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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Welsh Labour's failure on education

When the opposition raise the Welsh Labour Government's appalling record on education in the chamber we are often pointed at the measures that have been put in place in the last two years as proof that concerns are being addressed.

However, further evidence that this response is too little, too late has emerged with a report on the BBC today that a confidential document from 2007 detailed weaknesses in strategy and teacher training. These are precisely the issues highlighted by an OECD report published earlier this month.

The BBC say that the 2007 report called for a more "coherent" policy programme, highlighting several weaknesses in Welsh education, including:
It was commissioned by the then education minister Jane Davidson and carried out by Prof Richard Daugherty, then of Cardiff University.

It was given to the Welsh government in November of that year, but was not published and has never been seen by anyone outside the Cardiff Bay administration.

The report was given to BBC Wales by someone who worked with the Welsh government at the time.

Prof Daugherty recommended a review of the education system in Wales by the OECD but it was five years before the Welsh government invited the OECD to undertake that process.

There have been a number of education ministers since then, including the now First Minister. The question is why they did not act on this report and why they allowed the Welsh education system to drift for so long with no strategy and no leadership.
Was there not an earlier report, commissioned by the 2000 Labour/LibDem coalition which recognised a problem?
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