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New resources to help teachers be the best; 'WE NEED TEACHERS WHO ARE EXPERIENCED AND CONFIDENT'.

Byline: GARETH EVANS Education Correspondent

every teacher has a masters degree," he said.

"It was felt that it would be a good thing to try and emulate what our competitors were doing.

We haven't developed the capacity in the teaching profession in Wales that many other countries have."

Prof Reynolds said Wales' new online resource and MEP were among the best available anywhere in the world.

"As far as I know, and I know a bit about what other countries are doing, it will be the most comprehensive resource any country has ever given its education system," he said.

"The online resource is not just academic materials - it's bite-size reviews; it's summaries; it's giving teachers what they haven't got. We are no longer going to stick with the manifest that everybody has to reinvent the wheel.

"There is a new attitude and they think we should now help the profession and build something on the back of what we know already, rather than leaving it alone to help itself.

"The MEP is very teacher-friendly and you couldn't get better than what's being loaded," he added.

A NEW website providing a "one-stop shop" for teachers in Wales goes live today as part of the Welsh Government's drive to improve school standards.

Learning Wales will house the latest teaching materials, ministerial announcements, news and notice of upcoming events.

It is designed for all learning practitioners and comes ahead of the launch next month of Wales' new Masters in Educational Practice (MEP).

The three-year programme is designed to strengthen teaching standards and focuses on Education Minister Leighton Andrews' priorities of literacy, numeracy and reducing the impact of poverty.

All newly-qualified teachers (NQTs) working in Wales and starting their induction this month are eligible for the Welsh Government-funded MEP.

Mr Andrews, who will today meet prospective MEP students at Chepstow Comprehensive School, said: "In order to raise standards in schools across Wales, we need to be developing highly-skilled teachers who are experienced and confident in the classroom.

"We have created the MEP by working closely with the profession and listening to what they feel NQTs need. We are delivering a programme that is unique to Wales and will put us at the forefront of teacher professional development." The MEP draws heavily on teachers' classroom experience. Modules range from behaviour management to leadership and while the majority of the programme plays out in school, NQTs will be able to attend associated learning days.

Universities were invited to tender for the MEP contract and a joint bid by Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Bangor and the University of London's Institute of Education (IoE) was the preferred option.

The IoE is top of the UK university league table for education research. The centre is also home to a number of Welsh Government advisers.

Professor Amanda Coffey, who is leading on the MEP for Cardiff University, said: "The MEP programme will provide a unique opportunity for NQTs in Wales to gain access to high-quality resources and mentoring to enhance their classroom practice.

"NQTs and their schools will benefit from a rich and supportive programme, informed by the very latest research."

The MEP forms part of a 20-point improvement plan introduced by Mr Andrews to raise school performance.

The qualification is not yet mandatory and a detailed evaluation will be undertaken before a decision is made on making it compulsory for NQTs. Professor David Reynolds, a Welsh Government advisor who helped design the MEP, said he expected every NQT would eventually undertake the programme.

"It will ensure that Wales has in place some of the characteristics of other successful countries like Finland, where
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 24, 2012
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