Posts Tagged ‘Leighton Andrews AM’

Education Minister Leighton Andrews said on Monday that he wanted to start a debate on whether or not school sixth forms and colleges are offering too many courses leading to quantity not quality. He said,

It made me raise the question, should we be looking in Wales at a narrower range of subjects?

That move has come under fire today from the Welsh Liberal Democrats who have accused Mr Andrews of causing confusion.

They point to the Assembly Government’s legislation in 2009 to require Sixth Forms and colleges to offer at least thirty subjects and to do so by this coming September.

Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said that local education authorities, schools and colleges have been left in disarray: should they continue expensive and sometimes controversial consultations about increasing numbers of courses or should they abandon them following the minister’s comments?

She said the minister should provide clarity.

When I asked her what she was in favour of – more choice or less, she came down on the side of choice. She said,

We shouldn’t be snobbish about whether someone studies Latin or hairdressing: we need a mix of skills and different levels of training.

Plaid Cymru’s former chair, John Dixon has also blogged about what he calls a ‘welcome U-turn’ by Leighton Andrews but he’s pretty clear that the original plan was confusing in itself.


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If you hand’t realised that there’s just a month to go until the referendum on strengthening the Assembly’s powers, then by the end of today you will.

On March 3rd we will all be asked,

Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?

On our ballot papers we will be told that if we vote YES,

The Assembly will be able to make laws on all matters in the subject areas it has powers for, without needing the UK Parliament’s agreement.

And if we vote NO that,

What happens at the moment will continue.

So that’s the choice. Over the next four weeks then campaigners on both sides will try to persuade us to vote one way or the other.

There won’t be an official NO campaign, nor will there be an official YES campaign, because the main NO campaign group, True Wales decided not to apply for that official status and the rules meant there could only be two official groups or none.

Lack of official status won’t stop True Wales trying to get you to agree with them though.

Neither will it prevent the main YES campaign group, Yes For Wales, which has the support of all four political parties in the Assembly and a massive amount of backing from high-profile individuals, charities and other organisations.

At ITV Wales, we’ll do our best to let you know over the next four weeks what the arguments are and what both sides are saying.

Starting this evening at 6pm on Wales Tonight.  We’ll be live from the Senedd in Cardiff Bay with a special report and guests from both sides of the debate.

Then at 1035pm join me for Sharp End where we’ll discuss it further.

We’ll also be looking at efforts to end child poverty and asking if they’re ambitious but realistic or hopelessly optimistic in an interview with the  minister responsible, Labour’s Huw Lewis.

Last week we spoke to the Education Minister Leighton Andrews about the problems facing our schools. This week he’s launched a major shake-up of our education system. I wonder what my guests think.

They are Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins, the former Conservative minister, Rod Richards and the Western Mail’s Chief Reporter Martin Shipton.

Join us all for Sharp End at 1035pm ITV1 Wales.


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It’s Thursday so it must be Sharp End.  A lot of tonight’s programme will be dedicated – just as a lot of the last political week has been – to education.  Three sets of statistics in a row have put what’s happening in our schools firmly in the spotlight in terms of individual performance, international comparison and how much – or how little – they’re funded compared with England.

Plenty then to discuss with the Education minister Leighton Andrews and his opposite numbers Jenny Randerson and Paul Davies.

Esyllt Carr has been down on the farm as a potential area of conflict emerges between Cardiff Bay and Westminster over the future of European Union payouts.

Join me and my guests Huw Irranca-Davies, the Labour MP for Ogmore; Jake Griffiths, the leader of the Wales Green Party and former headteacher Mal Davies for Sharp End, 1035pm ITV1 Wales.

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