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
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.
|Phase 1 || || || |
|Phase 2 || || || |
|Phase 3|| || || |
|Phase 4|| || || |
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:
|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.
- 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?).
- Read ‘Section 3: What will be achieved in Phase 1?’ of the National Support Programme – Literacy and Numeracy: Guide for schools (pp.39–41).
- 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.