Welsh Government Grants Information
Education Improvement Grant
Guidelines state that the Education Improvement Grant has to be at least 80% delegated to schools.
Following the decision of the 6 local authorities, we have now finalised the figures for the GwE region and I am pleased to inform you that schools will receive a minimum of 89.50% of the EIG.
You will have already received confirmation of the amount your school will receive from your local authority finance team (this will be transferred directly into your school budgets).
In addition to this, a further 5.50% of the budget is committed to direct provision in targeted schools (e.g. language coordinators) and is being managed by the local authorities. A further 1.00% is currently allocated to local authorities in order to deliver targeted activities locally whilst a final 3.28% is allocated to the support of the statutory Induction of NQTs, along with funding for regional priorities in providing targeted support for Literacy and Numeracy & the regional coordination of the Foundation Phase – all being delivered by GwE. That leaves a final 0.72% for GwE and the Authorities to administer the Grant.
Welsh Government guidance for regional consortia and Local Authorities clarifies that individual school-level grant spending plans are not required and that “Challenge Advisers” (Supporting Improvement Advisers) “will provide support to schools to ensure their school development plans appropriately reflect their improvement journey and local priorities.”
In order to support schools in complying with this expectation, we have put together the attached table which lists the range of “grant purposes” and, therefore, the categories of eligible expenditure.
In order to support schools in complying with this expectation, a section has been developed on the Grants Planning Dashboard.
For all grant funding apart from the Foundation Phase, you have flexibility to allocate it in accordance with the need you have identified via your self-evaluation and in order to progress any relevant activities you have identified in your School Development Plan.
Schools are required to upload their school development plan to G6 and complete the relevant section of the Grants Planning Dashboard.
A Frequently Asked Questions document has been developed and is available on the Grants Planning Dashboard & on G6.
If you have any queries about the EIG, please contact the following in the first instance:
- For any queries regarding the allocation of funding and how you should access it, please contact the finance team in your local authority;
- For any queries relating to eligible spend activities, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of your EIG funded activities in terms of improved learner outcomes, please contact your school’s allocated Supporting Improvement Adviser.
Pupil Development Grant
The purpose of the PDG funding is to support the Welsh Government High Standards and Aspirations Action Plan with a view to tackling the impact of poverty on educational attainment. The PDG is crucial to delivering the future success of learners living in low-income households. The funding made available through the PDG and its use by schools will be a key enabler in tackling the impact of poverty on attainment.
The Plan will focus on the following eight elements as being the key drivers for success:
High Quality Learning and Teaching – with a particular focus on the pedagogy used by teachers, the role of support staff and the professional learning provided for practitioners.
Community Schools – with a particular emphasis on the role of Family Engagement Officers, the role of the school within the wider community and work with other children’s and family agencies.
Early Childhood Education and Care, developing our long-term vision to ensure equity and quality for our youngest learners wherever they access education or care which supports their learning and development – in line with the use of the EYPDG as in Annex D.
The Health and Well-being of Children and Young People – in line with the Framework on Embedding a Whole-School Approach to Emotional and Mental Well-being.
Developing high aspirations through strong relationships – aligned to the role of the Careers Service, the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework, the Young Person’s Guarantee and the Seren Network.
The Curriculum for Wales and Qualifications – focusing on the importance of language development, meta-cognition and self-regulation as being key enablers of success within the new curriculum and offering learners a wide range of qualification routes.
Leadership – focusing on its importance in overcoming the impact of poverty on attainment and the leadership of community schools.
Post-16 progression- through forging strong partnerships with further education institutions, work-based learning providers and other post-16 providers.
The use of the PDG should be focused upon all of these elements, particularly the first two, which evidence suggests are of the greatest importance especially as schools navigate the new curriculum.
To inform the use of the PDG in supporting these elements, guidance specific to the Welsh context will be produced for schools by Welsh Government on the most robust, evidence-informed approaches that they should consider using.
This will be accompanied by professional learning opportunities to support the implementation of these approaches and to assist schools in capturing the impact they have.
