A welcome and warnings for new minister

Reaction has been swift to Huw Lewis' appointment as the new Education Minister, with teaching unions and opposition politicians welcoming his appointment but warning him about the task ahead.

We welcome Mr Lewis to the vitally important role when the education system in Wales faces its greatest challenge for decades. There is an immense amount of work to be done as we continue to improve our schools and colleges and make them the best in the world. We will need a minister who is prepared to listen but also prepared to make tough decisions. ATL has always been a critical friend of the Welsh Government and we look forward to working with Mr. Lewis to achieve the lasting transformation our young people deserve.

– Dr. Philip Dixon, Director of ATL Cymru

While I disagreed with many of Leighton Andrews’ policy decisions, I pay tribute to his unashamed desire to raise standards after a decade of decline. His absence from Carwyn Jones’ Government leaves the Cabinet far weaker without the only Minister with the drive to actually do anything. After years of damning results and reports about poor literacy and numeracy standards, we need a bold vision to empower teachers and introduce a well-resourced focus on equipping our young people with the skills and qualifications which are highly sought after by employers.

– Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns AM

One of the Minister’s first tasks must be to confirm there will be no in-year cut in the revenue allocated within their department. Plaid Cymru believes that, in education, it is all about delivery, and it is time that we saw results. We are looking forward to the PISA results later this year [which make international comparisons of schools' performance] and to seeing improvements in our national performance. We also need to see improvements in numeracy and literacy in all ages across Wales.

– Plaid Cymru Education Spokesperson Simon Thomas AM

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Reshuffle after Andrews resigns

Huw Lewis has been appointed as the new Education Minister. Leighton Andrews resigned from the role after he was criticised for supporting a primary school in his constituency - against his own policy of closures due to surplus places.