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‘Lack of ambition shown by Welsh Labour has been astounding’ - Aled Roberts

2013 Mawrth 19 9:20 AM

Speaking before today's debate on the Estyn Report, Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Education, has accused the Welsh Labour Government of sitting back and allowing Wales' education system to fall further behind the rest of the UK.

The report showed that 54% of secondary schools and 48% of primary schools have been identified for follow up visits, which is an increase on last year.

Aled Roberts AM commented:

"The Estyn Report was of course disappointing, but what's more depressing is that it was just so predictable. We have reached a stage where we are always expecting bad news with regards to Wales' education system. The lack of ambition shown over the years by Welsh Labour has been astounding. While Wales has fallen further and further behind, the Welsh Labour Government has been happy to sit back and allow the disastrous funding gap with England to grow.

"The Report makes clear that Welsh children from poorer backgrounds are often destined to have lower levels of attainment. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have always recognised this, which is why we put the Pupil Premium right at the heart of our negotiations with the Welsh Government. Our priority has always been to give pupils from poorer backgrounds a fairer start in life. We are the only party who have called for further investment in our failing education system as we believe it is the best way to break the cycle of poverty, poor health and a weak economy.

"The number of schools in Wales ranked good or excellent has declined over the last year, while nearly half of schools underperformed to the extent that they need a follow-up inspection. Wales is still facing massive problems when it comes to teaching our pupils the basics such as reading, writing and numeracy. That is Welsh Labour's legacy on education. Is it any wonder that Wales' economy is lagging behind the rest of the UK when we are not even equipping our pupils with the basics before they leave school?

"I know the Education Minister will be happy today just to blame local Councils for all of the problems in our education system, but it's time this Welsh Labour Government took some responsibility and accepted that these systemic failings have happened on their watch."