Speaking in support of the decision to cut nursery education provision from full to part time, Chris Bradshaw, RCT Director of Education, stressed that it is "quality not quantity" that counts.
Mr Bradshaw was defending comments raised during the consultation that as a deprived area with a relatively low attainment level fulltime nursery education is a must. He pointed to other areas that only provide part time nursery education, are equally as deprived but have better educational standards.
The issue, he explained, is to ensure that education is of a high enough quality, and explained at length what the education department are doing to prop up what he clearly implied were inadequate standards in our schools.
RCT Welsh Lib Dem Campaign Manager Karen Roberts said
"It is a slap in the face for all the hard working staff out there who are dealing with much uncertainty, constant change and some very challenging pupils.
"Rhondda Cynon Taff is officially one of the most deprived areas in Wales, many children do not get a huge degree of support at home, in many instances because the system let down their parents and so they do not have the skills themselves to help.
"Early years staff are having to deal with pupils who in many instances can barely talk and have no social skills. It is a difficult task for which they should be praised not hung out to dry by an Education Director who has no experience in the field but whose background is in finance.
"On top of this they have had to put up with a string of Welsh Labour Education Ministers each eager to try out new ideas, a Foundation Phase that has been underfunded from the start, and a great deal of uncertainty over school closures and rumours about 3 to 19 schools.
"The Estyn inspection report on RCT education department last year was scathing. The current Director has been in post since 2009, maybe he should look closer to home to start laying blame."
The Estyn report marked the authority as merely 'adequate' and pointed out amongst other things that RCT spent only at £4,718 per pupil, below the Wales average of £4,770. In 2011-2012 the authority delegated 75% of the available education budget to schools, below the Welsh average of 76%.
The Estyn report