Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Will Labour seek to make Kirsty the fall guy (or woman)?

 Of course the fact  that independent review into the handling of academic results in Wales have been announced by the education minister does  not mean we will get to know if and where a government policy went wrong.

The BBC report that Welsh Government Education Minister and Liberal Democrat

Kirsty Williams said it was "essential that lessons are learned" from this year's experience.

With no exams because of coronavirus, thousands of A-level grades were initially downgraded but teachers' estimates were given after a backlash.

Ms Williams apologised "directly and unreservedly" to thousands affected.

The issue meant 42% of grades were initially downgraded from the teachers' original predictions.

But after a protest outside the Senedd and a petition that was signed by 22,000 people, predicted grades were eventually given.

This also meant that GCSE results, announced the following week, used the same format.

Ms Williams has now confirmed an independent review "will consider key issues that have emerged from the arrangements which were put in place for this summer's exams".

"It is essential that lessons are learned from this year's experience so that the review can provide recommendations and considerations for approaches for 2021," she said.

"These recommendations will be centred on the needs of our learners and their progression, and on the continued need to maintain standards and the integrity of the education system and qualifications here in Wales."

The review will be chaired by the director of the Open University in Wales, Louise Casella.

Ms Williams added that "given the pressing need to put measures in place for the 2021 exam series", she had asked for an interim report of key findings to be ready by the end of October.

A final report would follow by mid-December, she said.

But ColegauCymru said it was concerned there was not enough time for proper scrutiny by the Senedd in its final autumn term.

The education charity added it wanted the review to examine why "the needs of vocational learners were often side-lined and overlooked" and to "pay specific attention to the lack of a substantive and accepted examination and moderation process".

Chief executive Iestyn Davies said: "We welcome the announcement that Louise Casella will lead the review.

"We pledge, as a sector, to support her work so as to reach a resolution that will avoid a repetition of what we have seen this summer."

A cynic may think that Ms Williams will make sure that any inquiry's remit will make sure that the Government and herself will not face undo criticism .

But as the sole Liberal Democrat  in the Welsh Government, to rally around her .

However with the report to follow in Mid December  about six months before the scheduled Senedd Elections in May , it may be that some Labour leaders in and out of the Senedd may consider to make Ms Williams the "Fall Guy" (or Woman)and risk her resigning, making any criticism fall largely on the hapless Liberal Democrat figuring they could just about survey til May and indeed use it as an argument that they need  a majority after the Senedd election to "deliver for Wales".

Even Ms Williams might consider it a blessing of she left the Government and was free to speak out.

One of the weird aspects of Ms Williams being in the Not a Coalition" Welsh Government" is that her party seem to have taken the whole Cabinet collective responsibility,s a constitutional convention in Parliamentary systems that members of the cabinet must publicly support all governmental decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them. to heart.

I have tried for instance to find evidence of frequent LibDem Blogger Peter Black , give us some of his mercurial, viewpoint on the Exam scandal.

Ms Williams  the former La Pasionaria, of the opposition benches if she was not on the Government benches , would have relished such an opportunity to attack Labour if she was not a minister and her party with Peter Black at the front would be supporting her.

Still we mustn't  be too cynical ,should we?

1 comment:

dafis said...

Any minority accepting a role within this Labour regime is just walking into the prospective "fall guy" situation. After all, she was selected to make up the numbers where Labour couldn't make their own. So thick skinned they might hand her job to DET if Kirsty gets the push !!