Y Pwyllgor Cyfrifon Cyhoeddus / Public Accounts Committee

PAC(5)-10-17 Paper 3

Teacher’s professional learning and education survey


This document provides a summary of responses received to the teacher’s professional learning and education survey conducted by the Outreach team, as part of the Children, Young People and Education Committee’s inquiry into Teachers Professional Learning and Education, and the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry into Regional Education Consortia.

The survey targeted those working within the education profession in Wales, and was promoted online through the Assembly’s social media accounts, by sharing with relevant groups and representative organisations, e-mailing schools directly, through the Assembly’s Education newsletter and promoting during Assembly Education sessions on the Estate and across Wales. 


Survey Analysis

837 Total number of survey responses received

-       54.17% of responses received from classroom teachers

-      18.32% of responses received from other senior managers in school

-       16.57% of responses received from school governors

-       11.05% of responses received from teaching assistants

-       5.66% of responses received from other education professionals (including supply teachers, trainers and lecturers)  










Number of survey responses broken down by local authority area


3524Blaenau Gwent: 31
 Bridgend: 42
 Caerphilly: 69
 Cardiff: 123
 Carmarthenshire: 67
 Ceredigion: 28
 Conwy: 24
 Denbighshire: 12
 Flintshire: 24
 Gwynedd: 35
 Isle of Anglesey: 32
 Merthyr Tydfil: 19
 Monmouthshire: 14
 Neath Port Talbot: 38
 Newport: 39
 Pembrokeshire: 31
 Powys: 23
 Rhondda Cynon Taf: 58
 Swansea: 46
 Torfaen: 26
 Vale of Glamorgan: 82
 Wrexham: 18
 Outside of Wales: 9

Outside of Wales


To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements:

“I am fully aware of the ongoing and upcoming changes to the curriculum” (total number of responses: 834)

-       Strongly disagree: 9.59%

-       Disagree: 26.73%

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 14.50%

-      Agree: 38%

-       Strongly agree: 11.15%


“I feel well prepared for the ongoing and upcoming changes to the curriculum” (total number of responses: 834)

-       Strongly disagree: 22.66%

-      Disagree: 46.88%

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 17.02%

-       Agree: 11.99%

-       Strongly agree: 1.43%


“I think that initial teacher education provides teachers with the skills and knowledge they will need throughout their career” (total number of responses: 832)

-       Strongly disagree: 17.42%

-      Disagree: 43.87%

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 21.63%

-       Agree: 15.74%

-       Strongly agree: 1.32%


“I feel that initial teacher education prepares and encourages career long learning” (total number of responses: 831)

-       Strongly disagree: 13.11%

-      Disagree: 39.10%

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 26.71%

-       Agree: 19.25%

-       Strongly agree: 1.80%


“The current continuing professional development programme provides school staff with the skills and knowledge they need to effectively do their jobs” (total number of responses: 831)

-       Strongly disagree: 21.66%

-      Disagree: 39.47%

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 21.66%

-       Agree: 16.24%

-       Strongly agree: 0.96%


Do any of the following issues restrict your ability to take up training opportunities?

-      Workload: 620 (77.69%)

-       Cost of supply teachers to cover: 491 (61.52%)

-       Awareness of training opportunities: 324 (40.60%)

-       Availability of supply teachers to cover: 262 (32.83%)

-       Distance of travel to training location: 140 (17.54%)

-       Other:

o   Cost of courses: 58 (7.26%)

o   Availability of training: 31 (3.88%)

o   Not being released to attend training: 27 (3.38%)



Other comments or recommendations made in relation to changes to the curriculum and continuing professional development:

University engagement: “Not enough involvement at University level and missed opportunities to engage teacher training as part of a CPD delivery model.  Hub University can research impact, trial with trainees and share out to schools, reducing cost, developing school to school input and promoting reflective practice.”


Teaching Assistants: “At the moment I believe there is not enough training available for Teaching Assistants.  Teachers have their degree courses to teach them the skills to "manage" children in their classes, however us Teaching Assistants are somehow expected to know these skills without the appropriate training.  Addressing this right at the start of a Teaching Assistant's career would mean a great deal.”


Teaching Assistants: “CPD for teaching assistants is non-existent!”


Special schools: “Special schools need extra inset days to ensure enough CPD.  We need to do lots of basic medical, behavioural and other essential recaps each year, leaving time for CPD in short supply.  More access needs to be provided to courses, and far more course providers should be sought out by education authorities.”


A/SLN: “I believe that all initial teacher training courses should have modules covering aspects of ALN. Many teachers appear to have little or no knowledge of the difficulties this can bring both to a mainstream class and specialist education setting.”


