Lack of resources could have real impact on pupils’ education in Wales, says National Assembly committee
A lack of resources, including the provision of appropriate textbooks could have a real impact on pupils’ education across Wales, according to a National Assembly committee.
The Children, Young People and Education Committee was told by pupils and teachers that the shortage was increasing stress and anxiety levels at an already stressful time with exams.
The Committee also heard that a lack of Welsh language textbooks and learning resources meant that some teachers were translating resources themselves. This, Assembly Members concluded, was taking up precious time, duplicating work by other teachers and other schools and could lead to inconsistencies in translation.
During evidence it became clear school pupils learn in different ways and that resources must be available in a range of formats, including hard copy and digital versions, to enable them to use whichever method best suited.
The Committee understands that the funding available to meet the cost of resources is limited and believes that there must therefore be a fundamental rethink about what resources should be made available to ensure effective learning by all our pupils.
There is also concern about the lack of clarity over whose responsibility it is to make sure schools and pupils have adequate resources. The lack of clarity, Assembly Members concluded, may result in a failure to provide adequate resources and have a detrimental effect on pupils' learning.
"To be told by pupils and teachers directly that resources are lacking, that books sometimes don't arrive until part way through the school year, and that Welsh language provision is so inconsistent, is very concerning." said Lynne Neagle AM, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee.
"Also concerning is the lack of clarity over who is responsible for ensuring our schoolchildren have the learning resources they need in the format that suits them best.
"We need to know who should be delivering textbooks, that Welsh language provision is delivered along with English language, and that textbooks and teacher resources are part of the core package of resources available for learners."
The Committee makes 15 recommendations in its report, including:
The Cabinet Secretary must publish details to clarify who is responsible for ensuring that resources are available for all pupils, whatever method of learning they prefer to use;
The Cabinet Secretary should establish the extent to which teachers are translating resources themselves, and what those resources are. Arrangements should then be made for those resources to be translated centrally, and made available to teachers and pupils as appropriate; and,
The Cabinet Secretary should put plans in place to ensure that in future years curriculum focused textbooks are produced and used as the method for teaching rather than the current model of qualification focussed textbooks.
The report will now be considered by the Welsh Government.
Read the full report:
The provision of textbooks and learning resources for pupils (PDF, 925 KB)