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No excuses for education failure says Plaid leader

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood put what she called a failure for which there can be no excuse, the Welsh Government's record in education, at the centre of her speech to the party's conference in Beaumaris.

We can do so much better than this. Where is the sense of urgency we need in Welsh politics now? We can’t afford to wait any longer before we see an improvement in standards within our education system.There will be teenagers doing their GCSEs this Summer who have spent the whole of their education under devolution.There can be no excuses, education is devolved in full.

Unless the basics are right, we won't get the rest right. Plaid Cymru will implement a comprehensive literacy and numeracy programme with early intervention.

We want to see if we can utilise willing volunteers like retired teachers and other professionals in this work. We want to extend the principles of the foundation phase to offer a much wider range of out of school and weekend activities which promote and support classroom based learning. The government’s approach to education has shown nothing less than a shocking dereliction of duty, an absolute travesty. For Wales – a country where in the past, great store was placed on the value of education it is extraordinary that it has now become one of our great failures.

The Welsh education system has become the graveyard of ambition.When a child fails their education, the consequences stay with them for life. Ask anyone who didn’t sit or who didn't pass the 11 plus. But when our education system fails our children, who takes responsibility? To date, no one. Not one education minister has ever been sacked for poor results. All too often, failure is rewarded with promotion. My view is that the time has passed where we in Wales can blame all and sundry for our problems.

– Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood AM

Leanne Wood warned delegates that it was no good to simply blame injustices dealt to Wales in the past, saying that regardless of our history, we are where we are and have to make the most of it. 'No more blaming others – let’s take the responsibility for putting it right ourselves. Now'.

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Plaid Leader Leanne Wood begins speech

Leanne Wood has begun her speech to the Plaid Cymru Conference in Beaumaris. She said much needs to be done to improve the economy, the health service and education.

Wales needs real leadership. I pledge to you that when I am returned as First Minister in 2016, I will make sure standards are raised in education. A Plaid Cymru government will work to provide opportunities for all to reach their best potential and we will make sure that the brightest children are able to excel.

– Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood AM

Ms Wood claimed that she was the leader with the energy and determination to be a First Minister who could fulfill the responsibilities of the job.

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A proper legacy to inspire a generation

The first Plaid Cymru presser of the new term was hosted by Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and Assembly member Bethan Jenkins. The main theme was the need to build on the legacy left to Wales by the Olympics and the Paralympics.

We want to ensure that the inspiration from the Olympic games' success lives on. We want the Welsh Government to take the lead in capitalising in the renewed interest in sport. Small , simple , effective action will now reap rewards for generations to come.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games could be the kick start for the transformation of people's activity levels and the Welsh Government must grab this opportunity with both hands. The Scottish and Northern Irish Governments have all announced far-reaching initiatives to ensure their long lasting legacy. Wales cannot afford to be left behind.

– Leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood AM
  • Plaid also say they would like to see a dedicated Sports Minister that could inspire youngsters to oversee policy and increase participation in sport.
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