Schools should engage with their regional and national professional learning opportunities.
School self-evaluation should be used to both identify appropriate priorities for the use of PDG and to capture its impact.
From 2022-2023 schools will need to complete and publish a statement on their PDG strategy. See template.
Professional Learning Grant
Professional Learning Funding 2022-2023
Guidance for schools on how to use the funding
The National Approach to Professional Learning was officially launched in 2018. This “made in Wales” approach to professional learning marked a key point in the reform journey. It aligns with the professional standards, the Schools as Learning Organisations approach and professional learning model, to create a vision fit for the
evolving education system in Wales for all educational practitioners, not just teachers.
Welsh Government is committed to ensuring that all practitioners receive the support they need to deliver the new transformational curriculum.
Integral to the National Approach is ensuring that professional learning for practitioners is adequately resourced including both financial resources and time for teachers and leaders to engage with high quality development opportunities.
To support the profound transformation in the way our practitioners and leaders think about their professional learning in the lead up to the new curriculum, enhanced
professional learning funding has been made available to schools to make this step-change.
A key part of the National Approach is focused on pedagogy, which is a conduit to ensuring that all practitioners are supported to further develop their knowledge and
skills to effectively realise the new curriculum. Developing high quality teaching and learning is a key enabler of the Curriculum for Wales.
The National Professional Learning Entitlement is currently being developed through co-construction. It will take the National Approach to Professional Learning to the next phase. The National Professional Learning Entitlement will set out the system’s entitlements and expectations for all teaching assistants, teachers and leaders.
It will support the delivery of high quality teaching and learning, by enabling the education profession to:
- support system’s priorities, specifically delivering curriculum and wider reform and improving equity through education;
- enjoy equity of access to professional learning, regardless of language, location, role in school, subject in secondary school, and whether practitioners are full-time,part-time or supply;
- enjoy the highest quality of provision and support;
- easily access the provision and support available to them locally, regionally and nationally;
- engage in enquiry and be supported by coaching and mentoring.
During the summer term, regions and partnerships will play a key role in supporting co-construction work with schools across Wales. The Entitlement will launch in September 2022.
Purpose of the professional learning funding:
- An enhanced professional learning funding allocation has been made available since 2018-19 to allow schools to prepare for the new curriculum. An additional £12 million will be made available during 2022-23 to further support curriculum implementation.
- Additional professional learning funding will be allocated via the regional consortia school improvement grant for direct allocation to schools to fund professional learning in accordance with their school development plan.
- It is essential to allow time and space for practitioners and leaders to work together across schools and networks to prepare for the new curriculum and continue to access the necessary support following curriculum launch. With this in mind, the funding conditions are sufficiently flexible to enable schools to work together in ways to meet the specific needs of their own settings and build on the national Curriculum for Wales professional learning programme.
- The main purpose of the funding is creating time in schools for all practitioners to make changes in practice and develop the skills they need to support delivery of the new curriculum for Wales and to enable schools to continue to adapt and access necessary support, including the national Curriculum for Wales professional learning programme following curriculum launch in September 2022.
- The main expectations of the funding is to enable practitioners to develop their skills and practice to deliver high quality teaching and learning in accordance with the principles of the National Approach, the professional standards for teaching and leadership and those assisting teaching in line with the vision of the forthcoming National Professional Learning Entitlement launching in September 2022.
Overview of current professional learning
Policy Insight Events
Bitesize termly professional learning updates are made available via Welsh Government’s virtual Policy Insights.
See links to recordings of recent events below:
Autumn Term Professional Learning Update
Spring Term Professional Learning Update
The Policy Insights also provide updates on wider professional learning developments and new and emerging development opportunities to support the new curriculum.
National Professional Learning Entitlement
The National Professional Learning Entitlement is currently being developed through co-construction. It will take the National Approach to Professional Learning to its next phase and will set out the system’s entitlements and expectations for all teaching assistants, teachers and leaders. Schools can engage in co-construction work during the summer term 2022 to shape the new Entitlement and begin to embed this approach in their own setting following initial launch in September 2022.
