HC Deb 28 January 1993 vol 217 cc795-6W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what plans he has to propose greater use of specific subject teaching;

(2) if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of teaching in relation to the time spent on various aspects of the curriculum;

(3) what measures he proposes to achieve a match of work to pupil's needs;

(4) if he will make a statement concerning the primary school curriculum and teaching methods;

(5) if he will make a greater use of specialist teaching; and if he will make a statement;

(6) what plans he has to introduce setting in schools; and if he will make a statement.

(7) if he will make a statement on whole-class teaching.

Sir Wyn Roberts

In February of last year I launched a debate on primary education in Wales with the publication of a report by Her Majesty's inspectorate on classroom organisation and teaching methods. That report addressed, among other things, issues concerned with whole class and specialist teaching, classroom management and teaching methods appropriate to the needs of individual pupils and the national curriculum.

The debate was taken forward by the Curriculum Council for Wales, CCW. Following a series of seminars attended by teachers throughout Wales, the Curriculum Council for Wales published in November a guidance document "Aspects of Primary Education in Wales". The document has been issued to all Welsh primary schools. I also sent a copy to all hon. Members in Wales. Further guidance is being prepared by the council on aspects of planning and managing the primary curriculum including teaching methods and the use of specialist staff. Schools will need to consider all this advice carefully and ensure that it is taken into account so that they can implement the national curriculum successfully.

It is obviously important that we should keep under review how this is being taken forward to schools and provide further guidance as necessary. I have therefore asked Her Majesty's chief inspector for Wales to include, as part of his programme of work in 1993–94, a further investigation into primary education teaching methods and practices and report to me by April 1994. I have placed a copy of my letter in the Library of the House. I will consider whether further action is necessary in the light of that report. I also intend to ask the Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales which, subject to parliamentary approval, will succeed the Curriculum Council for Wales, to take part with the Schools Curriculum and Assessment Authority in the rolling review of national curriculum subjects which was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education on 18 January.

Mr. Ron Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what new guidance he proposes to issue concerning primary education in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. David Hunt

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply my right hon. Friend the Minister of State gave to the hon. Member for Alyn and Deeside (Mr. Jones) on 28 January.

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