In response to the Welsh Government’s statement on Estyn’s reports into Monmouthshire and Merthyr Tydfil, the Party of Wales Shadow Education spokesperson Simon Thomas said:
“If the Welsh Government is to continue with this practice of naming and shaming the worst offenders when it comes to poor education delivery, then it needs to include itself in that list. In a recent Radio Wales interview, the Minister said he did not run education in the five local authorities found so far to be failing, but parents, pupils and the public all think that the Minister does run education in Wales, and so do I.
“He needs to stop blaming others and the system and admit that, as the Education Minister, he is ultimately responsible for the provision of education and get on with the job if improvement.
“What is clear is that the present system is dysfunctional. Poor or inadequate performance seems to outnumber examples of strong services. The Minister says that his preferred option is to incorporate Merthyr’s education services into Rhondda Cynon Taff, despite RCT being classified as only ‘adequate’. He needs to think very careful about that. What we need is increased standards across the board and not an obsession with structures.
“Merging Merthyr with Rhondda Cynon Taff also jumps the gun on the work of his advisor who is charged with heading the review into the future delivery of education in Wales. The Minister needs to listen to experts and acknowledge failures, build on recommendations, and accept more responsibility.”