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Masters in Educational Practice: Numeracy learning pack


Contexts for learning and teaching


The National Support Programme

The National Support Programme (NSP) was launched by Welsh Government on 28 January 2013. This programme offers specialist, additional support to help teachers, headteachers and learning and teaching assistants to implement the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) effectively. The NSP is funded by the Welsh Government at no charge to schools and schools will receive support for a minimum of four years.

The NSP provides hands-on support, tailored to the needs of individual schools and aims to build on and disseminate the good practice in literacy and numeracy learning and teaching which already exists in schools. It focuses on clusters of schools, collaborating with regional consortia and working with system leaders to ensure successful implementation of the LNF.

Aims of the NSP

Through collaborative working, the NSP aims to:

  • ensure all teachers and other practitioners have a working knowledge of the LNF
  • equip all schools to plan for and implement the LNF
  • improve learning and teaching in literacy and numeracy in all schools
  • improve teachers’ capacity to assess their learners’ literacy and numeracy skills
  • enable learners of all ability ranges to meet the expectations set out in the LNF.

Support and guidance

The Welsh Government has already provided other forms of guidance and support in relation to the LNF and the National Literacy (external link) and Numeracy (external link) Programmes. In addition, local authorities have come together to form regional consortia with a focus on school improvement. The NSP will add to this support during the early years of
the LNF.

NSP partners who have expertise in areas of education relating to literacy, numeracy and professional leadership have been appointed to support schools on a cluster basis. They will offer advice and support focused on addressing the particular needs of schools in implementing the LNF.

Each consortia has appointed an NSP regional coordinator who will work with other members of the NSP team (e.g. partners, system leaders, outstanding teachers of literacy and numeracy) to monitor schools’ progress through the phases and consider how individual schools’ support needs are best met.

Phased support for schools

There are four phases to the NSP.

  • Phase 1: Understanding the LNF.
  • Phase 2: Audit to action plan.
  • Phase 3: School implementation and support.
  • Phase 4: Sustaining and embedding.

These phases are incremental and outcome-related and support the aims and purpose of the NSP. 

Aims Outcomes Focus Activities
Phase 1

  • introducing the NSP
  • understanding the LNF

  • be familiar with the LNF, its purpose, structure, methodology and what it requires of schools
  • be committed to putting the LNF in place in their school
  • know what support the NSP can offer overall, with a particular focus on Phase 1
  • have identified a senior member of staff to lead LNF implementation in the school
  • have established a good working relationship with their partners
  • have developed a preliminary action plan for implementating LNF in the school

  • building understanding and commitment

  • introduce schools to the NSP
  • help them to prepare for evaluation and action planning in Phase 2
Phase 2

  • audit (self-audit) to action plan

  • have reviewed the whole curriculum to ascertain where the LNF will add value (eg by identifying gaps and requiremonts for improving pedagogy and progression
  • have considered how the LNF can be used with formative assessment to identify learners' strengths and areas for improvement
  • have decided how they need to change teaching (ie planning and classroom practice)
  • have reviewed aspects of school organisation, management and resourcing to help with the implementation of the LNF
  • have taken account of these conclusions to identify LNF priorities for their school development plan

  • schools working with partners to evaluate where they are and choose priorities for their school development plans

  • evaluation of existing curriculum. assessment, teaching and supporting management arrangements
  • introduction to an outline menu of optiond for support
  • identification of priorities for action

Phase 3

  • School implementation support

  • have completed the actions they have identified as priorities for implementing the LNF in their schools

  • ilplementing priorities, selecting from a menu of support options

  • implementation of selected support options
  • review and discussion of progress with partner and agreement about next steps

Phase 4

  • sustaining/ embedding

  • be confident that the LNF provides sufficient suppoert and scope for their prfessional leadership in securing the goals for literacy and numeracy in their school
  • have teachers and other practitioners with the professional skills, knowledge and confidence to teach and assess the LNF
  • be able to work effectively with systems leaders and OTLs/OTNs to develop and disseminate good practice in literacy and numeracy. Sustainable networks will be in place

  • building on progress to embed the LNF and achieve improved learner outcomes

  • continued support for some schools with greater needs
  • establishment of outcome-focused support networks
  • processes embeded in regional consortia
  • professional development opportunities for system leaders, OTLs/OTNs

It is not assumed that each school will start at the beginning of the NSP and work through every phase step by step, regardless of its existing expertise and involvement in existing initiatives. NSP partners will be carefully trained to support schools in auditing where they are, planning next steps and acting on their plans. Where schools, in discussion with their partners, are confident they have already achieved the outcomes in one phase, they will move to the next phase.

Each phase is further broken down into ‘stages’. For example:

Phase 1 Understanding the LNF
Stage 1 First cluster meeting for headteachers
Stage 2 Preliminary work in schools
Stage 3 NSP partner's initial visit
Stage 4 Preparing for Phase 2

Comprehensive guidance for each phase, and stages within each phase, is provided for schools in the National Support Programme – Literacy and Numeracy: Guide for schools.

Avctivity 4.07

  1. Reflect upon your own awareness of the NSP to date, its purpose and aims. Now consider awareness of the NSP at school level (are all practitioners aware of its purpose and aims? What NSP activities has the school been involved in to date?).
  2. Read ‘Section 3: What will be achieved in Phase 1?’ of the National Support Programme – Literacy and Numeracy: Guide for schools (pp.39–41).
  3. Now undertake the self-review activity ‘4.1.2 Reviewing the LNF with staff: suggestions for self-assessing current knowledge and understanding, to decide on action’. This can be found in Annex 4.1 of the National Support Programme – Literacy and Numeracy: Guide for schools.
    • Which statements are key priorities for your own development and/or the school’s development
    • What actions are required? When and by whom?
    • How can a whole-school approach to implementation of the LNF be achieved?


Consortia - The school improvement and support services of the 22 local authorities in Wales.

NSP partner - Practitioners who have expertise in areas of education relating to literacy, numeracy and professional leadership who will support schools in their implementation of the LNF on a cluster basis.

NSP regional coordinator - A representative from each of the four regional consortia who will monitor schools’ progress through the phases of LNF implementation and consider how individual schools’ support needs are best met.

Outstanding teachers of literacy and numeracy (OTL/N) - Teachers who will share and develop good practice in schools and support the development of professional learning communities (PLCs).

System leaders - Officers of the four regional consortia who provide schools with monitoring, challenge, intervention and support relating to school improvement.


Welsh Government (2012). National Numeracy Programme. Cardiff: Welsh Government.

Welsh Government (2013). National Support Programme – Literacy and Numeracy:  Guide for schools: Part 1. Cardiff: Welsh Government.

Welsh Government (2013). The Literacy and Numeracy Framework. Cardiff: Welsh Government.

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