Following a detailed, independent review of curriculum and Assessment Arrangements in Wales by Professor Graham Donaldson, the welsh Government have decided to take action, implementing a plan for complete curriculum reform.

'Our plan for the first ever ‘made-in-Wales’ curriculum sets out our principles and priorities and reflects our confidence and pride in Wales as a bilingual nation. Our new curriculum will embody better learning and higher standards for all.' – Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills


In this plan they set out the steps they will take, working with the profession, to deliver on Successful Futures. It focuses on eight essential building blocks for the new curriculum for three to 16-year-olds. These are as follows:

  • Embedding the four purposes of the curriculum fully in the learning and experience of all children and young people in Wales, whatever their school or educational setting. 
  • Creating a new curriculum encompassing Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs), achievement outcomes and progression reference points.
  • Extending and promoting learners’ experiences so that the curriculum is rich as well as being inclusive, broad and balanced.
  • Developing cross-curriculum responsibilities by designing a digital competence framework while maintaining momentum in respect of literacy and numeracy.
  • Enabling the Welsh language to thrive to ensure that those who speak Welsh or acquire the language early can follow all aspects of the curriculum through the medium of Welsh, and those learning the language can progress towards using the language confidently in different contexts.
  • Developing a new assessment and evaluation framework that prioritises assessment for learning and aligns assessment arrangements with the four curriculum purposes and the achievement outcomes within each AoLE.
  • Building the capacity of all practitioners and leaders, including the ability to reflect on and evaluate their own practice, to design and create a relevant, challenging and stimulating curriculum, and to apply appropriate pedagogical principles and practice.
  • Establishing a constructive and robust accountability system that supports the four purposes.


The entire education workforce, government and national partners, including local authorities and their regional consortia, workforce unions, diocesan authorities, governing bodies and Estyn.

Note: Whilst the curriculum reform is aimed at Welsh institutions, the lessons that can be learnt from this plan and the scope for adaptation can be recognised and utilised by anyone working in education today.

You can also read Proffessor Donaldson’s initial Successful futures report, which led to the development of this curriculum plan.

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