The Welsh Assembly Election 2016

The Welsh Assembly election on 5 May is a chance to build upon Wales’ scientific pedigree and help to inspire future generations. Improving access to a physics education, increasing investment in teachers and in higher education research and teaching will all make significant contributions to Wales’ future success.

The Welsh Assembly

Physics-based businesses are critical to the Welsh economy. They employ 40,000 people, 3.5% of the Welsh workforce, and contribute £2.3bn to the economy in gross value added (GVA) – nearly 10% of the national economic output.

With this in mind, the Institute of Physics in Wales is encouraging members to get in contact with their candidates to support physics in the new Assembly.

To help you, we have produced a briefing on our priority issues and recommendations for the new government.

Institute of Physics Briefing – Welsh Assembly Election 2016

Papur Briffio gan y Sefydliad Ffiseg - Etholiad y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol 2016

We recommend that a future Welsh government should:

  • Provide financial incentives to support PGCE students that are at least as attractive as those offered in England.
  • Ensure that Welsh schools are able to offer salaries high enough to make them at least as attractive to new teachers as English schools.
  • Commit to continue and expand opportunities for CPD support for those teaching physics in Wales.
  • Maintain the principle of the sciences as separate subjects in their own right under the new curriculum for Wales.
  • Ensure that students are made fully aware of the impact of their choices in science education in schools, and that good information is provided to all relevant stakeholders.
  • Commit to protect the HEFCW budget for research in real terms, and give universities the freedom to use such funding in line with their own research strategies.
  • Commit to an allocation of funding in HEFCW’s financial settlement to sustain the teaching of STEM courses in Wales.

We would be very interested to know what you hear back from candidates. If you receive any responses, or if you are interested in receiving a hard copy of the briefing, please email policy@iop.org.