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Education in Wales is a devolved matter, meaning that it is the responsibility of the Welsh Government to set policy and oversee delivery. The Welsh education system is similar to the English system in many ways, but there are also some key differences.
The Welsh education system offers a variety of different types of schools to choose from. Parents can choose the type of school that they believe is best for their child’s needs.
The Welsh Government is committed to providing all pupils with a high-quality education, regardless of their background or ability.
Education in Wales is compulsory for children aged 5 to 16 years old. It is largely state-funded and free-at-the-point-of-use. The Welsh Government is responsible for the overall direction and management of education in Wales, while local authorities are responsible for the day-to-day running of schools.
Compulsory education in Wales ends at the age of 16. Children are required to attend school for at least 38 weeks each year.
The Welsh National Curriculum sets out the standards that all pupils should reach in each subject area. However, schools have some flexibility in how they deliver the curriculum.
All schools in Wales are required to teach Welsh as a first or second language. The Welsh Government has set a target for all pupils to be able to speak, read, and write Welsh to a good standard by the time they leave primary school.
There are four main types of schools in Wales:
In addition to these four main types of schools, there are also a small number of special schools and independent schools in Wales.
Welsh Medium Schools
There are a variety of Welsh medium schools in Wales, including Welsh medium primary schools, Welsh medium secondary schools, and Welsh medium special schools.
Welsh medium schools offer a full curriculum through the medium of Welsh. This means that all subjects are taught in Welsh, including English.
Parents have a right to choose whether their child attends a Welsh medium school or an English medium school.
There are also a number of bilingual schools in Wales. Bilingual schools offer a curriculum that is taught through both Welsh and English.
Bilingual schools can be either Welsh medium schools that also offer English medium classes, or English medium schools that also offer Welsh medium classes.
Parents can choose which type of bilingual school their child attends.
There are a small number of selection schools in Wales. Selection schools select their pupils based on academic ability or aptitude.
Selection schools are typically grammar schools, but there are also some other types of selection schools, such as music schools and sports schools.
Parents can apply for their child to attend a selection school, but there is no guarantee that their child will be admitted.
Other Types of Schools
In addition to the four main types of schools listed above, there are also a number of other types of schools in Wales, including:
The Welsh education board is called Estyn. It is an independent inspection body that reports to the Welsh Government on the quality of education in Wales. Estyn inspects all schools in Wales, including primary, secondary, special, and independent schools.
The Welsh Government is committed to improving the Wales School System. It has introduced a number of reforms in recent years, including the Curriculum for Wales, the Foundation Phase, and the 32+ programme. The Welsh Government is also working to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools.
It is too early to say what the long-term impact of these reforms will be. However, the early signs are positive. For example, the number of schools in Wales that are rated “green” by Estyn has increased in recent years. This suggests that the Wales School System is on the right track.
Yes, Wales has a national curriculum called Curriculum for Wales. It is a framework that sets out the knowledge, skills, and understanding that all pupils in Wales should learn at each stage of their education.
The Curriculum for Wales is taught in all schools in Wales, regardless of whether they are state-funded or independent.
The Welsh Government has recently introduced a new curriculum for Wales, which is being rolled out from September 2022. The new curriculum is more child-centered and focuses on developing pupils’ skills and knowledge in six key areas:
The Welsh education system is divided into three main phases:
After the age of 16, pupils have a number of options available to them. They can stay on at school to study A-levels or other post-16 qualifications. They can also choose to go to college or university, or to start an apprenticeship.
The Wales School System rating is difficult to assess, as there is no single international ranking system for school systems. However, there are a number of factors that suggest that the Wales School System is performing well.
For example, Wales consistently performs well in international assessments of student achievement, such as PISA and TIMSS. Additionally, Wales has a high rate of school pupils achieving five or more good GCSEs at grade 4 or above.
However, there are also some areas where the Wales School System could improve. For example, there are some schools in Wales that are struggling to meet the standards set out in the Curriculum for Wales. Additionally, some pupils in Wales are not achieving their full potential.
Overall, the Wales School System is performing well, but there is still room for improvement.
Here are some specific examples of the Wales School System’s strengths and weaknesses:
GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) are qualifications that are typically taken by students in Year 11 (aged 15 or 16) in Wales. They are a broad range of qualifications that cover a variety of subjects, including English, Maths, Science, Welsh, and a range of other optional subjects.
A-Levels (Advanced Level qualifications) are qualifications that are typically taken by students in Year 12 and 13 (aged 16 or 17) in Wales. They are more specialized than GCSEs and are designed to prepare students for university study or other higher education courses.
Compulsory education in Wales ends at the end of the school year in which the student turns 16. This means that students in Wales can leave school on the last Friday in June, as long as they will be 16 by the end of that school year’s summer holidays.
However, it is strongly encouraged that students continue their education beyond the age of 16. The Welsh Government has a target that 90% of young people in Wales should be in education, employment, or training by the age of 18.
There are a variety of post-16 education options available in Wales, including A-Levels, vocational qualifications such as BTECs and apprenticeships, and further education courses.
The Welsh education system is similar to the English education system, but there are some key differences. For example, GCSEs in Wales are linear, meaning that all exams are taken at the end of the course. In England, GCSEs can be either linear or modular.
Another difference is that the Welsh Government has introduced a new curriculum called the Curriculum for Wales. This curriculum is designed to be more flexible and tailored to the needs of individual learners.
Overall, the Welsh education system is a high-performing system that provides learners with a good foundation for future success.
Here is a table summarizing the key differences between the Welsh and English education systems:
|Characteristic||Welsh education system||English education system|
|Compulsory education age||16||16|
|GCSEs||Linear||Linear or modular|
|Curriculum||Curriculum for Wales||National Curriculum|
|Other qualifications||Welsh Baccalaureate, Vocational qualifications||Apprenticeships, other vocational qualifications|
It is important to note that these are just some of the key differences between the two systems. There are many other factors that can affect a learner’s experience of education, such as the school they attend and the individual teachers they have.
The Welsh education system is committed to providing all pupils with a high-quality education. The Welsh Government is investing heavily in education, and there are a number of initiatives underway to improve the performance of schools and to raise standards.
The new curriculum for Wales is one of the most significant changes to the education system in many years. The new curriculum is designed to prepare pupils for the challenges of the 21st century and to help them to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life.
A high-quality education at a relatively low cost
A strong focus on the Welsh language
A welcoming and supportive environment