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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Welsh Liberal Democrats call for investment in education

In today's debate on the Welsh Government's budget the Welsh Liberal Democrats called for urgent Welsh Government action to rethink education funding in Wales. The debate took place in the context of a protest by National Union of Teachers' members against real-terms budget cuts for schools and the continued underfunding of schoolchildren in Wales, compared to England.

A Child in Wales is still funded by nearly £500 less than a child in England. As a result, a 1,000 pupil school in Wales receives half a million pounds less funding than the same school in England. These large funding deficits leave Welsh schools unable to maintain adequate staffing, support and learning resources. We are more likely to fall behind further, than catch up with England at this rate. That is a contrast to when the Welsh Liberal Democrats left government in 2003, when funding per head was higher in Wales than in comparable English counties.

The First Minister Elect has promised to ‘child-proof all Assembly Government policies’ but the crisis in Welsh education is here and it is now. Class sizes are already being forced upwards, curriculums already narrowed, after-school activities have ended and classroom support staff let go as a direct result of existing funding shortfalls.

Today's budget slashes education spending but protects government administration budgets and ineffective use of Welsh NHS funding. The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe the government should act now to remove complex and unnecessary grant-funding structures and divert funds on a pupil needs basis, towards those that need the most support.

Carwyn Jones says in his leadership manifesto: ‘The test for me is simple. We must be able to ensure we can look our children and our grandchildren in the eye when we make these decisions’ However, in agreeing the new Assembly budget today, Welsh Labour has failed that first test.
Is there a link to the budget document please.

The best I can do for now. There should be more details in the documents laid section of the Welsh Assembly site
I see my Grandsons school is selling off the playing fields to raise extra money, this should not happen but thats life I suspect these days.
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