Delivering curriculum and wider reform
Welsh Government’s Programme for Government Update reinforces the ongoing commitment to ‘support schools and teachers to deliver our world-leading Curriculum for Wales.’ The national Curriculum for Wales professional learning programme delivered by regional consortia and local authority partnerships will continue to equip all schools to realise the curriculum. This programme aligns with Schools as Learning Organisations, the Professional Learning Journey and the Digital Professional Learning Journey (DPLJ). Schools will also have access to new professional learning linked to key areas of the new curriculum e.g. international languages, diversity and anti-racism; religion, values and ethics (details to follow on Hwb).
Improving equity through education
Above all else, the overarching aim of Welsh Government’s national mission is to tackle the impact of poverty on educational attainment and set high standards for all. We want all young people to have high aspirations for their education and future careers. We need a renewed focus on creating a culture of aspiration and self-confidence. A focus on bringing a real awareness of the world of work and the range of available career choices into the lives of children and young people is vital.
Building on the Programme for Government commitment to ‘explore how to strengthen professional learning communities’ Welsh Government is keen to provide all schools and all practitioners with the opportunity to use high quality educational research and participate in school led professional learning, enquiry and research. Examples include engagement with the National Professional Enquiry Project, the National Pedagogy Network and engaging with the professional standards for teaching and leadership and for assisting teaching.
The Programme for Government 2021-26 sets out Welsh Government’s well-being objectives. One of the objectives includes a commitment to ‘continue our long-term programme of education reform, and ensure educational inequalities narrow and standards rise.’ Staff wellbeing must be at the forefront of all that we do. We will only support pupil wellbeing and deliver high quality teaching if the workforce also feel supported.
Coaching and mentoring
To further support practitioner well-being, work is underway to develop coaching support to complement the national Curriculum for Wales Development Programme to empower schools to advance development of their curriculum journey. New coaching and mentoring provision has initially focused on school leaders, with the next phase of the programme targeting induction leaders and induction tutors.
Improving support for early career teachers as they transition from initial teacher education into school is a key priority. Work is underway to develop a national programme of professional learning for teachers in their first three years of teaching following the completion of induction.
‘Cymraeg 2050: A million Welsh speakers’ sets out Welsh Government’s ambition of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050. It includes targets to increase the number of teachers competent to teach Welsh as a subject and other subjects through the medium of Welsh. It also outlines the vision for developing the Welsh language skills of all learners aged 3 to 16 as part of Curriculum for Wales to enable them to use the language in everyday contexts. Schools can develop teaching and use of the Welsh language through professional learning opportunities to ensure that the Welsh language is considered at the heart.
Professional Learning for Support Staff
Teaching assistants (TAs) are a valued and integral part of the school workforce and have an important role as part of a high-quality education profession. In Our national mission the Welsh Government reiterated the commitment to continuing to enable TAs to improve their skills and help them to commit to professional learning by facilitating clearer learning pathways including pathways to achieve the status of higher level teaching assistant (HLTA).
Additional Learning Needs
Ensuring that all staff have an awareness of the learners with additional needs continues to be an important aspect for all practitioners. Funding for professional learning should ensure that not only those with specialist responsibility receive appropriate development, but should also to ensure that all staff are equipped to fully understand the needs of their learners.
Teaching assistants make up a large part of the school workforce and it is important that they too are fully considered to develop their skills and prepare for the introduction of the new curriculum. The development of the Teaching Assistant Learning Pathway is just one part of this and remains important that all teaching assistants are able to develop their skills and knowledge for the introduction of the new curriculum.
Leadership remains a key aspect for the successful introduction of the new curriculum and is a key to improving standards for all learners. The National Academy for Educational Leadership is a vital part in ensuring that leadership at all levels continues to improve and adapt for the introduction of the new curriculum.
