Welsh Pupils Pay Price for Labour Underfunding -Randerson

December 7, 2010 3:25 PM

Jenny Randerson, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Minister, has branded the results announced today in the OECDs Programme for International Student Assessment as 'disastrous'.

The results show that Welsh students have fallen behind in reading, mathematics and science. In both reading and mathematics, Wales' mean score was significantly lower than the OECD average, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. In science, maths and reading, Wales' performance and international ranking is lower than in 2006.

Jenny Randerson AM said:

"In 2006, we saw disappointing results for Welsh students in this international education comparison and the Labour-Plaid Government said they were confident there would be improvements in these latest results. Today it is clear that the Labour-Plaid government has again failed our Welsh students.

"I am particularly concerned that Wales result in reading and mathematics has fallen and is significantly below the OECD average and that Welsh students are falling behind their counterparts in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats have warned for years that the spending gap of £500 per pupil between England and Wales would have disastrous consequences. It is a tragedy that Welsh children are paying the price for Labours gross underfunding of schools over the last decade.

"It is simply not acceptable for Estonia and Latvia to be out performing Wales in mathematics, for example. This is not just bad for individual children but a blow for our hopes of boosting growth in the economy."

ENDS

Notes: The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils' educational performance. It is coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with a view to improving educational policies and outcomes.

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