Children and Young People Committee

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A new educational body should be run by professionals, not by Welsh ministers, according to unions.

The Children and Young People Committee was listening to evidence on the Education (Wales) Bill from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), University and College Union (UCU), the National Association for Head Teachers (NAHT) and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), on 2 October 2013.

Its intention is to strengthen and enhance school standards, improve local accountability and reduce complexity and bureaucracy.

The Bill would seek to establish a professional body - the Education Workforce Council - to register and regulate teachers across Wales.

There are proposals in the Bill for Welsh ministers to have greater control, however Welsh unions stressed that ministerial influence on the body should be minimal.

According to Lisa Edwards from the UCU the new body should be run by professionals, not by Welsh ministers.

Ms Edwards said: "We would like to see a professional body, set by professionals, to represent professionals".

She also added that the new body "runs a risk that this is run like a quango, if ministers have a greater control".

Philip Dixon from ATL Cymru warned that there would be "resentment" from teachers if they didn't have their say.

Anna Brychan from the NAHT agreed that the new independent body needs to have the "confidence of the education profession" and warned "if it looks like a quango and smells like a quango, then our members won't want to join it".

Robin Hughes from the ASCL also underlined the need for the body "to win the hearts and minds and fees" of professionals.

He said: "What we don't want is to be back here in 6 years time with a dead body on our hands".

The committee also heard evidence from Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales as well as the General Teaching Council for Wales who agreed that the workforce council needs to understand and reflect the needs of teachers across Wales.

Darllenwch hwn yn Gymraeg

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