Wefan Gymraeg

Progressive Agreement reached between Welsh Labour and Kirsty Williams AM


Kirsty Williams and the First Minister have reached a Progressive Agreement between the two parties to work together in Government.

The First Minister has invited Kirsty Williams to serve as Cabinet Secretary for Education and subject to ratification by the Welsh Liberal Democrats this weekend, she has accepted.

The agreement enables the implementation of key Welsh Liberal Democrat policy priorities that the party campaigned on during the recent election, ensuring that:

  • Infant class sizes are reduced;  
  • There are more nurses, in more settings, through an extended nurse staffing levels law;
  • 20,000 extra affordable homes are funded;
  • A new ‘Rent to Own’ housing model is introduced;
  • Mental health discrimination is ended.

Members of the Welsh Liberal Democrats will be asked to endorse this agreement at a Special Conference will take place this Saturday (21 May) at Cefn Lea Park, Dolifor, Newtown, Powys, SY16 4AJ starting at 11:00am. More information on how to register for this Special Conference can be found here.

Commenting on the invitation to be Cabinet Secretary for Education, 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.

“It is in this spirit, subject to the support of my party, that I am accepting the First Minister’s invitation to serve as Cabinet Secretary for Education.

“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.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Mark Williams, said "I fully endorse the Progressive Agreement between Kirsty Williams and the Welsh Labour Party. It is right, now, that this matter is put forward to the membership of the Welsh Liberal Democrats at this weekend’s special Conference. We practice what we preach, the value of democracy through one member, one vote.

"Having campaigned for so many facets of the document in the last Assembly elections, it is heartening to see these issues pursued at the heart of Government. Kirsty Williams has always been an excellent standard bearer for liberal democracy and the needs of education, and will continue to do so within and outside Government."

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.

Common Priorities

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

Education Priorities

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.


Read the Agreement in full.


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