University of Wales Trinity Saint David was delighted to welcome the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, to the university’s Yr Athrofa to inspire the next generation of classroom teachers.

The Minister for Education met student teachers at the university’s Carmarthen campus and took part in a live question and answer session with students, staff and school-based colleagues.

Addressing the students, Kirsty Williams said: “You are about to embark into a profession like no other, at a time like no other. We are in the middle of the biggest set of education reforms anywhere in the UK in half a century. As you think about taking your training or approaching taking your first job, I hope you grasp the opportunity and privilege with both hands.

“Together we are all responsible for ensuring that every young person in Wales has an equal opportunity to reach the highest standards. You are the new generation of teachers, the agents of change, changing lives and making a difference.”

The university’s ambitious vision to empower teachers and support schools to develop the education workforce is being delivered through the three core strands of Yr Athrofa – the Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership (APLP); Centres of Research and Innovation; and the Wales Education Commission – that build on the proud history of teacher education in South West Wales.

The APLP, built upon a genuine parity of esteem and shared accountability, was founded with a group of 120 schools across Wales and has re-defined how initial teacher education (ITE) and professional learning can be delivered.

The net result has been the development of a new ITE curriculum, with the university and partner schools jointly responsible for the construction and delivery of all training programmes.

Professor Dylan Jones, Director of Yr Athrofa, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister for Education to our Carmarthen campus, whose inspirational presentation left those present in no doubt as to her commitment to practising teachers and future teachers.

“The aim of the visit was to inform, engage and enthuse our ITE students about our new curriculum which included updates on the professional learning and vision for education. This was a unique opportunity for students to hear directly from the Minister and ask questions about the new curriculum and teaching.

“Huge potential exists within Wales’ education system and we are committed to playing our part in driving positive change and empowering schools for the benefit of all learners.

“The APLP has responded positively to the Welsh Government’s blueprint for curriculum reform and ITE, with schools actively engaged in plotting a new and exciting course for both existing and future teachers.

“We are grateful to the Minister for taking time out of her busy schedule to inspire the next generation of classroom teachers with strong and positive messages of support and opportunity.”