Secondary school standards shortcomings signs “stagnation”

The Welsh Conservatives have said today’s Estyn report – which stated only half of secondary schools in Wales were judged as good or excellent – has shown the Welsh Government to be unsuccessful in improving education in Wales.

The report identified that half of secondary schools had shortcomings in teaching and assessment, inconsistent leadership, and a majority where pupils did not achieve their full potential by the end of their compulsory schooling.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Education Secretary Suzy Davies AM said:

“While I am glad to see primary schools in Wales are heading in the right direction, the news about secondary schools is concerning.  Schools Challenge Cymru seems to have had no lasting effect and it indicates tens of thousands of young people will head into the world of work having attended schools rated less than “good”.

“This will surely be crushing news for Carwyn Jones to receive in his final few days as First Minister, having staked his reputation on improving education for children in Wales.

“It seems more cohorts are joining the generation of children who have been failed by the Welsh Labour-led governments’ 20 years of mismanagement.”

“The worry now is that schools are being overwhelmed by constant change imposed by Welsh Government without the improvements which make that disruption worthwhile.  As we’ve seen with the supplementary in-year budget, money which could go directly to schools is going to Welsh Government’s flagship regional consortia which are charged with school improvement.  Those consortia now have to explain why there has been no such improvement despite it being the reason for their existence.”

The National Education Union Cymru said the teachers are facing an uphill struggle to improve education provision with “one hand tied behind their back” citing decreasing budgets, diminishing resources, and expanding resources.