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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Welsh government's education record under scrutiny

A You Gov poll yesterday found that of those asked 39% thought the Welsh Labour Government are doing a bad job with education, 24% thought they have a good record did not know. That poll is the first indication that the general public are beginning to recognise whose responsibility this is and how Wales is trailing England and many other countries in outcomes for pupils.

Today, as if to back that up, the Western Mail reports that the £100,000 a year position of managing director at the Central South Consortium, which presides over 426 schools and 144,000 pupils - has proven difficult to fill.  They say that the role is being advertised for the second time in four months after an applications process launched in October yielded only one suitable candidate.

One of the reasons for that seems to be that officials have been too honest in their approach to filling the post. The paper points out that in its advert, the consortium warns that although progress is being made, a significant challenge lies in wait for the successful applicant. It says: “The reality of educational outcomes in Wales is that too much of what we provide does not compare with the best attained within the UK, let alone internationally.”

Is this a case of the the Welsh education system digging an even bigger hole for itself.
what does it matter? Education and schools will soon be controlled by four consortia answerable to Cardiff Bay. Maybe they will have better luck.
I would love that job especially in view of the fact that I deeply care about Welsh education.

I grew up on council estates in Wales (and later in London); I experienced the best and the worst in education right through the spectrum of traditional through progressive teaching methods. Apart from direct experience in Welsh 'education', the ILEA having attending a comprehensive in London, studied at Welsh, English and Scottish universities up to and beyond PhD level in hard science, with a Welsh father unable to write a sentence, a former free-school dinner kid not expected 'to get anywhere'.

Also exposure to the US college/university system where I graduated with a JD and later passed the Bar. I worked, inter alia, with “Community Task Force” in Wales helping train people to use PCs and master basic tasks like word-processing, spreadsheet, DBs etc. I also tutored Welsh pupils who had problems with maths, physics and chemistry, alone or in combination. At Glasgow University I helped teach FORTRAN programing, small structure analysis tools (Cambridge Small Structure Database); helped undergraduates and fresh faced post-grads to model complex 3D biopolymers. I’m an inventor, drafted over 100 issued patents. Expert intellectual property lawyer, technology law specialist. Handle complex IP matters for several of the world’s largest tech companies, especially Japanese powerhouses.

I would love that Welsh job – I could really make something of it, but absent support would like not get it. 'So y bovver'.

• Christopher Wood, BSc (Wales), MSc (Lancs Poly, now University of Central Lancs.), PhD (Glasgow), JD (DePaul University College of Law, Dean’s list, Phi Delta Phi Honor Society (while studying law at John Marshall Law School, Chicago; based on my academic strengths at JMLS I later transferred to DePaul)
^ Just so that is clear; I joined Phi Delta Phi at JMLS (the standard to join Phi Delta Phi was making the Dean's List in the first semester of law school). I think I came top in CON LAW I (Constitutional Law I) at JMLS. I won a scholarship from JMLS, they wanted a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds, there was an American footballer in my first year classes at JMLS. I really liked JMLS but decided to transfer at the end of my first year to another law school; two other law schools were interested in me, one of which made a hard offer (but not with a scholarship this time) and I went there (DePaul). CDW
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