‘Nearly a quarter of our education departments in special measures is deeply worrying – Aled Roberts

2013 Chwefror 20 10:21 AM

Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Minister, responds to Merthyr and Monmouthshire Estyn report:

"There seems to be a very worrying pattern of local authorities' education departments being placed into special measures across Wales. While these latest reports will come as bad news for Monmouthshire and Merthyr councils and the Welsh Labour government, it is the pupils at the schools within those councils who are paying the price.

"Although the Education Minister has set up a review looking at the delivery of education services in Wales, there is a strong risk that the weaknesses that currently exist in the education system will not be properly addressed and these will continue albeit under a changed structure. It's quite clear whether it is recovery boards or commissioners that are appointed to deal with failing education departments, there are fundamental weakness within the education system that need to be addressed and considered as part of the current review.

"I've said in the past and I will repeat again, the Education Minister needs to show strategic leadership to address the issues of underperformance within local authority education departments. Five local authorities' education departments placed in special measures in 20 months is a serious cause for concern. We need assurance that action will be taken to address current failings and prevent more education departments being placed in special measures. The issues within these reports with regard to lack of challenge by officers and the lack of information available to elected members will not be solved simply by restructuring. "

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