Welsh Conservative Leader Paul Davies AM used First Minister’s Questions today to ask the First Minister if he was proud that his government has seen Wales rank bottom of UK nations in PISA rankings on his watch, to which he responded “yes”.
Mr Davies listed other shortcomings of the Welsh Labour-led Government such as the worst GSCE results in over a decade; a £678 per pupil spending gap between England and Wales; and the cuts of 8% in real terms to education since he became First Minister.
The Leader of the Opposition spoke about how Carwyn Jones’ government had relinquished its own target to see Wales in the top 20 countries for education in the PISA rankings. Wales currently sits 39th out of 71, behind all the other UK nations.
The target was originally set by former Education Secretary Leighton Andrews, who has since stated that Wales’ education system continues to be “complacent, falling short of being consistently good and not delivering the outcomes our learners deserve”.
It follows the council leader in the First Minister’s own constituency warning that the £57m funding gap in education, created by the Welsh Government, could see the loss of 1,300 teachers or 2,400 teaching assistants across Wales.
Outside the Chamber, Paul Davies AM, said:
“The arrogance that came from Carwyn Jones in his answers shows that he can’t justify the damage his government have inflicted upon pupils, teachers, and parents in Wales.
“Did he regret or apologise for the poor standard of the education system in Wales? No. Did he offer a plan to generate improvements? No. Did he even identify areas for progress or what went wrong? No.
“His performance in the Senedd today demonstrates a government bereft of ideas, which has abandoned any sense of culpability and has no intention of changing tack despite the evidence.”