Education Minister standing down – won’t be missed in the Rhondda

Wales Education Minister Huw Lewis has announced that he is joining a growing list of Labour Assembly Members who intend to stand down this May.

The Merthyr Assembly Member will not contest his seat in the Assembly elections, claiming that he has spent enough time in politics and wants to do something else.

His Labour colleagues have of course been falling over themselves to lavish praise on him for his long list of achievements. Others may find it hard to figure out just what they have been. He may have overseen an overall rise in GCSE results last year but Wales still lags behind the rest of the UK and a whole list of other countries when it comes to pupil achievement. Pupils in Wales are no less able than elsewhere, so why is that the case? Maybe the constant interference of a stream of Labour Education Ministers each trying to make their mark.

Well we have certainly benefitted from that here in the Rhondda.

Here we are to be guinea pigs for an experiment dreamt up by the Director of Education and backed up by the Labour Cabinet . The loss of our sixth forms in three of our Secondary schools and the ridiculous decision to amalgamate primary and secondary schools to form 3 – 16 and 3 – 18 schools. An experiment that Mr Lewis washed his hands of on the grounds that it was a Local Authority decision, but one his department granted the money for.

It would be unfair, however, to blame Huw Lewis entirely. It was his predecessor, the AM for the Rhondda, Leighton Andrews, who put the regulations in place that gave Councils the power to do just what they like with our schools.

Unfortunately Mr Andrews is not one of those who is standing down and so we can only hope that the residents of the Rhondda see through him and vote him out.

Karen Roberts

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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