A/SLN: “More awareness of SEN is needed in teacher training and in professional development.”


Relevance of training: “Initial training was completely irrelevant to an actual teaching day. Agree the theories and theorists are important on how children learning but this is not then used in practise. The current cpd is determined by the senior leadership teams and in larger schools many staff have little to no opportunity.”


Relevance of training: “Initial teacher education needs to be more robust and realistic. Schools need to play a bigger part in the training and recruitment stages as many teachers leave the profession after a few years due to pressure of workload and stress.”


Pace of change: “Not given priority. Schools don't get enough funding for training. New A Level and GCSE courses rushed through and no textbooks ready to use. Hardly any training. Teaching pupils blind, with hardly any resources.”


Pace of change: “Most teachers I speak to are exhausted by the pace of change education has had to cope with in recent years. This is a major contributor to the excessive workload teachers are currently trying to cope with.”


Pace of change: “We needed a longer period of time before the new curriculum was launched. The A level and GCSE changes were massive and even most exam boards did not have enough time to support the teachers with resources. When they did provide resources it was a rushed job or they realised the resources months after the new spec had started. I have worked every holiday to prep but I still feel that I am trying to catch up.”


Pace of change: “Can we have more time before new gcse welsh full course is implemented in Wales. We do not feel ready, or properly trained to implement it.”


Pace of change: “Each curriculum change places a huge burden on teachers, meaning a complete review and recreation of all resources, support is not adequate and guidance tends to be neither timely nor clear.”


Pace of change: “The Donaldson Review commands widespread support.  Implementation should be at a realistic pace, to be followed by a sustained period of stability without further political intervention.”


Pace of change: “Changes to the curriculum are too rapid and insufficient funding is provided by the Welsh Government to train teachers on how to deliver these changes from the bottom up.”

Funding and availability: “Schools need to be funded and training needs to be available if teachers are going to be able to effectively carry out and embed changes.”


Funding and availability: “If it's going to be implemented properly, the government needs to invest in training it's teachers by giving schools extra money to allow teachers extra time to prepare schemes of work, lessons, resources and assessments.”


Funding and availability: “Changes and CPD require funding. For the last few years we have seen school budgets slashed. How can we deliver on new curriculum without the sufficient funds to support them? If the Government want education to improve they MUST INVEST in it!”


Funding and availability: “All teachers should be provided with cpd budget. It should be mandatory for schools to allow a minimum of one cpd opportunity chosen by the teacher each year.  Curriculum changes should be accompanied by funding to allow teachers the time to effectively prepare schemes of work and lesson plans.”


Funding and availability: “Teaching assistants are left behind with training because of funding. Schools just don't have the resources to allow staff time off for courses. This is unfair. TA's can't develop and children then suffer when they are not up to date on the latest ideas and education.”


Funding and availability: “Due to cut backs to school budgets and loss of staff there isn't enough members of staff at school to cover classes for teachers to attend courses and not enough money to pay supply teachers. A very sad and sorry situation.”


Need for support: “Love the idea of the new curriculum, and keen to implement, but more guidance is needed. Particularly in regard to DCF and preparing schools for RELIABLE digital resources, including wifi.”


Need for support: “Although I have had training and studied Success Futures (I have also met Graham Donaldson), I feel that there is a guessing game at the moment as to how the new curriculum will be taught.”


Need for support: “The support for teachers regarding the new curriculum has been woefully inadequate. Schools, teachers and governing bodies are, from my experience, very underprepared for these considerable changes.”


Workload: “Workload is the biggest factor. While staff can go on a training course there is little time for them to embed it in practice due to high workload. Most teachers are overstretched and have little time to put ideas into practice.”


Workload: “Teachers want to develop professionally, but get stuck in a rut due to workload.”


Workload: “As a governor I am concerned at the extremely long hours the teachers are working. I see merit in the new curriculum but do not want to see exhausted teachers trying to deliver it.”






