§ 12. Mr. Raffan
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the Government's pilot teacher appraisal scheme.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science has invited six local education authorities in England to form a consortium to pilot teacher appraisal. The findings of the pilot project will be made available to every authority in England and Wales.
§ Mr. Raffan
Why will Wales not be represented in the pilot teacher appraisal scheme? Two local education authorities, Clwyd and Dyfed, applied to be included. Is it not essential that Wales be represented in view of the unique feature of Welsh education—teaching in the Welsh medium—and so as not to halt the progress already made in Wales into researching the practices and procedures of appraisal?
§ Mr. Roberts
There is no particular advantage to the Welsh authorities participating in this project, especially when we shall get the results. It would mean diverting education support grant from other uniquely Welsh purposes for the purposes of this project. When we consulted the Welsh Joint Education Committee about the use of the education support grant next year, no request for a teaching appraisal pilot project in Wales was made to us.
§ Mr. Barry Jones
The Minister has given a waffling reply. Can he tell us why he failed to stand his corner?
§ Mr. Roberts
I am well aware that two Welsh authorities, on a mistaken assumption, did apply to take part in this pilot project. The hon. Gentleman well knows that, because it was explained to him in a written answer on 17 November. He is well aware that the Welsh authorities would not qualify for education support grant from the Department of Education and Science.