1. Wales

Schools shake-up debate

Education Minister Leighton Andrews says local councils in Wales could lose responsibility for the running of schools.

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Full consultation on schools needed say Plaid

Plaid Cymru's Education Spokesperson Simon Thomas has claimed that the review of how schools are run is an admission of the failure of consecutive Labour ministers to ensure high standards. He added that it is wrong only to blame the local education authorities.

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.

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.

– Plaid Cymru Education Spokesperson Simon Thomas AM

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