To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements

“I have a good understanding of the role of regional education consortia” (Total number of responses: 766)

-       Strongly disagree: 111 (14.49%)

-       Disagree: 187 (24.67%)

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 158 (20.62%)

-      Agree: 260 (33.94%)

-       Strongly agree: 51 (6.65%)


“I understand the improvements regional education consortia are seeking to achieve” (Total number of responses: 767)

-       Strongly disagree: 118 (15.38%)

-       Disagree: 235 (30.63%)

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 143 (18.64%)

-      Agree: 240 (31.29%)

-       Strongly agree: 31 (4.04%)


“I am aware of the support that the regional education consortia provides to my school to improve” (Total number of responses: 765)

-       Strongly disagree: 131 (17.12%)

-       Disagree: 190 (24.83%)

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 141 (18.43%)

-      Agree: 255 (33.33%)

-       Strongly agree: 48 (6.27%)






“I understand the support that the regional education consortia provides to me in my role in my school.” (Total number of responses: 761)

-       Strongly disagree: 175 (22.99%)

-      Disagree: 222 (29.17%)

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 150 (19.71%)

-       Agree: 175 (22.99%)

-       Strongly agree: 39 (5.12%)


“The support that the regional education consortia provides to my school helps us to improve.” (Total number of responses: 763)

-       Strongly disagree: 143 (18.74%)

-       Disagree: 189 (24.77%)

-      Neither agree nor disagree: 251 (32.89%)

-       Agree: 149 (19.52%)

-       Strongly agree: 31 (4.06%)


“I understand the role of regional education consortia in the development of teachers at all levels.” (Total number of responses: 763)

-       Strongly disagree: 154 (20.18%)

-      Disagree: 251 (32.89%)

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 190 (24.90%)

-       Agree: 148 (19.32%)

-       Strongly agree: 20 (2.62%)







“My regional education consortia provides effective continuing professional development to teachers and teaching assistants at all levels.” (Total number of responses: 763)

-       Strongly disagree: 185 (24.24%)

-      Disagree: 228 (29.88%)

-       Neither agree nor disagree: 226 (29.61%)

-       Agree: 105 (13.76%)

-       Strongly agree: 19 (2.49%)


Other comments or recommendations made in relation to Regional Education Consortia

Cost and availability of training provided: “A lot of the courses and resources come at too high a cost for large numbers of staff to benefit.”


Cost and availability of training provided: “There needs to be far more courses on offer and far more CPD provided.  Not enough effective or relevant courses on offer.”


Cost and availability of training provided: “Welsh Medium training opportunities not yet fully developed.”


Suitability of support: “Conferences within consortia omit ALN or just paid a little lip service within such events. Communication is poor between Special schools and consortia.”


Suitability of support: “I am in a green school. Very little contact with consortium. There is little bespoke support provided. It's all very general.”


Suitability of support: “I believe that funds should go directly to schools. Advice from the consortia has sometimes proved to be at odds with advice from Estyn; very worrying!”


Suitability of support: “Their input and support for quality assurance and data can be contradictory and conflict with Estyn's observations.”


Suitability of support: “Inconsistencies amongst the consortia, inconsistencies with Estyn. Generally, there are too many inconsistencies and differing opinions that I sometimes feel I can't do right for doing wrong.”


Suitability of support: “Little training for TAs with regards to additional needs given that we work so very closely with these groups.”


Suitability of support: “Regional consortia seem to be yet another level of bureaucracy, between Welsh Government and Local Authority and ultimately schools. Personally I feel finances would be better suited to providing additional staff in schools rather than creating another tier of bureaucracy. In a small country like Wales, why can't Welsh Government bypass LA/Consortia and deal direct with schools?”


Awareness: “I have no idea who they are or how they benefit the school.”


Awareness: “I have not received any direct support from the consortia, nor have I been made aware of the support available from senior management.”


Awareness: “I do not feel they effectively communicate training activities.”



Links with other institutions: “Not enough cross institution work.  Research done in university can support but links not made”


Links with other institutions: “FE College not fully included in local consortium for sharing practice. Feel a little left out by the whole regional consortia set up in terms of CPP/sharing good practice. Seems our college management have some involvement, but not felt at teaching level.”


Challenge vs support: “Consortia are too focused on challenge and don't really know how to deal with support. Especially at the senior level…Categorisation is a shambles and should be scrapped (especially flawed downgrading on moderation with no real explanation and by people who have never set foot in the school.”


Challenge vs support: “They are people who have very little knowledge or concern for the stresses and strains that teaching staff are under and are completely out of touch with modern teaching practice. I welcome help and support, but my experience of the consortia is that of an increased workload and unrealistic targets being set.”


Challenge vs support: “I feel that the regional consortia tend to take the inspector role instead of helping schools and supporting.”


Challenge vs support: “Too many layers doing similar things, resulting in significant pressure stress and challenge upon schools. Imbalance between support and challenge, too many people challenging...and not really able to provide significant support.”


Challenge vs support: “education consortia tend to find faults rather than support teacher’s development.”


Challenge vs support: “ERW needs to support schools and not see them as a tool to constantly criticise and remind that whatever they do it is never good enough. Poor morale in ERW, especially Ceredigion.”


Challenge vs support: “Don't feel they give enough help and advice. They are not hands on enough.”