Friday, 18 January 2008

Education Director Optimistic on Results

Education News in the Western Mail reports on an interview with Wales' Director of Education confirming that he is confident that results will improve as the impact of new policies in the classroom are felt.

In an interview Steve Marshall, the Welsh Assembly Government’s lead civil servant for education, said he was not overly concerned about Wales’ poor ratings in the international Pisa tests for 15-year-olds. He said he believed that better results will be seen within three to 15 years.

Mr Marshall, 53, urged patience and said people must back reforms such as Flying Start for pre-school children and the learning through play Foundation Phase for three to seven-year-olds.

Both provide a sound basis for continuing good achievement, the effects will be seen as he first pupils go through, he said.

As reported in the Western Mail earlier this month, Mr Marshall is himself leaving Wales in March after just two years in his post.

It is a crucial time for reforms he put in motion but the former head teacher insisted he was leaving the Welsh education system in good shape. He said:

There is room to improve but the programmes we have in place will meet that improvement. I don’t think we will be falling behind in three to 15 years and because I’ll be part of the international education community I will still be pushing for Wales.

Finland, one of the top ranking countries in Pisa, took 30 years to reform its education system. There’s no doubt that the policies we have in place in the Foundation Phase, Flying Start and the Welsh Baccalaureate are positioning Wales whereby many other countries will be looking at what Wales is doing.

Canada, where Mr Marshall is taking up the job of deputy education minister for the Ontario government, was in the top five best performing countries in the Pisa tests.

From Wales to Canada - from one of the worst in ranking to one of the best.

We hope you didn't receive any performance bonuses during your tenure Mr Marshall. We'll be asking Rhodri Morgan's successor's successor to forward the cheque to you in 30 years.


Sue 18 January 2008 at 12:02  

Can't see parents waiting that long for a upturn in results. I'll be sending my children to public children when the time is right. A good primary school in Wales is fine, but secondary schools need a lot of work.

Anonymous 18 January 2008 at 12:23  

Never realsed that a non politician was allowed to become a Minister in Ontario.

Perhaps we should recruit our Ministers in this way - as long as it isn't the 'open' recruitment policy that the Assembly has inplace.

Anonymous 18 January 2008 at 19:46  

Mr Marshall is not going to be the Minister of Education. He is the Deputy Minister....the Educator that answers to the Minister, who is the politician.

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