the next Welsh Government must 'Put Education First'.
Our manifesto is clear. We believe that all our children and young people should receive the very best education and fulfil their potential. To ensure this the next Welsh Government must:
1. Build a strong curriculum with portable qualifications
2. Develop an excellently skilled workforce
3. Invest in education
4. Provide fair terms and conditions for support staff
5. Keep the state education system
The manifesto is the result of extensive consultation with ATL’s membership in schools and colleges across Wales. It shows the concerns of teachers, lecturers, heads and support staff but also their hopes for the future.
Beth Jones, President of ATL Cymru, said: 'As someone who works in a primary school I am delighted that ATL members have put their children first. They are our main concern and all these asks are vitally connected with their future. We don't want to see any unproven experiments with school structures being introduced in Wales, and we want the next Welsh Government to invest properly in education. The exploitation of school support staff must come to an end, and we are all desperate to receive the very best in terms of professional development. We are at an exciting time with Graham Donaldson's reform of the curriculum just starting. We want to make sure that it builds on the expertise of staff and practitioners. The next Assembly election is really about our children and their futures and that why we urge all parties to 'Put Education First'.
Dr. Philip Dixon, Director of ATL Cymru said: 'Children are at the centre of ATL's election campaign. This manifesto is not a wish list for staff but rather a focussed plea for the children of Wales. If their future is to be bright then our five key requests need to be met. We cannot continue to short change our children, we must invest in their future. It's also vital that we help the workforce to develop its skills and knowledge. As we embark upon developing a broad and balanced curriculum in the light of the Donaldson report it's essential that the knowledge and experience of the workforce in schools and colleges is used to its full potential. We hope that the political parties will listen to what the profession has to say as they form their own manifestos and plans for next year.'