Welsh Lib Dems put education centre stage - locally and nationally

April 9, 2011 12:55 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have put education at the heart of the Welsh election campaign. While Labour and Plaid Cymru have presided over a rising funding gap, and the Conservatives are committed to cutting education funding, only the Welsh Liberal Democrats have costed plans to put more money into schools, targeted at the pupils who need it most.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are firmly established as a driving force of educational excellence in local government. In councils up and down Wales, we we deliver services for half the population of Wales.

Welsh Liberal Democrats in Cardiff are addressing the increased demand for Welsh language education with new Welsh language primary school to be built in Canton, an investment of £9.9 million. The Labour-Plaid government recommended a cut of 0.33% in schools funding. Instead, Welsh Liberal Democrats are ensuring an increase in schools by 1.8% this year, a rise of £3.8 million.

Welsh Liberal Democrats in Wrexham are driving up educational attainment. Under Labour, Wrexham was 21st out of 22 local authorities for educational attainment. Since the Welsh Liberal Democrats took over, Wrexham has seen steady, year-on-year improvements in educational attainment.

Welsh Liberal Democrats in Swansea put £1.2 million more into education than the Labour-Plaid Education Minister asked them to, increasing spending in schools in cash terms at a time of severe budget cuts. They have also created a £400,000 literacy fund to improve literacy across the city and county. By Estyn's rating of schools, Swansea has a better position than most adjoining councils.

Welsh Liberal Democrats in Newport are building Hartridge (secondary) school, Ringland. Labour left power promising the new school, but put aside no money to fund it. The school is now nearly completed, and is due to open next school year.

Nigel HowellsNigel Howells, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Candidate for Cardiff Central said:

"Welsh schools and education system were once the envy of the UK. Now, international comparisons shows that that Wales' results in reading and maths and science have fallen significantly behind and that Welsh students are falling behind their counterparts in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"Locally and nationally, Welsh Liberal Democrats understand that education is the key investment we can make in all our children. It is the route of out poverty and the way to ensure that everyone can reach their full potential. Ultimately, it's how to make our economy strong, and narrow the gap between rich and poor."

Aled Roberts, the Lead Candidate in North Wales and Leader of Wrexham Council said:

"Our schools will only improve when we give teachers the tools and training they need to inspire our children. At the moment, pupils in Wales get £604 less per year spent on their education than in England. Labour and Plaid Cymru have let this funding gap grow. Welsh Liberal Democrats will give education the financial priority it deserves."

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