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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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