The governance structure of the reform programme will be used as a framework to monitor progress in practitioners’ access to professional learning, to ensure that schools are ready to realise the new curriculum at the right time. To do this we will:
- request termly reports from regions/partnerships on access to their national programme of professional learning;
- ensure that professional learning expenditure plans are signed off by School Improvement Advisers;
- work with regions/partnerships to audit a random sample of PL funding expenditure plans to demonstrate appropriate deployment of the funding;
- work with regions/partnerships to update professional learning funding case studies on Hwb to exemplify how schools are benefiting from this enhanced investment.
Examples of how the professional learning funding can be used:
A collection of school focused case studies on Hwb demonstrate a range of innovative approaches to maximise enhanced professional learning funding. New case studies will be added in due course. Significant returns on this investment include developing research, supporting innovative approaches to pedagogy and coaching, nurturing the development of aspiring leaders, through school and cluster-based approaches.
Examples of how the funding can be used include:
- releasing and covering staff to be involved in collaborative professional learning and collaborative planning – at a school level, and across clusters and networks.
- incentivising and rewarding staff to investigate the implications of the new curriculum for their own teaching and assessment practice – at individual level, by funded release for critical enquiry or professional learning.
- Creating roles and posts dedicated to the mission, and especially to supporting colleagues, departments and whole schools through critical enquiry, change management and schools as learning organisations activities.
- development of the role of a school or cluster level professional learning coach.
The funding should not be used to fund activities/purchases not related to professional learning for the new curriculum. Please note that a random sample of schools will be selected to provide evidence of appropriate expenditure of the professional learning funding allocation.
Expectations regarding expenditure of the funding
In line with the National Approach to Professional Learning and the new Professional Learning Entitlement, professional learning is an entitlement for all practitioners in schools, not just teachers.
Therefore the expectation is that while the funding formula has been based on FTE for teachers, all practitioners are to be given the opportunity to engage with professional learning utilising the funding to deliver high quality teaching and learning.
The professional learning funding is not reserved exclusively for teachers and leaders and should also be used to also facilitate access to professional learning for teaching assistants, HLTAs and supply teachers for example.
Principles of the professional learning funding
The principles underpinning the distribution and use of this funding are:
- That the total funding allocation is transferred directly to school budgets by regional consortia/local authority partnerships.
- Funding is used to support professional learning requirements at school level (in line with school development plan and principles of schools as learning organisations model).
- The funding is not exclusively reserved to support teachers and leaders and is to be used to support all practitioners who support teaching and learning in classrooms including TAs/LSAs/supply teachers.
- That the funding should be utilised to support engagement with the regional professional learning offer, or comparable offer from a HEI or other middle tier stakeholders, or to support PL collaboration across a cluster of schools.
- Schools should consult with their School Improvement Advisor to ensure there are familiar with alternative funding sources to support leadership development, coaching and mentoring etc to maximise the benefits of this enhanced investment.
- The funding should be used to support areas such as:
- The general release of teachers and TAs to engage in PL activities
- The remuneration of individuals, creating roles and posts, to support the co-ordination of PL activities across a school or group of schools. These role would support colleagues, departments or whole school approaches to critical enquiry, change management and SLO activities
- The release costs for practitioners to engage in research activities and critical enquiry, funding release time to investigate the implications of the new curriculum for their own teaching and assessment practice
- The release costs to enable practitioners to collaborate both within school and across clusters and networks of schools – engaging with collaborative professional learning and collaborative planning
- Supporting the development of the roles such as school (or cluster level) Professional Learning Coach
- There is an expectation that schools will maximise the efficacy of the funding by pooling their resources appropriately across clusters/structured networks to maximise the impact and level of funding.
All schools will be required to maintain a detailed record of expenditure of the professional learning funding (either at school at cluster level). Please note that a sample of expenditure reports will be subject to an audit by Welsh Government and/or regional consortia/local authority partnerships. A sample of schools will also be required to prepare a more detailed case study for publication on Hwb to exemplify the benefits of the professional learning funding and share innovative practice with other schools.
The regional School Improvement Advisors, in their work alongside schools, will consider schools’ proposals to utilise the expenditure to ensure that planned spend is in line with funding principles/expectations and that the approach is appropriately aligned to the school improvement plan and schools as learning organisations approach.