Minister should 'name and shame' himself says Plaid

Plaid Cymru's education spokesperson, Simon Thomas accuses education minister Leighton Andrews of 'jumping the gun' by taking Merthyr Tydfil's schools from local council control and wanting to transfer them to Rhondda Cynon Taf. He added that the minister must share the blame for poor education.

If the Welsh Government is to continue with this practice of naming and shaming the worst offenders when it comes to poor education delivery, then it needs to include itself in that list. The Minister said he did not run education in the five local authorities found so far to be failing, but parents, pupils and the public all think that the Minister does run education in Wales, and so do I. He needs to stop blaming others and the system and admit that, as the Education Minister, he is ultimately responsible for the provision of education and get on with the job if improvement.

What is clear is that the present system is dysfunctional. Poor or inadequate performance seems to outnumber examples of strong services. The Minister says that his preferred option is to incorporate Merthyr’s education services into Rhondda Cynon Taf, despite RCT being classified as only ‘adequate’. He needs to think very careful about that. Merging Merthyr with Rhondda Cynon Taff also jumps the gun on the work of his advisor who is charged with heading the review into the future delivery of education in Wales.

– Plaid Cymru Education Spokesperson Simon Thomas AM

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Council education boards named

The Education Minister has announced the setting-up of Independent Recovery Boards to take over failing education services in two councils. It follows critical reports into Merthyr Tydfil and Monmouthshire councils.