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Consultation is vital to improving standards

20/11/2012

Plaid call on Minister to revise his approach to education reform

The Party of Wales has called on the Welsh Government to ensure that a full consultation happens as a part of the review of the delivery of education services in Wales. Responding the Education Minister’s announcement, the party’s Education Spokesperson Simon Thomas noted that the announcement of a review is an admission of the failure of consecutive Labour Governments to ensure high standards, and that it is not solely the fault of local authorities.

Simon Thomas also noted a number of concerns regarding the Minister’s approach to the review, the focus on Welsh language provision, and the relationship between the Welsh Government and local governments.

The Party of Wales Shadow Education Minister Simon Thomas said:

“It is widely agreed that educational standards across Wales need to be improved and I am glad that the Minister has opened this debate. The announcement is an admission that Labour has let down children and young people over the years and it is to be welcomed that the Minister is now taking steps to address this.

“However, I have warned the Minister that holding a consultation after an internal review group has met is too late. To have a fully open discussion we need a full consultation up-front. I also noted that the previous review lost focus on the issue of Welsh language provision and have called on the Minister to ensure that this does not happen this time round.

“But my biggest concern with this announcement is that the Welsh Government could be using education as a wedge to drive through local government reform. Education cannot be used as an experiment on how reform can be delivered, and in this respect I think that is approach is not the best one. A Party of Wales Government is committed to improving the standard of education throughout Wales but the approach needs to be a balance between leadership from the Welsh Government and local accountability.”