The Welsh Conservatives have called for a delay in the introduction of Wales-only GCSEs after some schools reported unexpectedly poor results from the January English GCSE exams.
The Leader of the Opposition, Andrew RT Davies, accused the First Minister of ignoring educational expertise and failing to trust teachers. He said the Welsh Government has ignored calls from the WJEC exam board to delay the introduction of new GCSE courses, currently scheduled for September.
Earlier the Education Minister, Huw Lewis, said that of the 102 schools that entered more than 20 pupils in January, only 36 had reported an unexpectedly poor performance. But his Conservative shadow rejected his claim that she was opposing the policy of introducing more rigour into exams.
Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns says the PISA figures are 'appallingly low.' The Conservative AM said they forecast a 'dreadful future' and make it 'a terrible time to be a teenager here in Wales.'
A report by the Wales Audit Office which shows a 24% increase in the costs of capping tuition fees in Wales has been described as 'shocking' and 'scathing' by Welsh Conservatives. Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns says:
The Conservatives have also criticised a Welsh Government decision to push ahead with plans to fine parents of persistent truants.
Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns has been talking about the commission into affordable childcare she's chairing for the Welsh Conservatives. Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies announced her appointment at the party's conference in Swansea.
Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies will use his conference speech in Swansea to announce that he's setting up a commission to look at ways of providing what he calls 'proper, affordable childcare.' He's appointed Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns to head the commission. He'll tell delegates:
Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns, who's AM for Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire, has welcomed the ministers' letter but says she has enormous concerns over the use of timeout rooms, in whatever form, throughout Wales. She's called for strong guidance on how children are disciplined.