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Aled Roberts responds to Robert Hill report

2013 Mehefin 18 5:03 PM

Responding to the statement by the Education Minister on the Future Delivery of Education Services in Wales, Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrats Shadow Education Minister, said:

"Today's report raises a vast number of questions for the future delivery of education in Wales. It is appropriate that the publication of the report should be followed by a period of consultation, but I have grave concerns with the timeframes being proposed for school improvement.

"I am concerned that the Education Minister's timetable for restructuring is unrealistic, given that this consultation process ends in October, the Welsh Government will then have to consider the responses, but by April 2014 the proposed changes to local education authorities are expected to be in place.

"There is a danger that as the education system in Wales is restructured over the next few years, so much attention will be focused on the structure and the system itself, we will lose sight of the fundamental weaknesses currently affecting our education system such as the quality of professional development, leadership within schools and school governance These are issues that can and should be addressed now to raise the standard of education in Wales.

"With the consultation on Public Services currently under way, we need to avoid a situation arising where regional consortia, some of which will only be fully functional from September this year, are then subject to further changes as local authorities and their education services merge. The threat of constant upheaval will do no good for the standard of teaching and learning in Wales.

"I would urge everyone involved in the education sector to make their views known by contributing to the consultation."