Kirsty was born in 1971 and grew up in Carmarthenshire. She attended St Michaels School in Llanelli before going on to studying American Studies at Manchester University and the University of Missouri. She married her husband Richard in 2000 and they live with their three daughters on the family farm just outside Brecon.
The youngest person elected to the National Assembly in 1999, highlighting the distinct challenges faced by Brecon & Radnorshire’s diverse communities and championing social justice have been key themes throughout her 20 years in the Senedd.
She has earned a national reputation as an effective campaigner, achieving the ‘Welsh Pupil Premium’, which has invested £282million in supporting Wales’ most disadvantaged pupils, and leading the successful ‘More Nurses’ campaign to guarantee safe nurse staffing levels in law.
As Education Minister she has overhauled Welsh Education, including; expanding the Pupil Premium, launching the largest investment in school buildings for decades, creating fairer student finance, increasing the number of medical and nursing students, introducing a ‘presumption against closure’ for rural schools, and delivering Wales’ new curriculum - which will see Wales become a world leader in LGBT-inclusive Relationships and Sexuality Education.
During her time in the Senedd, Kirsty has supported thousands of local events, causes, businesses and charities – all while helping tens-of-thousands of constituents with local casework. The Covid-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges for Mid-Wales, but Kirsty’s passion for where she lives and her commitment to seeing everyone have the services and opportunities to help them thrive remains undimmed.
As a tireless champion for her community, Kirsty will continue to stand up and make the voice of Brecon & Radnorshire heard in Cardiff Bay.