The Western Mule claims the it can reveal that the Welsh Government proposal that could see schools taken out of local authority control is causing huge divisions within Welsh Labour,
Hardly a shock .
Education Minister Leighton Andrews announcement that a wide-ranging review into education delivery will consider whether school services should be managed centrally by the Welsh Government rather than Wales’ 22 unitary councils as bound
The Mule could not many critics on the record but Nigel Dix, a member of the controlling Labour group on Caerphilly council, and former True Wales stalwart said:
“It is completely wrong to consider taking responsibility for schools away from local authorities.
“This has gone down extremely badly. Leighton Andrews seems to be forgetting that we have been democratically elected and are directly accountable to the people. That would not be the case under some new arrangements involving regional quangos.
“Some people are suggesting that by proposing this Leighton is seeking to give himself an alibi ahead of the next set of Pisa results, which are unlikely to be much better than the last lot. Blaming local authorities is an easy option.
“The fact is that major decisions affecting schools, like the national curriculum etc, are already taken at Welsh Government level.”
Western Mail 27 November 2012
Of course you would expect Councils to seek to keep such a level of control with five local authorities, of different political make-up, in special measures or in need of serious improvement – with a further five being monitored. and Wales once a beacon for Education seemingly falling behind the rest of the UK are Councils up to running a major Education service or should we seek another solution .
Plaid's spokesman on local government pointed our that
So should we have a new tier of Government creating 5 -6 elected bodies to take responsibility for Local Education Authorities and the Local Health Boards consisting of 20 Representatives (we can even call them that) i each elected on a fixed term.
“Structurally, you would struggle to understand the different approaches. Both the Local Education Authorities and the Local Health Boards fundamentally perform the same role – they are agencies tasked by the Welsh Government to deliver services,,,,
They would be democratic accountable and hopefully as these representatives have to only concentrate on Health and Education more efficient.
If they prove to be able to deal with these areas of responsibility Policing and the Fire Service could be added.
The whole point of devolution is that power should go where its most effective and simply taking Education away from local councils without giving us an alternative is not the way to go about it and education is to important to be left to a spat between Welsh Labour .
If you are to criticise or defend a policy you really need to tell as what the alternative is.