Kirsty Williams is the Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for Brecon and Radnorshire and is Cabinet Secretary for Education.
Kirsty and First Minister reached a Progressive Agreement between the two parties to work together in Government. The Agreement was endorsed by members of the Welsh Liberal Democrats at a Special Conference in May 2016.
Commenting Kirsty Williams AM said: “Government in Wales has entered a new era. Where there is common ground, we must have the confidence and ambition to work together for the good of its people.
“The test of our new approach is not the warmth of our words, but our commitment to get things done.
“I will work with others in Government, across the Assembly and with parents, students, employers and teachers in our shared ambitions for the highest standards and opportunity for all. I will be open to ideas and innovation from all quarters – here at home and beyond.
“I agree with the First Minister that no one party has a monopoly on good ideas. Working together we have reached agreement on a range of issues that enables us to work together in government for the good of Wales.
“I’ve been fortunate to receive the support of friends, family and fellow Welsh Liberal Democrat members across the country in the last week. We stood on a manifesto that was ambitious and optimistic, with plans and ideas for education at its heart.
"I am honoured to have the opportunity to take forward those commitments. But make no mistake, I would be in government as a Welsh Liberal Democrat, guided by our values and commitments.”
Full text of the Progressive Agreement between Welsh Labour and Kirsty Williams AM:
This statement sets out agreements reached between The First Minister and Welsh Liberal Democrat AM, Kirsty Williams, on a range of issues. It represents the headline issues for agreement that enable us to work together in government for the good of Wales.Throughout her tenure in the Cabinet and as Cabinet Secretary, Kirsty will be consulted on budgets, legislation and the programme for government.
We have reached this headline agreement in the spirit of a new approach to Government for Wales, one that is innovative, inclusive and focused on delivery across our nation.
We agree that working together we will bring forward proposals that are ambitious, optimistic and innovative so that:
- There are more nurses, in more settings, through an extended nurse staffing levels law;
- The recommendations of the Diamond Review are considered, with a view to early implementation where appropriate, but there will be no negative effect on the higher education budget if there are any changes;
- 20,000 extra affordable homes are funded;
- A new ‘Rent to Own’ housing model is introduced;
- Funding is provided to put in place a floor for future local government settlements;
- Welsh agriculture is supported by introducing a small grants scheme in the rural development plan;
- Mental health discrimination is ended
As First Minister and Education Minister we agree that high-quality education is the driving force for social mobility, national prosperity and an engaged democracy.We commit to:
- Infant class sizes are reduced;
- Ensuring every child gets the best start in life through an expanded Pupil Premium; Prioritising schools access to super-fast broadband within the national programme;
- Incentivising, recognising and promoting teaching excellence so that we raise standards across the board;
- Promoting and enhancing both academic and vocational routes into and through further and higher education, and the national, international and civic roles of our educational institutions. This includes both full and part-time opportunities that will benefit learners of all ages, employers and communities.
- The impact of current policy on surplus school places is reviewed, with emphasis on rural schools, to better take account of future growth trends;
- Consulting further on the specific recommendations of the Hazelkorn review.
- Exploring a potential expansion of the remit of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to include further education
- Prioritising support for enhanced links between education and industry, enabling innovation and entrepreneurship across our public and private sectors in collaboration with our universities and colleges.