Tuesday 31-01-2017 - 09:21
You may be familiar with something called the Hazelkorn Review. It was a review of education and training in Wales, commissioned by the Welsh Government and led by Professor Ellen Hazelkorn, looking at how post-compulsory education is managed in Wales.
The review was commissioned back in July 2015 and published its final report last March. Since then, the Welsh Government has been working out what it's going to do in response to the report's recommendations. One of the recommendations was to create a "new, overarching vision" for post-compulsory education in Wales, and to bring managing and funding both the further and higher education sectors together under a new body.
Today, the Welsh Government's Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, made a statement in the Senedd outlining what the Government's plans are. She announced that the Welsh Government is accepting a number of the review's recommendations, including those on developing a new vision for the sector and creating the body.
Speaking after Ms Williams made her statement, NUS Wales President Fflur Elin had this to say:
“Our vision is for every learner in Wales, whatever their circumstances, to be able to benefit from, and be an active partner in, an Inclusive Education. That means students having the opportunity to shape their education. It means the education system being driven by their needs.
“For years, students have been calling for an end to the competition between the further and higher education sectors, and for them to be at the heart of their communities. We hope that this new, overarching vision for the sector will go some way to making that a reality.
“We also welcome the announcement that a new body will be responsible for post-compulsory education. We hope that it will have the necessary powers to set the future direction of the sector and ensure that all institutions place the needs of Wales and Welsh students first.
“Keeping in mind the principle that students should be active partners in their education, NUS Wales must retain its place as an observer on the board of the new body. We also urge the Welsh Government to ensure that those in work-based and community learning, as well as apprentices, can have their voices heard.
“Education must be accessible to, and flexible for, all. So, we expect to see support for students who are parents, carers, asylum seekers, or estranged from their families. There must also be commitment to ensuring that learners are represented, and are able to engage fully in their education, through Student Voice systems.
“This is an important and exciting time for the sector, with student finance and curriculum reform also on the table. These things must all be considered together—and the new approach must deliver a system fit for current and future generations of learners, fit for the economy, and fit for Wales. This will be a lengthy process, and we look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Welsh Government and Students’ Unions to keep students at its very heart.”
If you want to read the Hazelkorn Review's report in full, you can access it here. You can also read this blog to see what former NUS Wales President Beth Button had to say about the review's recommendations when they were published.