Welsh Conservative MP Alun Cairns described Wales' PISA results as 'nothing short of a scandal' and said that 'parents across Wales are genuinely worried about their children's education.'
Education Secretary Michael Gove said that Wales was like a 'control sample' in an experiment, saying that Wales is
UK Education Secretary Michael Gove has pinned the blame for Wales' poor performance in the PISA results on Labour Welsh Governments. He told MPs that 'if you want to know what our education system would look like [under Labour] you only need to look over the Severn Bridge.'
But Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies criticised the Education Secretary for that response. The Ogmore MP said there are failings in all parts of the UK and to 'make political capital... is the wrong approach.'
Welsh Conservative MP Guto Bebb asked Michael Gove if he blamed 'a £600 per head funding gap or a Labour [Welsh] government which has accepted teaching unions' dogma.' The Education Secretary said simply, 'both.'
Education Minister Leighton Andrews will face an urgent question in the Assembly on the letter from Education secretary Michael Gove. The Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler has allowed the urgent question to be raised in this afternoon's session.
A senior Plaid Cymru politicians says different exam systems in Wales and England could lead to higher standards in Wales. Rhodri Glyn Thomas was responding to the news of Education Secretary Michael Gove's letter to his Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts suggesting a split is on the cards.
The Plaid AM said he 'would welcome the opportunity to separate the exam system in Wales' from that of England and he rejected claims that it could lead to reduced standards, saying
Michael Gove's letter, which I understand the Welsh Government received this evening, marks acceptance by the UK Government of the of growing differences in the exam systems of the nations of the UK. Its tone is respectful and matches what sources described of the tone of last week's meeting.
But there's a more critical tone to remarks attributed to a 'Whitehall source' in the Guardian article who's quoted as saying:
Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews has taken to Twitter this evening to condemn those remarks.
The Education Secretary Michael Gove has written to the Welsh and Northern Irish Education ministers saying that 'the time is right' for the exam systems in Wales, England and Northern Ireland to separate. The Guardian reports that in the letter follows last week's meeting between the three men.