THE Welsh Government has announced an extra £19m to support education and early years settings, taking spending on learning for under 18s to over £150m since the start of the pandemic.
The funding will be used to ensure children continue their learning progress following disruption due to the pandemic, with a focus on the well-being of children and staff.
£13m will be for additional support for early years learners, in both schools and non-maintained settings. The funding will go towards increased practitioner-to-learner ratios in schools and educational support for non-maintained settings to help deliver supported, active play and experiential learning.
An extra £6 million will be allocated to schools to support teaching staff, promote wellbeing and progression and expand on the positive changes already made to ways of working.
The Welsh Government has provided funding for an extra 1,800 full-time teaching staff through its ‘Recruit, Recover and Raise Standards’ programme.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said:
“The last year has brought into sharp focus just how important our schools, settings, colleges and universities are for our children and young people. Education practitioners have risen heroically to meet the challenge, while learners have been brilliant in adapting to learning in different ways.
“Having opportunities for meaningful, quality interactions is essential for our early years learners. Today I’m announcing a further £13million for early years settings to provide extra support for the unique needs of our younger children.
“We must recover and reform. I am determined that the emphasis on well-being and flexibility shown over the last year is built upon and closely aligned with the introduction of our new curriculum. Our education system has shown remarkable resilience and flexibility and we must learn from that.”