Wales Online is reporting that the country’s education Minister Huw Lewis has given an assurance that four regional bodies charged with improving Wales’ schools will have a future regardless of any local government reorganisation.
Mr Lewis said he expected the nation’s regional education consortia to continue “pretty much as they are” even if controversial plans to scale back Wales’ 22 local authorities are implemented.
It represents a significant commendation for Wales’ school improvement providers, which have received mixed reviews since their inception in September 2012.
Appearing before the Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee yesterday, Mr Lewis said: “No-one here is in a position to say precisely what the local government map might look like in two or three years’ time… that is a process that’s underway; it’s not resolved.
“[But] I can’t see a short or medium-term future which can do without consortia. There may be, for practical reasons, some adjustment to consortia that may have to be looked at if certain kinds of local government map are forthcoming.
“It could make geographical sense to rearrange things a little around the edges, but… I think if you took a poll of key people in the education and schools system at the moment… and you ask them ‘would you like to do away with consortia?’ I think the answer would be a resounding ‘no’…
Mr Lewis said he was confident the consortia were having a positive impact, adding: “The uplift in standards that we’re seeing, particularly through the GCSE results of this summer, have not happened by accident…
Is Huw Lewis right to back the impact of the consortia or would you be more circumspect?
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