Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Could an investment in Adult Classes be the solution to failing school system.

The idea that Westminster should have the power to put the Welsh Government into "special measures" over its education record, as a Conservative MP has suggested. appears to be more about his attitude to devolution rather than a belief that this would solve the problem
Brecon and Radnorshire MP Chris Davies said the UK government should have a way of being able to "take powers back" from Cardiff after the Pisa results.
Basing his argument that Wales fell behind the rest of the UK for the third time in the international tests published last week.
During a meeting of the Welsh affairs committee Mr Davies asked Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns if he thought Westminster should be able to put the Welsh Government into the high intervention category.
He said: 
"Do you not wish there would be a mechanism in there to take powers back to this place to be able to sort out, just as the Welsh Assembly have the powers to put local authorities under special measures and hospitals into special measures."Don't you think there should be an opportunity for us to do the same?"

 But Mr Cairns said people would be able to have their say at the assembly elections over the devolved matter

He replied
"I think that people, parents, will be able to express their disquiet at the ballot box and challenge the Welsh Government ministers and the Welsh Government as a whole on their success or failure of any particular area of policy," 
 A Welsh Labour spokesman said: 

"Devolution is the settled will of the Welsh people, it's sad but unsurprising to see Tory politicians advocating overriding a democratic decision in such a way."Rather than pointless politicking, maybe Mr Davies should look to devolution for some inspiration."
A Welsh Government spokesman said: (Presumably not the same one)
"We remain confident that our emphasis on leadership, teacher development and collective responsibility - rather than grammar schools - will continue to drive up standards in our system.
"The hard work is underway, but we recognise there is more to do."
Was Chris Davies being serious or was it  simply an orchestrated   move to highlight  the issue of the perceived failure of the Welsh Education system?

It is a threat however that my get some support in that the Ballot Box solution looks remote.

After 17 years of Devolution, Labour;s  Hegemony remains intact but removing powers and returning them to Westminster because the people of Wales have been constantly voting for the "wrong" party cannot be the answer.

It is up to the other parties to raise their game and come up with solutions to the failings in Welsh Education.

One way would be that the problems may not lie with the Schools but that to many parents are products of a vicious circle where  their parents  did not support or encourage them to work and in school and now pass it on to their own offspring.

One of the elements of Welsh Language Education in that Non-Welsh speakers who seek their children to have an education through the medium of Welsh will attend  Adult classes in Welsh at the same time. So they can be part of their offspring education,

Perhaps we should be seeking not to make changes in our Schools but increase the availability Adult classes in attempt to break this circle of failure.

I wonder when we look at the success of other countries like Finland why we do not look at factors outside normal schooling and whether the parents also are continuing their education.

It might be a Chicken or Egg thing , but it had to start somewhere.

We need a revolution in Welsh Education, but maybe it should start not in the Schools but in the Colleges and Classes for Adults.

1 comment:

Cibwr said...

It is a very good point well made. Schools are only half the equation home life is very important, without supportive parents it is difficult for children to flourish. Also when you look at the doom and gloom surrounding PISA you would think that Wales was not just bottom of the UK league but of the world, when its is actually middle ranking, not good but then not awful either. We need some realism in the debate and part of that is looking at education in a wider context.