Welsh are Masters in Educational Practice

12 July 2016

Teacher

An innovative postgraduate programme for newly qualified teachers will celebrate its first graduates this week (13 July). 198 teachers will be awarded their Masters degree.

For the past three years since qualifying to teach, the graduates have undertaken challenging and classroom-focused professional development aimed at achieving excellence in the teaching workforce in Wales.

Launched in 2013 and provided bilingually by an alliance of universities (Bangor, Aberystwyth, Cardiff and UCL Institute of Education), this ambitious programme was funded by the Welsh Government as part of a commitment to increasing the quality of teaching and resulting outcomes for pupils.

Participating teachers have been supported throughout the programme by an innovative collaboration between academic tutors and external mentors from the teaching profession. They have carried out a series of mini-investigations into core areas of teaching, including literacy, numeracy and reducing the impact of poverty on attainment. The graduation acknowledges the skills and attributes of nearly 200 teacher-researchers who are in a position to take forward innovative practice to enhance pupils' learning and the quality of teaching in Welsh schools.

In recognition of the high calibre of research conducted by the MEP teachers, the British Education Research Association (BERA) and WISERD Education (part of the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods) have awarded a prize for the ‘Outstanding Teacher Inquiry Award’. This year the award goes to Sarah Brian for her work on developing approaches to increasing spelling attainment for primary school pupils.

A further 550 teachers are expected to graduate over the next two years. The impact of this will reach schools in all 22 Local Authorities in Wales, bringing benefits to pupils, teachers and schools.

Professor Amanda Coffey, Head of the School of Social Sciences said: “We are delighted to be leading this flagship programme. The MEP recognises the importance, and difficulty, of the transition newly qualified teachers have to make to being confident classroom leaders. Through a research-based, practical programme, we are giving them the tools to improve teaching practice and raise educational standards across schools in Wales.”

As part of the University’s week-long Graduation celebrations, a total of 6,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students will graduate from across the University’s degree programmes.

During the week, a number of respected and influential figures will receive Honorary Fellowships from the University, including author Sarah Waters, rugby union referee Nigel Owens, Captain Hannah Winterbourne, the British Army’s highest ranking transgender soldier and Professor Dame Teresa Rees, former Pro Vice chancellor of the University and past Equal Opportunities Commissioner for Wales.