Pupils across Wales are set to benefit from a new £2.5 million Welsh Government small and rural schools grant announced today by Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams.
The fund will help schools use digital technology to prevent professional isolation, provide administrative support for headteachers with substantial teaching commitments, support the collaboration and federation of schools and facilitate the use of schools for community purposes.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented;
"Straight out of the Welsh Liberal Democrat manifesto, this funding will benefit pupils, teachers, and the wider community.
“Once again, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are delivering on our commitment to support rural communities and raise standards in our schools.
“We have always recognised the crucial role rural schools play within their communities. We will continue to fight for the needs of rural communities across Wales.”
Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams said;
“Small and rural schools play an important role in our national mission to raise standards and extend opportunities for all our young people.
“We are taking action and providing new funding to help small and rural schools deal with the unique challenges they face, such as small pupil numbers and issues in recruiting head teachers and staff.
“This financial support will benefit pupils, teachers, and the wider community. I want to see rural schools working more formally together and across the country, forming federations and looking into the possibility of sharing buildings with other services to ensure school buildings remain viable.”
Labour MPs abstained on an amendment to the European Union Withdrawal Bill that would have would have required the Assembly and other devolved legislatures to consent to the repeal of the European Communities Act.
Despite describing the EU Withdrawal Bill as a “naked power grab,” Welsh Labour refused to give Wales the opportunity to block a Brexit deal that will undermine devolution and do untold damage to the Welsh Economy.
Commenting, Welsh Lib Dem Leader Jane Dodds said;
"If we ever needed proof that we can't trust Labour to stand up for Wales, this was it. Labour politicians in Cardiff Bay will be understandably angry that their colleagues in London decided to turn their backs on Wales at an incredibly important point in the Brexit negotiations.”
“Brexit will impact every aspect of the Welsh economy, from lamb exports and ports to industry and small businesses. This vote was a golden opportunity to give Wales a powerful voice in negotiations and protect Wales from a Brexit that risks jobs and pushes up prices. Labour have once again comprehensively failed Wales.”
"As the Brexit negotiations become more chaotic by the day and the UK lurches towards a no deal Brexit, it's becoming increasingly clear that we need an exit from Brexit and that the people are given a vote on the final deal."
Mark Wilson, the Chief Financial Officer of Aston Martin, has told MPs that a no deal Brexit would be “semi catastrophic” and would mean his company would have to temporarily stop production.
A halt in production would have severe consequences for Aston Martin’s St Athan factory in South Wales. Production of the Aston Martin’s DBX model at St Athan is expected to create 750 highly skilled jobs and support a further 1,000 jobs in the supply chain once production starts in 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said:
“Aston Martin’s admission that a no deal Brexit would lead to a halt in production is a damning indictment of Brexit’s impact on the Welsh Economy.”
“A no deal Brexit would have a crippling impact on industry across Wales, from Airbus in Broughton to Tata in Port Talbot. The UK Government must immediately end their dangerous flirtation with a no deal Brexit that would have devastating implications for Welsh jobs and industry.”
“As the full implications of Brexit for the Welsh Economy become increasingly clear, it’s only right that it’s people and not politicians who have the final say on Brexit deal and the opportunity to vote for an exit from Brexit.”
Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams has announced today a further £2.3bn to modernise education infrastructure.
The funding forms the second wave of the flagship 21st Century Schools and Education Programme. The programme provides major and long-term capital investment for schools and colleges, allowing them to expand to meet high demand, increase the provision of Welsh medium education and improve the quality of their educational assets.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
“This crucial investment in our schools and colleges is yet another example of the fantastic impact Kirsty is having as part of the Welsh Government. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to work to improve our education system and increase opportunity for every child."
“If we can transform Welsh education and the life chances of our children and young people with just one Cabinet member - just imagine what more we could do with a large group holding the balance of power in the Assembly.”
Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams AM said:
“I am committed to raising standards, reducing the attainment gap and delivering an education system from the ground up that is a source of national pride and confidence. The 21st Century Schools and Education Programme is one of the means to achieve this ambition and represents the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.”
Jane Dodds has been elected by Welsh Liberal Democrat Members as the party's new Leader, beating Ceredigion candidate Liz Evans in a keenly-fought contest.
Jane Dodds, Montgomeryshire Candidate and child protection social worker, takes over the role from Acting Leader Kirsty Williams immediately.
The result was announced to an audience of members in Cardiff by returning officer Lord German
The Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education has announced new and improved incentives to teach physics, chemistry, maths, Welsh and modern foreign languages. For the first time Computer Science has also been added as a priority subject eligible for the highest level of incentive.
Kirsty Williams also revealed that new incentives for Welsh-medium secondary school teachers will be available.
In a key note speech on Wednesday 25th October Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, stressed that the link between universities and schools must go beyond teacher training.
Welsh Liberal Democrats have been consistent in promoting the civic role of educational institutions, including successfully challenging all universities in Wales to become living wage employers.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams has announced a new £2.7million project to improve the way supply teachers support schools.
The new funding will support 15 local authorities to create new supply teacher arrangements across 86 schools. The project will support the appointment of around 50 recently qualified teachers who will work across groups of schools, covering teacher absence and supporting wider school improvements and learner outcomes.
Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat Cabinet Secretary for Education, has announced that tuition fees in Wales will be frozen at £9,000. She has also announced £26million of government investment to support students and universities over the next two years.
Welsh Liberal Democrats are already committed to introducing the most generous and progressive student finance of anywhere in the United Kingdom, shifting support to living costs – the biggest barrier for students accessing universities. Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, has said the Government in England could “learn valuable lessons” from the Welsh approach to student support.
Statistics released today detailing yet another increase in hate crimes across Wales show the needs of minority communities need much greater attention from the Governments in Westminster and Cardiff Bay.