Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb is expected to renew his criticism of school standards in Wales when he makes a speech later. His claim that Welsh education "is a bigger scandal than the NHS" led to Education Minister Huw Lewis to accuse the Secretary of State of indulging in "gutter politics". Mr Crabb is due to respond by saying that Wales needs more "heated debate" about the issue.
In England, there has been 20 years of heated debate about how to deliver the best education. In Wales, we haven’t even had that discussion. When Welsh Labour Ministers try to shut down the debate it’s the pupils, parents and teachers who lose out.
It is not just the best performing students that are missing out, the most disadvantaged children in Wales are less likely to get good GCSEs than similar pupils in England. That is just not good enough.
We need an honesty check here in Wales and start facing the facts. The inconvenient truth is that at the moment our education standards our not where they should be if we are to have any hope of getting off the bottom of the league table.,
If we are going to be ambitious for the Welsh economy we need to be far more ambitions for Welsh education.
Simply saying, 'we took our eye off the ball' doesn’t come close to the level of responsibility Welsh Labour Ministers should be accepting.
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It is estimated there are 50,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions a year, costing the Welsh NHS £120m annually.
This morning will begin cloudy, wet and rather breezy.
Most areas will become dry for a time this evening with clear spells.