Monday, 28 March 2016

Wales has "broken away" from England in Education ?

 Huw Lewis interview valedictory as Welsh Education Minister came with a interesting soundbite
He made the claim that Wales has "broken away" from England and is now capable of setting its own agenda thanks to devolution, 
The Merthyr and Rhymney AM will stand down before this year's election after 17 years in Cardiff Bay.
The former chemistry teacher described taking on the education portfolio as "a dream come true" and said reforms to the curriculum and teacher training were two of his proudest achievements.
Speaking to BBC Wales He said: "

The old England and Wales schools-based education agenda no longer exists.
"Wales now has its own distinctive path and own distinctive future in terms of what our schools are going to look like."
He said the reforms happening here were based on "real evidence" and not "ideologically driven", which is what he fears is happening in England with the "marketisation of education".
By implementing a Scandinavian-style model - that includes children learning through play - he hopes teachers will be better skilled and standards will rise.
"We're not emulating England, we're emulating the best," Mr Lewis said.
This is despite an assumption he believes is made by many that Wales should see England as a "gold standard" and if something different is tried here, it is somehow suspect and second rate.
"I hope, that as devolution has matured over the years, we are finally beginning to break away from that kind of mentality," he added.
"We are quite capable of setting out our own agenda and following it and basing it, in global terms, on what the best looks like.
"That's the real dividend from devolution. That should always be where we're thinking.''

There is little evidence yet that after  17 years of Labour goverment in Cardiff of the outstanding results that come out of Schools in the Scandinavian Nations But  it might take a generation   for the current reforms to bear fruit.

The problem may well be that a future Welsh Government may find itself compared to the Academy system which English parents and pupils face having forced on them.

I do not believe that Academies ae the but we will be faced with Conservative and some Labour Politicians cherry picking results to claim tha education under their governance is a success ,. Despite their handing over control to Academies and faith schools .

There are indications that several city academies are failing. Ofsted has placed the Unity City Academy] in Middlesbrough and the Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle under special measures, heavily criticised the West London Academy in Ealing and condemned standards at the Business Academy in Bexley, Kent.

Leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups in the Local Government Association have combined to oppose plans to force all English schools to become academies.
In a joint letter to the Observer, they urge ministers to reconsider the plans.

There is no evidence that academies perform better than council maintained schools.
"Where a school is failing, there is no question that action must be taken - but converting every school, regardless of performance, to an academy will not tackle those issues."
It goes on: "Schools value the option to become academies - and the support they receive from their local councils to do so - where they believe this is in the best interests of their students and communities.
"Forcing the change upon every school goes against, in many cases, what parents and teachers want, and there will be a large financial implication for local authorities at a time when communities are already suffering the impact of significant budget 

What we need after May is not ideological dogma as is happening  in England , where the Tories are taking a policy introduced by Labour ti new highs.

It will be inevitable that such a system will lead to selection and a first and second class system  (and may be third class in some areas).

However in the long wrong Wales needs to break away from England in the media and many other areas . Otherwise we risk (s happened recently with the Welsh NHS)   the UK Prime Minister backed by pointing to the Welsh Education system as failing  even when if people could see the evidence his or hers is collapsing around them

1 comment:

  1. Wales is diverging in education, but that’s more down to the extreme policies being pursued by the UK Tory Government rather than anything Labour has done or is trying to do in Wales, but you know Labour they'll take credit for anything.