NewsGroup of Staff

A leading international Education Minister was given an insight into innovative new models of teacher education during a visit to Yr Athrofa.

Debbie Schafer, Provincial Minister of Education for the Western Cape Government, South Africa, led a delegation to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD’s) Institute of Education to learn more about its long history of ITE.

In addition, Professor Dylan Jones and Professor Peter Rabbett took the opportunity to share Yr Athrofa’s ambitious plans for ITE and introduced the delegation to the Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership.

A genuine collaboration between Yr Athrofa and partner schools, the APLP is co-constructing programmes for teachers at all stages in their professional lives and for leaders who are classroom-based, leading institutions or who are system leaders.

The APLP is one of three core strands to Yr Athrofa’s work to support the implementation of the Welsh Government’s long-term strategy, Education in Wales: Our National Mission.

The meeting included discussion about the place of teacher education at Swansea’s new SA1 development, the transformation of the university’s Carmarthen Campus and Yr Athrofa’s extension across Wales through the APLP.

The delegation is gathering evidence from Wales, Ireland and Finland before returning to South Africa.

In addition to Ms Schafer, the Western Cape delegation included Brian Schrader, Superintendent of the General Western Cape Education Service, Dr Peter Beets, Deputy Director of General Curriculum and Assessment, John Curran, Director of Education at Mellon Educate and Holly Hayes, Director of Research and Development at Mellon Educate.

From UWTSD, the delegation took in a visit to the Senedd and met with senior officials from the Welsh Government’s Department for Education.

Professor Jones said: “We were delighted to welcome such a prestigious group of international delegates to Yr Athrofa to compare notes and share expertise in the diverse field of teacher education.

“Our APLP is going from strength to strength and it was a pleasure to present our innovative model of collaborative working to a wider, international audience.

“We in Wales have lots to celebrate and it is important to share good practice with colleagues across the world – we have to be flagbearers for our own education systems and we were fortunate that Ms Schafer and her colleagues took the time to visit Yr Athrofa and learn from our experience.

“We certainly took a lot from the opportunity to compare and contrast our work in Wales with that of another prominent education nation.”

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