Today in the Welsh Assembly I questioned the Minister for Education on why GCSE results in both English and Welsh have taken a turn for the worse and whether she should take any responsibility for this failing.
Despite a report last year making clear that fining parents for taking their kids out of school in term time had no impact on attendance rates, the Education minister still supports it.
Now we’re discussing the imposition on schools of an extra inset day. Is it right that the state can deny a child 5-6 days of education, but parents will get fined for doing the same, often taking their children on holidays that they simply couldn’t afford during the summer holiday period?
While the Government’s warm words regarding gender equality sound good and I share their vision that Wales should be a country in which influence, power and resources are shared equally, the single best thing we could do to achieve that is provide girls with a world class education, something this Government has utterly failed to deliver on.
I was somewhat concerned to learn from a constituent that children in a local school were required to travel via public transport and sometimes make multiple connecting changes, despite the youngest children being aged just 11.