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Education Minister explains to UWTSD students why there’s never been a better time to teach

The Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, has visited Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to talk to students about why now is the perfect time to start their teaching career in Wales.

The Welsh Government has committed to investing in developing an excellent teaching workforce to support the delivery of the new school curriculum, due to be introduced in schools from September 2022. This includes recruitment of new teachers and improving professional development, while working with unions and other partners to address teachers’ workload issues.

The Minister said: “It was a pleasure to visit Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education at UWTSD and meet students who could become teachers in Wales in the very near future.

“Children across Wales benefit day-in and day-out from the commitment of our dedicated teachers and we are looking for people from all backgrounds with the talent and aspiration, ready to join our high-performing workforce.

“It’s an exciting time to be a teacher in Wales as we prepare to introduce a new Curriculum that has been designed by teachers, allowing them to be creative in the way they deliver their lessons.

“I would encourage anyone considering a career in teaching to have a look at the opportunities available and to see if they have got what it takes to succeed in this hugely rewarding career.”

The Minister’s visit to UWTSD’s new Swansea waterfront campus is the penultimate stop in her tour of Wales’s four current Initial Teacher Education Partnerships (ITE) that she is undertaking, as well as to the newly accredited ITE Partnership at the University of South Wales.

At UWTSD she heard from trainee teachers about what attracted them to a career at the front of the classroom, and talked to current undergraduate students about the benefits of teaching as a career option.

Siobhan Eleri, a teacher education student at UWTSD who spoke with the Minister, said: “I’ve already learned so much since starting my teacher education at UWTSD and I’m really enjoying working with children through my first placement in school. It is so rewarding to see the positive impact you can have on young people and I feel privileged to be in a position to shape children’s lives for the better. Every day is different and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for education in Wales with our exciting new national curriculum just around the corner!”

Elaine Sharpling, UWTSD’s director of teacher education, added: “Education in Wales is changing and with it comes new demands of our teaching workforce. The Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership (APLP) has been formed with this challenge in mind and sees UWTSD and more than 100 partner schools working together to prepare the next generation of classroom teachers.

“Our ITE partnership is vast, extending from Monmouthshire in the east to Pembrokeshire in the west, and we are fortunate to work with many talented colleagues from right across Wales’ education system.

“We offer both primary and secondary routes into teaching, with both English and Welsh-medium pathways available, and would love to speak to anyone with an interest in starting a rewarding and fulfilling career in the classroom. It is never too late to join the teaching profession and inspire a love of learning and creativity.

“Visit our website – www.uwtsd.ac.uk/teacher-education – for more information and be the difference, teach!”

To qualify as a teacher, current students must obtain a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). PGCE courses are usually one year long, and involve theoretical as well as practical elements, including time spent on placements within schools. A brand new part-time route being delivered through the Open University is also currently under development, for anyone not in a position to undertake the full-time PGCE.

For more information and to find out about the financial incentives available to help people train, please visit www.discoverteaching.wales.